The Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales has appointed an Interim Manager (IM) to the charity Muslim Aid (registered charity number 295224).
The Commission used its powers under the Charities Act 2011 to appoint Michael King of Stone King as IM of the charity with effect from 17 October 2016. The Commission has been in discussion with the trustees about the appointment for some time.
In November 2013, the regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the charity to examine a number of financial irregularities relating to areas of the charity’s overseas activities. As a result of the investigation, in January 2015, the Commission issued an Order under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 requiring the charity to improve its governance and financial management. The charity was given 12 months from this date to comply with the Order and to provide the Commission with evidence that it had done so. The Commission kept its inquiry open to monitor progress and ensure compliance.
The charity has co-operated with the Commission throughout the inquiry, including more recently in the monitoring phase, but following regular and continued engagement and correspondence it has become clear that they are unable to resolve the matters themselves and comply with the Order. This has left a number of wider governance issues unresolved which require support in order to regularise its activities. The Commission has appointed the IM to review the governance infrastructure, as well as the financial controls in relation to its domestic and international operations.
Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations Monitoring and Enforcement, said:
There are underlying issues that have been identified in this inquiry that the trustees have unfortunately been unable to resolve on their own. The appointment of an Interim Manager is a necessary but positive step to address these outstanding compliance and governance issues. The end goal for all concerned, including the trustees, is to ensure the charity moves forward in a compliant manner and on a positive footing to continue the valuable charitable work it does. In addition, we welcome the charity’s recent appointment of Jehangir Malik as Chief Executive and his commitment to resolving these matters as a priority.
Jehangir Malik, Chief Executive of Muslim Aid, said:
Muslim Aid has been fully cooperating with the Charity Commission throughout its inquiry, and will continue to work with the Commission and the Interim Manager to strengthen the organisation. The charity has a proud history of delivering life-saving and life-changing work in complex and challenging contexts. Since joining the organisation, I have been impressed by its programmes and its people, that it is my privilege to lead. I look forward to working with all concerned to help strengthen the organisation, and in turn increase our impact on poverty to improve and save lives around the world.
Michael King (of Stone King), the Interim Manager, said:
This is an important international NGO, rooted in the faith of the Muslim Community and carrying out work in over 70 countries across the world. My principal task is to ensure that it will be a beacon of good governance in line with good practice, so enabling it to expand its vital relief work throughout the world. I hope that my role will last no more than a few months.
It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded the inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.
Notes to editors
- The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
- Search for charities on our online register.
- Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers. Section 76(3)(g) of the Act is temporary and protective power available to the Commission after an inquiry has been opened to appoint an Interim Manager. This role is supervised by the Commission in accordance with section 78 of the Act.
- The Commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry and the appointment of Interim Managers is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.
- The Interim Manager has published further information.
- The charity has also published a statement.