The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Beth Yosef Foundation, registered charity number 1071268. The inquiry was opened on 21 December 2016.
The charity has objects to advance the Jewish Religion, in particular as practised by Sephardi Jews. The charity was identified by the Commission for a compliance visit, as its objects suggested it might be operating in high risk areas and it had failed to submit annual returns to the Commission since February 2012. The Commission met with a trustee of the charity in November 2016.
The visit identified a number of serious regulatory concerns relating to the administration and financial management of the charity by the trustees. The Commission’s concerns include a failure by the trustees to submit their annual returns, whether the charity has any validly appointed trustees, loan agreements entered into by the charity and the sale of property owned by the charity.
The inquiry will examine:
- whether the trustees are properly appointed and whether decisions made by current trustees regarding the administration and management of the charity have been validly made, in particular in relation to the disposal of charity property
- whether any potential conflicts of interest have been identified and correctly managed by the trustees
- the financial management of the charity and application of charitable funds, in particular relating to rental income received from a property owned by the charity and how rental income has been applied
- whether or not the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law
- whether there has been any misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees
The Commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrong doing.
The purpose of an inquiry to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been misconduct and mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work; decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers to do so.
It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an 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. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.
The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.
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.
- The Commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry 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.