The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into the charity the Ipswich Kurdish Islamic Cultural Centre (registered charity number 1149580). The inquiry was opened on 2 November 2015.
The charity’s objects include advancing religion by the provision of a place of worship for Muslims with a particular focus on meeting the charitable needs of the Kurdish community in East Anglia.
The inquiry was opened after a compliance visit, and inspection to the charity in March 2015 identified that the trustees were unable to provide records to evidence all of the charity’s income and expenditure and that the charity had inadequate internal financial controls. Following the compliance visit and inspection, further monitoring took place and information was requested from the trustees.
The trustees repeatedly failed to provide the information requested by the commission. This lack of cooperation by the trustees is evidence of misconduct in the administration of the charity and the lack of evidence provided raised concerns about a possible breach of the trustees’ duty to comply with the charity’s governing document and the law.
The commission’s concerns were so serious, particularly given the previous compliance inspection, that the commission has exercised its legal powers to direct under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 that the trustees undertake specific actions and address other regulatory concerns identified from the visit. These include concerns around late filing of statutory returns and a sizeable section of the charity’s assets being loaned to 2 members of the local community.
The substantive investigation was closed on 2 December 2015 after the direction was made. The charity has been placed in immediate monitoring to ensure compliance with the terms of the direction.
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 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 registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
* charities know what they have to do
* the public know what charities do
* charities are held to account
- 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 84 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the commission the power to direct any action to be taken that it considers expedient in the interests of the charity.
- Trustees of charities with an income of over £10,000 are under a legal duty as charity trustees to submit an annual return to the commission within 10 months of their financial year end.
- 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.