The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into the charity Masoom (registered charity number 1124976). The inquiry was opened on 30 July 2015.
The charity’s objects include providing relief and assistance to people in any part of the world who are the victims of war, natural disaster, trouble or catastrophe. The charity has operated in Pakistan, Syria and Gaza.
The inquiry was opened after a compliance visit and inspection to the charity in May 2015 identified that the trustees were unable to provide records to evidence expenditure of over £129,000. The funds were spent overseas during a period of 2 years between 2013 and 2015. The concerns were so serious that the commission immediately exercised its legal powers to direct under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 the trustees to undertake specific action in respect of this and to address other regulatory concerns identified from the visit. These include concerns around due diligence and the monitoring of partners.
The substantive investigation was closed on 18 August 2015 after the direction was made.
The commission will be monitoring compliance with the direction and the trustees are required to report back to the regulator early next year as to the progress they have made. The commission will then consider what, if any, further regulatory action is required.
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. In this case, the inquiry report will be published after the commission has completed a follow up inspection visit in early 2016.
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.
- 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.