The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a new statutory inquiry into the charity Redeemed Christian Church of God New Life Assembly (charity registration number 1084582) for repeatedly defaulting on the submission of annual accounting information. The inquiry opened on 10 December 2014.
The charity, which is based in Barnet in London and has objects to advance the Christian faith, was until recently part of the commission’s class inquiry into charities that have defaulted on two or more occasions on their legal obligations to submit annual accounting information to the regulator. On 26 August 2014, the charity came out of that inquiry because it had submitted the outstanding accounts from the financial year ending 31 December 2011 and 2012. The inquiry report was published by the regulator on 6 October 2014.
During the course of the class inquiry, the trustees indicated to the commission that they would shortly be closing or merging with another charity, and that this had been a factor in the failure to submit required documents on time.
Despite the regulator’s recent enforcement action to ensure the trustees were compliant, the charity failed to submit its annual accounts and returns for the latest financial year which were due by 31 October 2014. The commission has exercised its statutory power to direct the trustees to prepare and submit the missing information by 30 March 2015, and an explanation for the repeated default, so this can be considered before further action by the regulator is considered (see endnote 1).
The trustees have not provided the commission with an update about the planned merger, nor has the commission been notified of plans to wind the charity up. The scope of the inquiry will be to regularise the defaults and consider taking appropriate remedial action against the trustees for persistent breach of their duties.
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 are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
Our mission is to be 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 protective and remedial 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.
- The commission exercised its powers under section 84 of the Act to direct the trustees to prepare and complete the relevant missing annual accounts, reports and returns for the charity and provide copies of these to the commission.