The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into The Suyuti Institute (registered charity number 1151600). The inquiry was opened on 16 January 2017.
The charity has objects to advance the Islamic Faith through education and distributing literature.
Concerns were raised with the Commission about a lecture given by a trustee of the charity and whether the content of that speech was appropriate and furthered the charity’s purposes. As a result of these concerns the regulator met with the trustees and conducted a visit and books and records inspection at the charity on 1 November 2016.
At the visit, the Commission learnt that the charity had taken over a private trust linked to one of the trustee’s late mother, which included all of its assets and liabilities. The Commission has specific concerns relating to the management of conflicts of interest and whether the trustees have acted in the best interests of the charity to accept the assets and liabilities of the private trust. The Commission is also concerned that this decision has exposed the charity to significant financial risk.
As a result of these serious concerns the Commission has issued an order restricting transactions from the charity’s bank account and directed the trustees to provide information and documents to the Commission - see notes to editors.
The inquiry will examine the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, in particular:
- whether the trustees have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law in the administration of the charity
- the financial management of the charity, in particular with regard to the decision to accept the assets and liabilities of the private trust
- whether there has been any private benefit to the trustees of the charity
- whether the trustees have operated the charity in furtherance of its charitable objects for the public benefit
- whether there has been misconduct and/ or mismanagement by the trustees
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 its website.
The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.
Notes to editors
- The order to freeze the bank accounts of the charity was made on 18 January 2017 under section 76 (3) (d) of the Charities Act 2011.
The Direction to the trustees to provide information to the Commission was made on 19 January 2017 under section 47 of the Charities Act 2011.
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.