The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into The Swimming Teachers’ Association Limited (registered charity number 1051631). The inquiry was opened on 1 July 2015.
The charity’s objects include the promotion of effective teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques.
In late June 2015 the charity’s trustees submitted a serious incident report to the commission about several matters including a proposed re-organisation involving a transfer of charity assets and trading arrangement with a newly formed private company. Through subsequent engagement with the charity, the commission identified serious concerns with the charity’s governance, aspects of its financial controls and the proposed organisational changes which posed a potential risk to the charity’s assets since it was unclear if the changes were in the best interests of the charity. These concerns prompted the commission to open the statutory inquiry.
The issues that the inquiry is examining include:
- the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, including their oversight and involvement in the recruitment, selection and remuneration of the charity’s senior management
- whether, and to what extent, the charity may have improperly claimed rates relief for property owned by the charity
- the charity’s financial controls and transactions, in particular in relation to expenses incurred and/or reimbursed from charity funds
- whether and to what extent there has been misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity by the charity’s trustees, officers, agents or employees
The charity’s trustees have been co-operating with the commission since submitting the serious incident report and are taking steps to help address the regulatory concerns.
The regulator stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether or not there has been misconduct or 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 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.