The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Young Pioneers registered charity number 1121680. The inquiry was opened on 5 July 2016.
The charity has objects to support young people through the provision of recreational and leisure time activities, and to advance the education of young people.
The commission engaged with the charity in September 2011 regarding its governance and financial administration, in particular concerns raised regarding personal benefit and conflicts of interest.
In September 2012 and subsequently in October 2015, the commission re-engaged with the charity and provided further regulatory advice and guidance to the trustees on personal benefit and conflicts of interest.
In June 2016, the commission received further information which indicates that individuals may have been receiving significant private benefit from the charity since 2010. As a result, the commission has concerns that the trustees have not acted on previous regulatory advice and guidance provided to the charity and have not properly identified or managed the conflicts of interest.
In addition, the commission is not satisfied that the trustees have exercised sufficient control and management of the charity’s property including its funds and that the charity may be operating without the required number of trustees which raises concerns regarding the validity of the trustees’ decisions. The trustees do not appear able, or willing to, manage the charity’s resources responsibly and to act in the best interest of the charity.
The commission, upon the opening of the inquiry, used its temporary and protective regulatory powers to protect charity property while the commission continues investigating.
The inquiry will examine:
- the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees with specific regard to decision making
- whether there has been any direct/indirect private benefit to trustees/(current and former) with regard to the operation of the charity’s assets
- whether the trustees (current and former) have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under the charity law in the administration of the charity
- the financial management of the charity, in particular whether the charity has sufficiently robust internal financial controls
- whether there has been any 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 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 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 used its temporary and protective regulatory powers to protect charity property by virtue of s76(3)(d) of the Charities Act 2011.
- 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.