The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Sree Bharathalaya (1138682), a charity which exists to promote charitable purpose for the benefit of asylum seekers, refugees and the ethnic minority community in Coventry. It does this by advancing education and providing recreational facilities.
The Commission has serious concerns regarding the management and governance of the charity. The trustees repeatedly failed to file their accounts and annual returns on time in full for 3 years in a row, with one set being filed 736 days late. The Commission previously included the charity in a class inquiry for these failures, but opened a new investigation due to continued non-compliance.
An examination of the accounts submitted by the charity revealed that the accounts do not balance and there are also discrepancies between those submitted to Companies House.
In addition to this the Commission has concerns about the trustee board. Directors of charitable companies are also its trustees, but there are inconsistencies with the information displayed on Companies House and that which has been given to the Commission.
The Commission’s inquiry opened on 14 June 2017. It has been unable to announce or progress its investigation before now so as to avoid prejudicing a separate HMRC investigation into the charity. The inquiry will now examine:
- The extent to which the trustees are complying with their legal duties to administer, govern and manage the charity, in particular their compliance with legal obligations to prepare and file the charity’s annual financial information
- The extent to which trustees have complied with previously issued regulatory guidance
- Whether the charity has been operating in accordance with its objectives for the public benefit
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 Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales; our role is to regulate charity trustees’ compliance with the charity law framework.
- The Commission has not made any conclusions and the opening of the inquiry is not a finding of wrongdoing.