Regulator appoints interim manager to grant-making charity

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The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to Bhaarat Welfare Trust (1077821), a Leicester based charity with objects to promote the Hindu culture and religion. It carries these out by making grants, primarily overseas. The appointment was made due to continued concerns over the financial management of the charity.

The Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the charity in January 2017 to examine serious concerns over the financial management of the charity, including the trustees’ failure to evidence a significant amount of charitable expenditure overseas. In order to protect charitable funds, the Commission froze the charity’s bank accounts.

Despite receiving regulatory advice and guidance over a number of years, the trustees were unable to demonstrate that the charity has appropriate financial controls and the necessary due diligence checks.

The Commission therefore exercised its legal powers to appoint an interim manager to the charity on 9 May 2019. Finbarr O’Connell of Smith & Williamson LLP has the powers and duties of the trustees of the charity, to the exclusion of the charity’s trustees. His tasks will include: reviewing the charity’s financial controls and overseas payments, in particular evidence of how the funds were applied, and securing charity property by taking control of the charity’s assets.

The Commission’s inquiry continues.

Ends

Notes

  • The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. For more information see the about us page on GOV.UK
  • Section 76(3)(g) of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission power to appoint interim managers to a charity.
  • It is the Charity 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
  • Interim managers are appointed to take over the running of a charity where the Commission has identified misconduct or mismanagement, or there is a need to protect the charity’s property. It is a temporary and protective measure.

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