Charity regulator opens inquiry into Ugandan charity

8 November 2013

Charity bank accounts are frozen as regulator demands answers about the end use of charitable funds

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, opened a statutory inquiry into Busoga Association UK, registered charity number 1081149, on 25 October 2013.

The Commission initially opened a compliance case into the charity in April 2013. This was to examine concerns that had been raised with the regulator by another charity that insufficient accounting records had been made available to confirm sufficiently how funds were applied.1 These concerns were raised with the charity and a books and records inspection was conducted which identified further regulatory concerns regarding the charity's governance, due diligence and monitoring procedures.

The regulatory concerns relating to the administration of the charity have been increased by the trustees' failure to engage with the Commission, raising serious concerns about the risk to the charity's funds. On opening the inquiry, the Commission has taken immediate steps to freeze the charity's bank accounts as a protective measure, which means that payments cannot be made from the charity's bank account without the consent of the Commission.2

The scope of the Commission's investigation is to determine whether:

  • Charitable funds have been misapplied or misappropriated
  • The general and financial management of the charity is adequate, with specific regard to accounting for the application of charitable funds and the charity's activities
  • There has been mismanagement or misconduct by the trustees in the administration of the charity
  • The trustees have complied with and fulfilled their legal duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law

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.

You can view the charity's details on the Register of Charities.

Ends

PR 48/13

For press enquiries contact our press office.

Notes to Editors

1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. See www.charitycommission.gov.uk for further information.

2. Our mission is to be 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

3. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Charity Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of protective and remedial powers.

4. 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. Read more information on the Commission's policy and factors taken into account when deciding to issue a press release.

Endnotes

1. Compliance cases deal with charities that require robust regulatory intervention. More about this work can be read in our Annual Report 2012/13

2. These Orders were made under section 76(3)(d) of the Charities Act 2011. The bank may not part with any money or securities which it holds on behalf of the charity without the prior written approval of the Commission. The bank may, however, make such payments as shall be authorised in writing by or on behalf of the Commission. Payments into the account can be made as normal.

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