Charity Commission publishes report on Waltham Forest Islamic Association inquiry

(Immediate Release 28 June 2010)

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has published a report on its inquiry into the Waltham Forest Islamic Association, (registered charity no. 270323). The charity runs the Walthamstow Mosque, also known as the Lea Bridge Road Mosque, in North-East London.

The inquiry was opened after concerns were raised about the purchase of a property for charitable purposes by the group acting as the committee running the charity. The Commission had repeatedly advised this group that their term of office had ended and they were not validly appointed trustees. As this acting committee did not have any authority to purchase a property using a significant amount of the charity's funds, the inquiry's focus was to protect and ensure the proper use of the charity's assets. The details of the Commission's inquiry and its full findings are set out in the report published today.

In addition to presenting the findings of the Commission's inquiry, the report also identifies issues for the wider sector which relate to the matters addressed in this case. The report highlights the fact that every charity must have validly appointed trustees who are responsible for its overall management and administration. Trustees must ensure that they act at all times in accordance with their governing document. Where a charity's membership elects the trustees to serve for a specific period of time, it is important that serving trustees put in place procedures for an election to be carried out in accordance with the governing document of the charity before their term of office ends.

Full details of the investigation can be found on the Charity Commission's website.

Ends.

PR 40/10

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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 or call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218.

2. Our mission is: to ensure charities' legal compliance, enhance charities' accountability, encourage charities' effectiveness and impact and to promote the public interest in charity.

3. The Commission conducts two kinds of investigation cases. Most concerns are dealt with through non-statutory investigations called 'regulatory compliance cases'. However, in cases of significant risk and more serious regulatory concern we may open a statutory inquiry under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993. The decision to open a statutory inquiry will be based on a number of factors, including evidence of serious suspicion of misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity and/or risk to property. The criteria we use are set out in our Risk and Proportionality Framework for the Commission's compliance work.

4. More information about the Charity Commission's Compliance Division can be found in Charities Back on Track, a report on the themes and wider issues arising from the Commission's compliance work. This can be found on the Commission's website.

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