Commission publishes inquiry report into charity

(Immediate Release - 10 June 2010)


The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today published on its web-site a report on its recent statutory inquiry into a charity.

The report contains a number of important issues for the wider charity sector. The report states that trustees are responsible for the overall management and administration of the charity. They should be decisive, take responsibility and be accountable for controlling their charity. They should ensure that adequate records are kept of their decisions so that they can demonstrate that they have acted in accordance with the governing document and with best practice.

All trustees are responsible for ensuring that those benefiting from the charity are not harmed in any way through contact with their charity. They must accordingly take all appropriate and reasonable steps within their power to ensure that this does not happen and the risks are properly managed.

When beneficiaries of a charity are children and/or vulnerable adults, trustees of a charity must take reasonable steps to protect their welfare. These steps will include ensuring that there is a child and vulnerable adults protection policy in place and all persons coming into contact with children or vulnerable adults through their charity are aware of and follow that policy. Trustees are expected to familiarise themselves with the relevant law and to comply with it where required and to adopt best practice where this is available from an authoritative source. Having safeguards in place within an organisation not only protects and promotes the welfare of children, but also enhances the confidence of trustees, staff, volunteers, parents or carers and the general public.

In charities where the trustees (and others, including volunteers) have direct contact with users who are vulnerable (for example, by reason of their age or mental health), more vigorous background checks to ensure their suitability may be necessary. All charity trustees have a duty of care and a duty to act solely in the interests of their charity.


PR 38/10

Full details of the investigation can be found on the Charity Commission’s website. For further information, please contact the press office on 020 7674 2332.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. See for further information or call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218.
  2. The Commission publishes inquiry reports to inform the public about its role as regulator, about the inquiry process, and about action taken in a particular case. Importantly the reports also seek to raise awareness about particular issues encountered within the charitable sector, widening the impact of the Commission’s engagement with individual charities. In line with the Commission’s published procedures andto comply with our obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Commission has not disclosed the identity of the Charity or those connected to it.
  3. Our mission is: to ensure charities’ legal compliance, enhance charities’ accountability, encourage charities’ effectiveness and impact and to promote the public interest in charity.
  4. The Commission conducts two kinds of investigation cases. Most concerns are dealt with through investigations called ‘regulatory compliance cases’. In these cases the risk is usually more limited and able to be resolved through providing supervision, regulatory advice and guidance to trustees, without the need to intervene using our powers. 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. More information about the Charity Commission’s Compliance work can be found on our website here  Charities Back on Track, is a report on the themes and wider issues arising from the Commission’s compliance work. This can also be found on the Commission’s website here

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