Charity Commission publishes report on inquiry into New Mind

(Immediate Release - 14 May 2010)

 

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has published a report on its inquiry into New Mind, (registered charity no. 1063532).

As a result of concerns raised relating to the charity’s financial management, the Commission identified that two payments had been received into the charity’s bank account from an international source and then almost immediately transferred to a trustee’s personal bank account. These unusual and unexplained transactions led to the opening of the Commission’s inquiry.

The Commission’s inquiry examined the provenance of international funds received and subsequent transfers, whether the charity’s governance and financial controls were adequate, and why the charity had not submitted its accounts and Annual Returns to the Commission for several years.

The inquiry was satisfied that the transfer of the international funds into the charity’s bank account and then to a trustee’s personal bank account was a mistake but probably would not have arisen had the trustees put in place better financial controls. The inquiry found that the trustees’ financial management did not meet expected standards and the trustees failed to comply with their legal duty to keep accounting records. The inquiry’s full conclusions are set out in today’s published report.

As a result of the Commission’s intervention, the trustees have carried out a full review of the charity’s activities and are now in a better position to comply with their duties and responsibilities with regard to the charity’s future development. The charity’s financial control systems are now much more robust.

The report highlights the importance of good financial management and controls and of charity trustees keeping accounting records. It also emphasises charity trustees’ duty to be transparent and accountable to donors, beneficiaries and the general public.

Ends.

PR 31/10

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