Charity Commission publishes Al Ikhlas Foundation inquiry report

(Immediate Release - 16th March 2010)

 

 

 

 

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today published a report on its inquiry into the Al Ikhlas Foundation, (registered charity no. 1047844). The investigation was opened following the arrest of one of the charity’s trustees, Abbas Taj, as a result of his alleged involvement in an arson attack*.

The Commission’s inquiry looked at a number of issues, including that trustee’s suitability to continue in his role, the make-up of the trustee body and the trustees’ governance of the charity. The charity had previously been the subject of an investigation by the Commission and the inquiry also looked at the progress made by the trustees against the commitments they previously made to the Commission during that investigation.

This inquiry concluded that as a result of the offences with which he was charged, the trustee in question was unsuitable to act as a trustee of the charity. The Commission temporarily suspended him from office to protect the charity from further risk to its reputation and assets while the court case was pending. Following his conviction in relation to the attack, the trustee resigned.

The inquiry found a number of concerns relating to the trustees’ governance of the charity. The inquiry also found that the trustees had not adhered to all of the commitments they made at the end of the previous investigation.

The inquiry’s full conclusions are set out in today’s published report. As a result of the inquiry’s findings the Commission used its powers under 19A of the Charities Act 1993 to issue a direction to the trustees to regularise and strengthen the governance arrangements at the charity. The Commission will monitor compliance with the direction.

End.

For further information please contact the press office

PR 21/10

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.

5. * The trustee was charged and subsequently convicted of ‘conspiring without lawful excuse to damage the premises…intending to destroy or damage property and being reckless as to whether the life of another would thereby be endangered’.

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