Charity Commission publishes regulatory case report on UCARE

(19 March 2010)

 

 

 

 

 

The Charity Commission has published a regulatory case report into the charity UCARE, (registered charity no. 1083036).

UCARE’s charitable objects are to promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the public, in particular for the people of Pakistan and the Pakistani community in the UK and elsewhere. In practice the charity’s main activities are supporting two hospitals in Pakistan.

The purpose of the Commission’s investigation was to determine if the charity had improperly supported a politician and/or political party, in particular by allowing only Labour MPs to speak at events held by the charity, or whether donations to a political party had been made by the charity or by the trustees on its behalf.

The investigation also looked at whether, as a result of the charity’s poor track record of submitting annual financial accounts to the Commission, there were any further financial management issues.

The Commission concluded that political speakers had taken part in charity events; however this was not in support of a party political aim, and the charity invited politicians from other parties. The trustees were not consequently in breach of charity law by allowing or inviting them to attend. The Commission also concluded that although political donations were made to the Labour Party by a trustee, these were made in a personal capacity and not for or on behalf of the charity.

The Commission identified some weaknesses within the charity’s governance, in particular financial controls, policies and procedures that were not adequate. The charity trustees were provided with regulatory advice and guidance on risks associated with any engagement with the political environment, and on strengthening its financial policies and procedures. The trustees have undertaken that future accounts produced will be SORP compliant.

Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said;

"It is fundamental that charities remain independent from party politics. Trustees must take care to protect their charity’s reputation from any perception that it is involved in party politics and not independent. This case has also emphasised the importance of having proper financial and administrative controls in place and ensuring that a charity’s accounts are sent to the Commission on time."

End.

For further information please contact the press office

PR 23/10

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.

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