Charity Commission publishes report on the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir Ltd

(Immediate Release - 14 May 2010)

 

The Charity Commission has today published a regulatory case report into the charity the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir Ltd (registered charity no.1122809). The charity’s main activities are supporting and raising funds for a childcare foundation in Uganda. The concerns which led to the opening of the investigation related to whether the trustees had taken appropriate steps to safeguard volunteers at the foundation and the charity’s beneficiaries.

The Commission’s investigation examined the relationship between the charity and the foundation in order to establish the charity’s role and responsibility for the volunteering programme. It also looked at whether the charity trustees had ensured that there were appropriate safeguarding procedures in place for child members of the foundation’s choir, made up of pupils from the schools run by the foundation, when they visit the United Kingdom. The findings and conclusions of the Commission’s investigation are set out in the regulatory compliance report published today.

The Commission’s report also highlights issues for the wider sector on working with overseas partners. Whilst this is often an effective way of delivering benefits direct to a local community, charities should formalise relationships with local partners to avoid any misunderstanding of roles and responsibilities. However charities always remain responsible for ensuring the proper application of their charitable funds, carrying out due diligence, and putting in place appropriate and effective controls to monitor their own governance and activities and those of partner organisations to help identify any problems at an early stage.

End.

PR 13/10

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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. To obtain a copy of the Regulatory Case Report please see http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Our_regulatory_activity/Compliance_reports/RC_reports/default.aspx
  4. 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.
  5. 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 - http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Library/track09.pdf The legislation on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults has recently changed. For the latest information, please visit: www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/independentsafeguardingauthority/.

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