Kenya support charity investigated over financial concerns
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Kenya Community Support Network and frozen the charity’s bank account, after concerns emerged that the charity was being used for significant private benefit
12 Mar 2018
The charity is based in Ilford, Essex and its objects include relieving poverty, sickness and distress among Kenyans and promoting research into the conditions of life of Kenyans. Its income in the financial year ending 31 March 2017 was £21,614, having been around £150,000 for each of the previous four years.
The Commission engaged with the charity in October 2017 after receiving a complaint which concerns about the charity’s expenditure and whether it was in furtherance of the charity’s objects.
After an initial examination of internal governance, management and administration and an inspection of the charity’s records, the Commission said its concerned that there are strong indicators that show that the charity is being used for significant private benefit, that there is mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the charity, and that the charity is not carrying out activities in furtherance of its charitable objects for the public benefit.
Its investigation will now look at whether the trustees have acted in compliance with their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law in the administration of the charity, and at the financial management of the charity, in particular with regard to its expenditure.
The Commission will consider whether there has been any private benefit to the trustees of the charity, whether the trustees have operated the charity in furtherance of its charitable objects for the public benefit, and whether there has been misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.
In light of the Commission’s concerns, it has taken action to protect the charity’s assets by restricting the transactions from the charity’s bank account. As a result, the charity cannot make payments or part with any of the charity’s assets without the Commission’s prior written approval.
The Commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail, investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns. A report on its findings and the outcomes will be published in due course.
Report by Pat Sweet