Regulator probes charity over £200k payments

A Birmingham charity for the deaf community is being investigated by the regulator over serious financial and governance concerns

The Charity Commission’s statutory inquiry into One Community Organisation follows an earlier compliance case which identified inconsistencies with the information the trustees had reported to the Commission about the charity.

The charity’s purpose is to deliver support to the deaf community and those with special needs, by organising fundraising events to support online lectures and education programmes for these groups.

Last April as part of the original compliance case, the Commission examined the charity’s finances which led to concerns that the trustees may have understated the charity’s income and expenditure for 2017 and 2018.

The regulator also became aware of conflicting information about whether or not the charity owned property.

In addition, the Commission identified concerns around potential unauthorised trustee payments. The charity’s bank statements showed over £200,000 of charity funds were transferred via online payments to a trustee’s private bank account. The purpose of these payments was not clear.

The Commission therefore escalated its case to a statutory inquiry at the end of last year to examine these matters further.

The inquiry will examine concerns around the trustees’ management of the charity’s resources and financial affairs, compliance with their general legal duties and responsibilities, and whether any failings identified are a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.

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