Charity Commission questions validity of charity's appeal to tribunal

Regulator questions whether the person who made Regentford Ltd's appeal to the charity tribunal against the decision to open an inquiry had sufficient authority

Charity tribunal
Charity tribunal

The Charity Commission has claimed that an appeal to the charity tribunal from a Jewish charity was not made by someone with "sufficient standing" within the organisation.

The commission opened a statutory inquiry into Regentford Ltd on 23 October 2012 because of concerns about its financial management.

The charity, which registered with the commission in 1991 and has not filed accounts with it since 2007, appealed to the tribunal against the commission’s decision to open the inquiry. 

A case management note, issued by the tribunal on 5 June, said the commission had then raised "a preliminary issue" over whether the person who signed the appeal was of sufficient standing within the charity to do so.

According to the Charities Act 2011, an appeal to the tribunal against a commission decision to launch an inquiry must be made by the "persons who have control or management of the institution and/or the institution itself".

The tribunal case management note said that Regentford Ltd’s appeal had been signed by a Mr D Markovic. But a spokeswoman for the commission said it was unaware of any person with a connection to the charity with that name.

She said the regulator raised the preliminary issue because it had believed the appeal had been signed by Anthony Markovic, who is listed on the commission’s website as a trustee of the charity but had sent an email to the regulator on 22 March stating that he had ceased to be a director and/or trustee of the charity on 12 June 2012.

The tribunal case note said the charity and/or Mr D Markovic were given 14 days to respond to the commission’s concerns and clarify what authority Markovic held in order to be able to make an appeal to the tribunal on behalf of Regentford Ltd.

The commission spokeswoman said that in its response, which is being considered by the tribunal, the charity had said that a Miss Devorah Markovic, whom the regulator understands is listed as company secretary for Regentford Ltd, signed the appeal, not Anthony Markovic.

A date for the hearing has been listed as 30 July. Third Sector was unable to contact anyone from Regentford Ltd for comment.

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