Charity Commission sends final warnings to 72 'double-defaulting' charities

They have all failed to submit annual reports and accounts for at least two out of the past five years; Cymmer Workmens Hall, pictured, is among four released from inquiry

Cymmer Workmens Hall
Cymmer Workmens Hall

The Charity Commission is sending final warnings to 72 charities that have failed to submit their annual accounts for at least two of the past five years, telling them they will be placed in the commission’s "double-defaulters" inquiry unless they file.

The 72 charities, all with most recently recorded annual incomes of more than £250,000, have previously been contacted by the commission about their non-compliance, but this had a "more gentle nudging tone", a commission spokeswoman said.

The class inquiry into double-defaulting charities began in September last year with 12 charities that had last-recorded incomes of more than £500,000. A further dozen in the £250,000-£500,000 income bracket were added to the inquiry in November. Six charities remain in the inquiry because the others were removed when their missing accounts were submitted, with reports on the individual charities published in stages since the start of the year.

The regulator has today published online reports into four more charities released from the inquiry.

Cymmer Workmens Hall and Institute in south Wales, Jamiat-Ul-Muslemeen Quwat-Ul-Islam Masjed and Markazul Uloom were attached to the statutory inquiry on 11 November, and had submitted all their documents by March this year.

The trustees of Cymmer Workmens Hall and Institute apologised for its non-compliance for three years, saying it was caused by the illness of the person previously responsible for the accounts. Jamiat-Ul-Muslemeen Quwat-Ul-Islam Masjed, based in Crawley, West Sussex, put its non-filing of accounts in September 2011 and 2012 down to a change in the charity’s office during construction work, meaning "files and documents were put in storage which became problematic to retrieve", it told the commission. Markazul Uloom, based in Blackburn, Lancashire, did not provide any reason for its non-submission of documents for three years.

The fourth, the orthodox Jewish charity Yad Vochessed Association Ltd, based in London, was joined to the inquiry on 23 September, having submitted its overdue 2011 documents earlier in the month. It returned its 2012 documents six weeks later. Like Markazul Uloom, it did not explain itself.

According to the commission, the inquiry has so far led to more than £29m of charitable funds being accounted for on its register.

Michelle Russell, head of investigations and enforcement at the commission, said: "Failure to submit accounts and returns on time reflects badly on the charity and the wider sector. We are continuing this year to robustly pursue defaulters and late filers.

"The message for all charities is simple: it's your legal duty; you are accountable to the public and your donors. Play your part in maintaining trust in the sector: get your accounts in – be early, not late."

The commission is also due to move its inquiry into lower income brackets in the future.

The six charities remaining in the inquiry are: Achiezer, the Achiezer Association Limited, African Families Support Services, Beighton Welfare Recreation Ground, Life Line Missions and the National Patients Support Trust.

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