Commission should be scrutinised, says charity association

The Association for Charities is calling for an independent investigation into the Charity Commission's handling of a complaint against a black Pentecostal church.

The commission appointed KPMG to act as receivers and managers for Kingsway International Christian Centre after the complaint in December 2002.

The commission has yet to publish any findings, while the church continues to incur the auditors' costs. Association chairman John Weth said he would ask the National Audit Office to investigate by the end of January.

"If the police or Inland Revenue conduct an investigation, the charity doesn't pay for it, but if the commission intervenes, charities bear the cost," he says. "The commission doesn't have to account for its actions and there is no restitution for any mistakes it makes."

The church is threatening to abandon its charitable status, which would mean relinquishing assets worth £25m, unless the issue is resolved by 9 February.

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