Regulator rules that Global Aid Trust had been mismanaged

The charity, featured in an ITV documentary, is also found by the Charity Commission to have failed properly to oversee an external speaker

The Charity Commission has found that a second charity featured in the ITV documentary Charities Behaving Badly had been mismanaged and had failed to adequately oversee an external speaker.

The commission announced in February last year that it had opened statutory inquiries into the education charity the Global Aid Trust and a Hindu charity after concerns that they had been promoting extremism came to light in the undercover documentary.

The programme featured a worker from the Global Aid Trust, known as Shaffiq, showing admiration for Anwar al-Awlaki, the Islamic militant believed to be the inspiration for the Charlie Hebdo murderers.

It also showed Rizwan Hussain, the charity’s acting chief executive at the time, making comments that could be construed as antisemitic.

Hussain stood down as acting chief executive and as a trustee of the charity before the broadcast of the show that featured it.

In a report of its inquiry, published today, the commission says it had already begun looking into the trust before it was contacted by the programme-makers and had carried out a compliance visit in November 2014 to review the charity’s management of its events and speakers.

"The commission concluded that the trustees had failed in their duties to protect the charity and that there had been misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity – including failures to manage and exercise sufficient oversight of employees, volunteers and external speakers at the charity’s events and follow the charity’s own policies and procedures," the commission says in the report.

In February this year, the regulator issued an order under the Charities Act 2011, directing the charity’s trustees to take immediate actions including developing a due-diligence policy covering external speakers, putting in place a compulsory diversity training module for trustees and securing a bank account for the charity.

The charity, which had an income of £730,324 in 2014, told the commission in March 2015 that its bank account was being withdrawn in the wake of the broadcast of the documentary.

The commission said the charity’s trustees had cooperated fully with the inquiry and responded to the regulator’s concerns by reviewing and improving the charity’s management and policies.

The charity has until 26 September to report back to the regulator on its progress.

A statement from the Global Aid Trust said it accepted there were shortcomings in the management of one of its events and its trustees had acted promptly to deal with issues raised.

It said it had taken action in areas including dealing with weaknesses in delegated responsibility for due diligence on speakers, tightening its policies in relation to events, speakers and volunteer recruitment, and improving training for trustees in areas including equality and racism.

The charity said it had also been able to make alternative banking arrangements.

The commission announced last week that its inquiry into the second charity, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK, found that the charity failed to adequately manage an event at which a speaker appeared to make anti-Islamic comments.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus