Scottish regulator investigates Help and Improvement of Children in Africa

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator halts the charity's activities over alleged trustee disqualification

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has frozen the activities of the charity Help and Improvement of Children in Africa while it investigates an allegation that one of its trustees had been disqualified from taking the role.

The charity, whose objects are to provide food, clothing and medicines to children in west Africa, was granted charitable status in August 2011. It has not yet filed any accounts with the regulator.

According to a report by the OSCR, the regulator was told in November that one of the trustees, who is not named, might have been disqualified from acting as a charity trustee. The report does not provide details of any reasons for the alleged disqualification.

On 16 February the OSCR issued a formal direction to the charity’s management committee and trustees, which said they must not "undertake any activities on the charity’s behalf".

The direction, which is valid for six months, has legal force under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. Those in breach of it could face a £2,500 fine and up to three months’ imprisonment.

The OSCR’s report on the case says: "As a result of inquiries to date, we have decided that it is appropriate to direct the charity trustees not to undertake any activities while we seek assurance that the charity trustees are aware of and are fulfilling their duties.

"We consider this includes taking reasonable action to ensure that persons disqualified from acting as charity trustees do not act in management and control of the charity."

Third Sector was unable to reach the charity for comment.

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