Cancer Care hits out at Commission audit cost

The Cancer Care Foundation, which is under investigation by the Charity Commission for alleged mismanagement, is preparing a complaint to the National Audit Office because it says the investigation has lead to excessive costs and may mean that the charity cannot file its accounts on time.

The charity has been faced with invoices totalling more than £100,000 for services rendered by finance company PriceWaterhouseCoopers and solicitors Charles Russell, which were appointed by the commission as receivers and managers.

"We have written to the receivers and managers and they insist that it is acceptable for our donors to continue giving because the charity is still fulfilling its purpose," said Bryan Taylor, chief executive of the Cancer Care Foundation. "However, we're not sure that supporters' money should be used to pay these bills."

The charity is also concerned that it may be unable to file its accounts on time because the auditor is having to do substantially more work than expected due to the investigation.

David Rich, head of investigations at the commission, said: "We've received no complaints about the performance of the receivers and managers, who are acting as trustees for the charity. It's for them to decide how and when to pay the bill once it's been authorised by us."

The regulator also said that it would not take any action if the charity's accounts were late.

The commission had received a similar complaint last month from Kingsway International Christian Centre, which had incurred auditors' costs for more than a year while the commission continued to investigate it (Third Sector, 21 January 2004). The commission has now agreed a deadline of February to end the intervention.

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