Charity Commission appoints interim manager to development charity

Jole Rider Friends has been the subject of a statutory inquiry since September 2017

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to a development charity because it has continued concerns about the charity’s governance arrangements.

Jole Rider Friends, which provides facilities and equipment at educational establishments in Africa, has been the subject of a statutory inquiry since 5 September 2017 in relation to concerns about potentially unauthorised payments to trustees, late filing of accounts and inadequate stock control.

The commission had already frozen the charity’s bank accounts, a decision that was upheld by the charity tribunal at the beginning of last year.

The trustees for Jole Rider Friends had told the tribunal that the charity faced possible closure unless restrictions on its bank accounts were lifted by the regulator.

The commission said in a statement on Friday that it had suspended the charity’s two trustees, David Swettenham and Helen King, on 2 January, and appointed Geoff Carton-Kelly of FRP Advisory as interim manager.

Carton-Kelly would take over the day-to-day management and administration of the charity, the commission said, and would work on a pro bono basis.

According to the commission’s website, Jole Rider Friends had an income of £111,782 and spent £123,836 in the year to 2 April 2017.

The 2016 and 2015 accounts were filed 349 days and 95 days late respectively, the commission’s website shows.

The regulator said its inquiry into the charity continued.

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