Charity Commission head calls for 'general power of disqualification' of trustees

Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report, Sam Younger says the commission has been 'too reticent', but needs stronger powers for serious cases

Sam Younger
Sam Younger

The Charity Commission has been "too reticent" in using its powers, but also needs stronger powers to deal with serious cases of abuse, its chief executive Sam Younger said today.

In a statement accompanying the commission’s response to a Public Accounts Committee report into the commission’s handling of the Cup Trust, a charity used as a tax-avoidance scheme, Younger said that the commission should have a "general power of disqualification" of trustees.

"I accept that we have sometimes been too reticent in using our powers during investigations and that we must address this," he said. "We have often given trustees too many chances to put things right before taking action. We have also been clear that we need stronger powers to deal with the most serious cases of abuse in charities."

He said one such power was a general power of disqualification, which allowed the commission to ban someone from being a trustee.

"Too often, we see trustees resigning when we start the process of removing them, meaning that they are free to act as trustees for another charity," he said. "A general power of disqualification would allow us to stop that from happening."

He said the commission was also taking a much tougher approach to charities that have repeatedly failed to file accounts on time.

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