Charity Commission inquiry into Muslim Aid 'to close shortly'

The regulator has discharged the charity's interim manager, having first opened the inquiry in November 2013

The interim manager at Muslim Aid has been discharged and the Charity Commission will shortly close its long-running inquiry into the charity, the regulator has announced.

The commission opened an inquiry into the international relief and development charity in November 2013 to look into financial irregularities relating to its overseas activities.

The regulator told the charity to make improvements to its governance and financial management, but subsequently concluded that the charity was unable to resolve the issues by itself and appointed Michael King of the law firm Stone King as interim manager of the charity.

King was asked by the regulator to conduct a review of the governance and infrastructure at the charity and has worked with Muslim Aid to convert it into a charitable incorporated organisation. This has resulted in the Muslim Aid charity being wound up and its assets transferred to the new CIO. A new seven-strong board of trustees has also been appointed.

At about the same time as King was appointed interim manager, Muslim Aid recruited Jehangir Malik as chief executive. Malik worked with King to resolve the charity’s issues.

The charity, which has an annual income of £30m and employs 1,400 people, supports about eight million beneficiaries worldwide.

The commission said in a statement yesterday that Muslim Aid’s new trustees would work alongside Malik and senior staff to oversee the "implementation of future improvements required to ensure that the charity moves forward in a compliant manner and on a positive footing to continue its charitable work".

The regulator said it would be closing its investigation shortly and issuing an action plan to the new trustees to ensure they built on the progress made so far, especially in relation to the management of Muslim Aid’s country offices.

Muslim Aid said in a statement that the new CIO would be chaired by the management consultant Iftikhar Awan.

Awan said he wanted Muslim Aid to "shine as a beacon of best practice and excellence".

He said: "We must be among the best, not just in the Muslim charity sector, but in the charity sector as a whole. We will strive to become the charity of choice that individuals and institutional donors turn to, because they trust us to deliver effectively and efficiently.

"We are not looking to become the biggest, but we certainly want to be among the best at delivery."

King said he was sure the charity would flourish under the leadership of its senior management team and new board of trustees.

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