Charity Commission investigates aid charity over concerns about poor financial controls

The regulator opens a statutory inquiry into Human Aid UK, which delivers aid to Syrian refugees

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into an aid charity that has been involved in delivering aid to Syrian refugees over its financial controls and governance.

Human Aid UK is based in London and has objects of providing relief to victims of natural or other disasters, advancing public education and promoting racial harmony. It registered with the commission in September 2010 and had an income of £250,211 in the year to 31 March 2013, which was nearly five times more than in the previous year.

The commission said in a statement that it was "investigating concerns about the charity's management, including concerns about poor financial controls and record-keeping, including inadequate fundraising controls and concerns about a lack of trustee oversight". The inquiry was opened on 7 August.

The commission did not specify why the charity came to its attention, but said in the statement that it had identified that the charity had been working with Syrian refugees. It also works in Bangladesh, Gambia, Gaza, the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Charities working in Syria and neighbouring countries have been a particular concern for the commission in recent months. In addition, the police have made several arrests this year while investigating charity fraud with potential links to terrorism in the area.

A volunteer staff member who was contacted by Third Sector at the charity’s London office said he was not in a position to comment.

The regulator said it would publish a report on the inquiry after its conclusion, as per commission policy.

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