Charity Commission stands by its Dove Trust decisions

After a review, the regulator has ruled that two decisions relating to its inquiry into the trust should remain in place

CharityGiving
CharityGiving

The Charity Commission has upheld two decisions made during its inquiry into the Dove Trust, which runs the suspended online giving platform CharityGiving, after the charity’s trustees asked for them to be reviewed.

The regulator published the outcome of the reviews last month. It found that both of the decisions, one relating to the appointment of an interim manager to the Dove Trust and the other to an order made by the commission in relation to the charity’s property, should remain in place.

The commission appointed an interim manager to the charity in June and in July the Dove Trust suspended CharityGiving in order to protect charity funds.

At the time, the interim manager, Pesh Framjee of the accountancy firm Crowe Clark Whitehill, had found a shortfall between the funds due to charities and the cash held by the Dove Trust.

The commission said last month that Framjee estimated the Dove Trust’s potential liabilities, most of which are owed to charities, at about £2.2m. It said about £500,000 was available for initial distribution to more than 1,800 charities and good causes that are owed money.

The regulator has asked the High Court to decide how to distribute the funds because of the complexity of charity law involved.

A spokeswoman for the commission said the first review request from the Dove Trust’s trustees was received in September.

They asked the commission to review its decision to prevent four banks from parting with any property held on behalf of the charity without the consent of the regulator.

In October, the trustees asked the commission to review the terms of Framjee’s appointment, which gave him the powers and duties of the trustees to the exclusion of themselves.

Both reviews were completed by the commission on 13 December and published on its website last month. "The reviewers considered that both decisions were lawful, proportionate and reasonable and should remain in place," it concluded.

Those unhappy with the decisions made by the commission can apply to the independent charity tribunal. Such applications can be made without going through the decision review process, according to the commission’s website.

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