Charity regulator appoints interim manager at Muslim Aid

The lawyer Michael King will review the relief and development charity's governance infrastructure and financial controls

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to the international relief and development charity Muslim Aid following concerns that the charity is unable to address governance issues.

In a statement, the commission said today that Michael King of the law firm Stone King has been appointed interim manager on 17 October to review Muslim Aid’s governance infrastructure and the financial controls of its domestic and international operations.

The commission opened a statutory inquiry into Muslim Aid in November 2013 to examine financial irregularities in the charity’s overseas activities.

In January 2015, the commission ordered the charity to improve its governance and financial management within 12 months, and the inquiry was kept open to monitor progress and ensure compliance.

The commission’s statement today said that while the trustees had cooperated with the inquiry "it has become clear that they are unable to resolve the matters themselves".

The charity appointed a new chief executive, Jehangir Malik, last month, which the Charity Commission said it welcomed. He will continue as normal in his role while the interim manager carries out his work. 

Michelle Russell, director of investigations monitoring and enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: "There are underlying issues that have been identified in this inquiry that the trustees have unfortunately been unable to resolve on their own. The appointment of an interim manager is a necessary but positive step to address these outstanding compliance and governance issues.

"The end goal for all concerned, including the trustees, is to ensure the charity moves forward in a compliant manner and on a positive footing to continue the valuable charitable work it does."

In a statement in the Charity Commission’s press release today, Malik said: "Muslim Aid has been fully cooperating with the Charity Commission throughout its inquiry, and will continue to work with the commission and the interim manager to strengthen the organisation.

"I look forward to working with all concerned to help strengthen the organisation, and in turn increase our impact on poverty to improve and save lives around the world."

King said in a statement his principal task would be to ensure that the charity would be "a beacon of good governance in line with good practice, so enabling it to expand its vital relief work throughout the world".

He said he hoped his role would last no more than a few months.

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