Commission freezes bank accounts of dog rescue charity

The regulator says an independent examiner found 'anomalies' in the financial records of the Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society

The Charity Commission has frozen the bank accounts of a dog rescue charity amid concerns of anomalies in its financial records.

The commission said in a statement today it had last month opened a statutory inquiry into the Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society, which cares for stray dogs in east Hampshire and West Sussex.

The regulator said that it became involved in March after the charity’s independent examiner reported anomalies in the charity’s financial records. The commission said it had subsequently reviewed the records and identified concerns about its financial controls.

The charity’s accounts for the year to the end of March 2016 are about eight months overdue, according to its entry on the commission’s online register, and the regulator said the charity’s 2014/15 accounts, which contain just two pages of basic financial information, were not compliant with the Statement of Recommended Practice and had not been independently examined.

The charity had an income of £114,643 and an expenditure of £168,316 in 2014/15, its accounts show.

The regulator said it had made an order to freeze the charity’s bank accounts and made a further order restricting the charity’s trustees from entering into transactions in the administration of the charity without the authority of the Charity Commission.

The commission said its inquiry would examine the extent to which the charity’s trustees had managed its resources and financial affairs, including the adequacy of its financial controls; whether they had adequately avoided or managed conflicts of interest and if they had managed risks to the charity, including the risk of misappropriation and misapplication of the charity’s funds.

The regulator said it would also consider the extent to which any failings or weaknesses in the administration of charity were as a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.

Nobody from the charity responded to requests for comment from Third Sector on Thursday morning.

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