Commission opens statutory inquiry into charity operating in Syria

The regulator is concerned that the charity, called Deen Team, has been operating outside its purposes

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a charity operating in Syria amid concerns that it was acting outside its purposes.

Deen Team was registered in January 2014 with objects including the relief of poverty, in particular supporting homeless people and single parents, and the relief of financial need and suffering of the victims of natural or other kinds of disasters.

Its entry on the commission’s register lists only England and Wales as the areas in which it operates.

The commission said in a statement today that it carried out a compliance visit to the charity in July 2014 because it was newly registered and operating in Syria, which the regulator said was a high-risk area. The commission closed the case in December 2014 after issuing advice and guidance to the charity’s trustees.

The regulator said that it checked with the charity in November last year to see if the trustees had carried out its recommendations, but its trustees did not provide the information requested.

It said it opened an inquiry because of concerns about the financial management of the charity, one of which was that it did not appear to have had a bank account since February 2015 and that its first set of accounts, which are about 10 months overdue, had not yet been filed.

"The commission also has concerns relating to the governance of the charity, including that the charity appears to have been operating outside the terms of its governing document, and that there is a risk to the charity’s property as a result of inadequate financial controls and poor governance," the regulator’s statement said.

It said its inquiry, which was opened on 30 June, would examine areas including the administration, governance and management of the charity and its financial controls.

The charity’s website did not appear to be active on Thursday morning and Third Sector was unable to reach anyone via the telephone number listed on the charity’s entry on the commission’s register.

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