Increase in upheld maladministration claims against Charity Commission

Independent Complaints Reviewer says regulator does not always live up to its own high standards

The number of complaints about Charity Commission maladministration upheld by the Independent Complaints Reviewer has risen.

According to reviewer Jodi Berg's annual report, she fully or partially upheld 11 allegations in 2008/09 compared with seven the year before.

Berg completed 14 complaint reviews, incorporating 48 separate elements of maladministration. This compares with 13 reviews and 39 allegations in 2007/08.

In her report, Berg says she received fewer complaints about an overzealous approach by the commission and more about a "perceived failure to sort out problems".

"A significant number of complaints were about the way in which the commission exercised its regulatory functions," says Berg in the report.

"In particular, there was concern that the commission was not sufficiently robust in dealing with reported irregularities within charities or concerns about individuals. Following review, most of these complaints were found to be unjustified."

She adds: "However, there are times when the commission does not live up to its own high standards."

Berg welcomes the introduction of the Outcome Review Panel, which offers a "light-touch" review of a commission decision and is an alternative to taking cases to the independent complaints reviewer.

She also notes a reduction in the number of complaints referred to the commission's own customer service section. The team dealt with 31 complaint cases, encompassing 105 separate issues, compared with 43 cases and 198 issues in 2007/08.

But 39 per cent of issues were partially or fully upheld, compared with 25 per cent in 2007/08 and 12 per cent in 2005/06, according to the commission's 2008/09 customer service annual review.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the Charity Commmission, said the regulator was committed to improving customer satisfaction. "We recognise that there are areas where customers have not been satisfied in the past and will continue to work to improve our levels of customer service," he said.

Mathew Little recommends

Charity Commission

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus