Muslim Aid to become a CIO as part of moves to address governance concerns

The charity has been subject to a Charity Commission inquiry since 2013 and had an interim manager appointed last year to address governance issues

The international relief and development charity Muslim Aid is to become a charitable incorporated organisation as part of moves to address long-standing governance issues.

Since 2013, the charity has been the subject of a Charity Commission statutory inquiry into its governance and administration. This led to the regulator appointing an interim manager in October last year amid concerns that it was unable to address its governance issues.

The commission said at the time that Michael King of the law firm Stone King would review the charity’s governance infrastructure and the financial controls of its domestic and international operations.

An advertisement posted by the agency TPP Recruitment last week said the charity was seeking six unpaid trustees, including a chair and treasurer, as part of moves by the charity to become a charitable incorporated organisation.

The CIO legal form allows charities that take it up to enter into contracts as corporate entities with limited or no liability for trustees. They are registered with and regulated by the Charity Commission but do not need to register with Companies House and are not subject to company law.

The advert says: "Following an inquiry by the Charity Commission into the governance and administration of the charity, a new constitution will be put in place and Muslim Aid will shortly be incorporated as a charitable incorporated organisation.

"The CIO will in due course take over the assets, responsibilities and liabilities of Muslim Aid with a view to developing the charity in its work for humanity.

The advert says the charity, which has an annual income of £30m and employees 1,400 people, supports eight million beneficiaries worldwide.

"These are clearly stimulating and unique opportunities which require a set of driven and high calibre trustees who empathise with the mission of Muslim Aid," it says.

King, the interim manager, said in a statement: "The CIO is an increasingly popular alternative legal structure for charity governance and one which Muslim Aid had pursued prior to the appointment of an interim manager.

"Muslim Aid is now looking for trustees to govern the new CIO. I have appointed a broad-based review committee to advise me on the appointment of the first six trustees against criteria which will secure the skills, experience and enthusiasm required to govern a charity of this size and activity."

According to the charity's entry on the Charity Commission's website, Muslim Aid has 18 trustees. 

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