OSCR appoints interim manager to LGBT charity that changed objects without consent

The Scottish regulator had opened an inquiry into the Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Community Project in 2018, expressing concerns about loans made to a trustee, the use of properties and the changing of its objects

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has appointed an interim manager to an LGBT charity after its only active trustee resigned and it changed its objects without the regulator’s consent. 

The OSCR said in a statement that it had appointed an "interim judicial factor" to the Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Community Project, which is based in Edinburgh and had an income of just under £24,000 in the year to the end of June 2017. 

The regulator opened an inquiry into the charity in 2018 amid concerns that included loans made by the charity to a trustee, management charges paid to a trustee, the use of properties owned by the charity and the change made to the charity’s purposes in 2015. 

The charity has failed to file its accounts on time each year for at least the past five years and its latest accounts, for the year to the end of June 2018, are almost a year overdue.

The regulator said it took action after it was notified that the only active trustee for the charity had resigned. 

It said the charity was registered as a charity in 1996 with objects of benefiting the community “by the preservation and protection of the good health both physical and mental of gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in Scotland, and to provide health education for the benefit of such persons".

But the OSCR said that the charity submitted amended articles of association with Companies House in June 2015. 

The charity's purposes in these articles of association were changed to “to provide a safe meeting space for lesbians, gay men and transgender people in the community", according to the OSCR. 

The charity did not apply to the OSCR for consent to change its purposes, as is required under charitable law, the regulator said. 

It said the Court of Session had made a ruling to appoint an interim judicial factor to the charity, who would be Emma Porter of Aver Chartered Accountants. 

“As a result of the OSCR's inquiry, and information gathered in the course of that inquiry, the OSCR reasonably believes that there is or has been misconduct in the administration of the charity and that it is necessary and desirable to act with the purpose of protecting its property and of securing the proper application of such property for its purposes,” the OSCR said. 

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