Regulator finds failures of governance at Bhagavat Educational Trust

According to a regulatory case report, the trustees did not meet for two years, did not delegate authority properly and had few procedures in place to monitor the charity's activities

Charity Commission: 'Serious failure of governance'
Charity Commission: 'Serious failure of governance'

The Charity Commission has found "serious governance failures" at an educational charity whose trustees did not hold any meetings for two years.

The commission today issued a regulatory case report on the Bhagavat Educational Trust, which has the objects of advancing the education of students and promoting mutual assistance, in which a marginalised group assists another to the benefit of both.

The regulator received a complaint in September 2014 that the charity’s trustees were failing to properly govern the charity and had no oversight of its operations and administration.

The commission opened a compliance case the following month and requested evidence of minutes of board meetings, which showed that the trustees had not met since 2012.

The regulator found the charity was furthering its aims and using its funds appropriately, but this was due to the staff.

The trustees had not properly delegated authority to the employees and had minimal procedures in place to monitor the charity’s activities, the commission found.

The charity also lacked clear financial policies, which led to concerns about an insufficient segregation of duties around its finances, the commission found.

"This was a serious failure of governance and an unacceptable way for the trustees to run a charity," the commission’s report says.

"It was explained to the trustees that they are ultimately responsible for the charity and that they must take steps to improve the governance of the charity and the level of trustee oversight."

The regulator’s report says the charity reviewed its governance and improved its financial controls to the commission’s satisfaction.

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