Scottish regulator strikes overseas aid charity off register

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator inquiry concludes Help and Improvement of Children in Africa was never operational

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

An overseas aid children’s charity will be struck off the register of Scottish charities next month after a report concluded that it was failing to provide a public benefit.

Help and Improvement of Children in Africa will be removed from the official register on 5 September after an Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator inquiry report concluded that it had never been operational.

The charity registered with the regulator on 19 August 2011 with the objects of preventing and alleviating poverty by providing food, clothing and medicines to children and young people in west Africa.

The OSCR originally launched an inquiry report into the charity in November 2011 after receiving information suggesting that one of its trustees might have been disqualified from serving.

During its inquiries, the charity provided the OSCR with inconsistent information, and it failed to meet the regulator despite "protracted efforts", the inquiry report says. It did not file any accounts.

As a result of the initial inquiries, the charity was ordered to freeze its activities for six months on 16 February this year.

A member of the Hica management committee later confirmed the charity had never been operational, the report says.

In its inquiry report into the charity, the regulator says: "OSCR considers that, given that the charity has never been operational and has failed to provide any tangible information regarding potential future operations or its ability to support these, it is not providing public benefit and we consider it has little or no prospect of doing so.

"We further consider, given the conduct of the charity trustees, with regards to the reliability of information provided and their failure to provide OSCR with key information relating to the charity’s operations, that public disbenefit is likely to arise and our intervention is necessary to prevent reputational damage to the charitable sector."  

Third Sector was unable to reach Hica for comment.

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