Thirty-three charities added to Charity Commission 'double defaulters' inquiry

Sixteen of these have since been removed after complying with their accounting requirements, the regulator says

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

A further 33 charities have been added to the Charity Commission’s "double defaulters" class inquiry, but 16 of these have since been removed after complying with their accounting requirements.

The commission’s inquiry into charities that have failed to submit their annual documents for at least two of the past five years began in September last year, including 12 charities. A further 12 were added in November. Of those initial 24, seven have still not complied and remain part of the inquiry. A list of these seven is published at the end of this story.

In April, the commission said it was sending final warnings to a further 72 charities saying that they needed to comply with their accounting requirements or be added to the inquiry. Of those 72 charities, 39 complied within the deadlines given in the final warning.

The commission has now published a list of the 33 charities that did not comply and were added to the inquiry.

Of those 33 charities, 17 have still not complied. A list of these charities is published at the bottom of this story. The remaining 16 have since complied, and the commission has published its inquiry reports on four of these today.

The first of those charities, Haringey Education Business Partnership Ltd, told the commission that it had not supplied its 2012 and 2013 accounts and annual report because it had been taken over by a non-charitable company, Urban Futures, and the additional accounting requirements had caused a delay.

However, HEBP had filed its accounts with Companies House. Despite the apparent merger, the charity remains on the commission’s register. The charity said it did not respond to the final warning from the commission because the relevant person had been on jury service.

The other three charities failed to provide reasons for not having filed their documents. Sheffield Reclamation Ltd, which provides work and training opportunities for people with learning difficulties and mental health problems, was overdue with five years of documents. Newcastle Central Mosque Masjid Al-Tawhid and the Manchester-based education and recreation charity First Asian Support Trust Ltd both had two years of non-submitted accounts. Fast said it had not responded to the final warning because of "a combination of the Easter holidays and waiting for information from its accountants", the commission said.

Michelle Russell, head of investigations and enforcement at the regulator, said that none of the reasons given were valid excuses and that some trustees "do not seem to be taking seriously enough their accountability to the charity's donors and the general public". She said: "Those who do not are letting themselves, the public and the sector down."

On the HEBP case, she said: "It is difficult to understand why some charities take the duty to file with Companies House more seriously, though this might be explained by the fact that Companies House can issue fines for late filing in some cases."

There are currently 24 charities involved in the inquiry.

The seven charities remaining in the statutory inquiry that were added last year are: Achiezer, Achiezer Assocation Ltd, African Families Support Services, Beighton Welfare Recreation Ground, Life Line Missions and the National Patients Support Trust. The seventh, Hadley Play Fields and Recreation Ground, has been placed back in the inquiry after the accounts it had submitted were later found by the commission to be inadequate, a spokeswoman for the commission said.

The 17 charities remaining in the statutory inquiry that were added this year are: Bristol Somali Centre, Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, Chessed L'yisroel Ltd, West Allerdale Children's Centre, Bais Yakov Institutions (GUR) Bnei Brak, Cathedral of Revival Assembly of God, the Rav Chesed Trust, Torah Vachesed Le'ezra Vesad, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Sangat Bhatra Educational and Cultural Centre, RAF Honington & Barnham Kindergarten, Nanyuki Show Ground Canteen/Bar, Academy for Talmudical Research (Kolel Harabanim), Macclesfield Women's Aid, Redeemed Christian Church of God New Life Assembly (House of Prayer for all Nations), Leeds Islamic Centre, Muriel Edith Rickman Trust and Barnsley Dearne Community Partnership.

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