The Charity Commission has issued an official warning to the Islamic Trust, after finding “misconduct and mismanagement” of the administration of the charity.
The charity watchdog opened an inquiry into the charity in April 2017 after its trustees failed to file its statutory returns for 2016 on time. This was despite having previously been part of the Commission’s class inquiry into double defaulters and providing assurances to the Commission that they would not default again.
Following this, the Commission issued an order under section 84 of the Charities Act directing the trustees to prepare and submit the outstanding statutory returns, and explain what steps had been taken to prepare them, to which the trustees complied in full.
The Commission met with the charity’s trustees as part of the inquiry and inspected the charity’s books and records, whereby the Commission said it found a number of deficiencies in the charity’s governance.
The inquiry concluded that the trustees did not properly discharge their duties under charity law and in December 2017, the Commission used its regulatory powers to issue the charity with an official warning under section 75A of the Charities Act.
Trustees of the charity have now been warned they must take all reasonable steps to ensure that future statutory returns are submitted on time.
Charity Commission director of investigations, monitoring and enforcement Michelle Russell said keeping detailed financial records and filing accounts on time is “crucial” to being able to evidence your charity’s effectiveness to donors, beneficiaries and the regulator.
“It’s also necessary to show that charitable funds are being spent on legitimate causes. In this case there were clear failings in the charity’s financial management and overall governance, despite receiving previous advice from the Commission as part of our double defaulters class inquiry.
“The trustees also failed to keep records of their wider decision-making which meant they were unable to show that they acted reasonably, in the best interests of the charity and took advice where appropriate."