Charity’s board marred by infighting among trustees, regulator finds

A charity’s board was hindered by a long-standing dispute involving two factions of trustees, the regulator has found.

The Charity Commission found that the operation of Sikh charity The Central Gurdwara (British Isles) London Khalsa Jatha had been hindered by in-fighting on its board.

Two groups had formed and “factions and/or individuals within the committee were trying to gain and/or retain undue influence, which disrupted collective decision making”, found the regulator.

The concerns relate to 15 former trustees of the charity. A new committee of 15 trustees were appointed on 1 March last year following an election.

The charity had been under investigation from the regulator for a number of years. In 2012 an operational compliance case was launched due to governance concerns and a dispute among trustees. This resulted in the former trustees being issued with ana action plan two years later, when a monitoring case was opened by the Commission.

A statutory inquiry was opened in 2015 amid concerns that the former trustees “were apparently unwilling to take the action necessary to protect the charity and to remedy the regulator concerns”.

The Charity Commission said: “The inquiry found the former trustees had not complied with the action plan.

“The inquiry found the longstanding dispute between the trustees to have impeded the implementation of the action plan and impacted the extent to which the former trustees were able to improve the governance of the charity.”

The regulator has praised the new trustees saying they are “capable of acting in the best interests of the charity”.

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