Charity set up to promote equity and diversity slammed for financial and governance errors

A charity set up to promote equity and opportunities for Asian women in the UK has been criticised by the regulator over its financial management and governance arrangements.

Kamyabi was set up 14 years ago to support women in Asian communities in Nottinghamshire. This includes promoting equality, diversity, health and education and tackling discrimination and poverty.

Its work also includes employing beneficiaries to produce food for a catering company as well as a weekly employment advice workshop.

But a Charity Commission inquiry found that the charity’s trustees were unclear about the organisation’s activities and financial information.

The regulator also found that the charity did not keep sufficient accounting records and was not able to account for its income and expenditure.

The charity’s bank account was managed by a trustee who lacked accounting or book keeping training and was unclear around the charity’s legal duties around reporting.

The Charity Commission added that the trustees “appeared committed to improve their record keeping and the inquiry has seen evidence of more robust record keeping” since its inquiry was launched last year.

Another concern was around a conflict of interest. Two of the three trustees were married. In addition trustees were not absenting themselves from meetings where decisions were taken between themselves and decisions relating to them or companies they are connected to.

“This was evidence of misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity,” said the regulator.

Concerns were also raised by the regulator about governance procedures at Kamyabi.

“The inquiry found the charity held no trustee meetings or annual general meetings and that decisions were being made ad hoc” by one trustee, who told the regulator that two other trustees “trusted her to make the right decision”.

The Commission concedes that during the inquiry it saw evidence of better governance with trustee meetings taking place “and adequate minutes were drawn up”.

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