Statutory inquiry launches into governance concerns at asylum seekers charity

The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into governance concerns at Care4Calais, which supports asylum seekers and refugees in UK and Europe.

The move comes after the regulator first began looking into the charity in August 2020 amid concerns arising from its accounts.

This has led to “wider concerns about the charity’s governance, including a lack of clarity around who was validly appointed as a trustee and around how decisions are made”, said the Commission.

It is concerned that its existing governance arrangements “may not be appropriate for a charity of this size”, it added.

According to latest financial records, for the financial year ending September 2020, Care4Calais had a total income of £1.73m and its total expenditure was £586,489.

The Commission is concerned that “potential further problems” around financial controls and safeguarding policies could arise.

If further issues are uncovered the regulator may extend the scope of its investigation.

Meanwhile, Sarah Tomlinson and Philip Watts of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP have been appointed as interim managers “to review the charity’s governance, administration and decision-making and make recommendations so that the charity is operating in line with its governing document, relevant laws and that its policies and procedures reflect best practice”, said the regulator.

It added that “the trustees remain otherwise responsible for the running of the charity”.

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