Trustees hampering probe into charity staffer’s ‘potential serious wrongdoing’, claims regulator

The Charity Commission has criticised the trustees of a disability charity for their lack of engagement in the regulator’s investigation into one of its senior employees.

The regulator is looking to examine “potential serious wrongdoing by an individual involved in the control of the charity”.

But theses concerns “have been exacerbated by significant difficulties obtaining information from the trustees”, according to the Commission which has launched a statutory inquiry into the charity, the Organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans, which supports people who have sight difficulties in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean.

The regulator said it has “attempted to engage with the charity” since July 2021 over the concerns around the “senior employee”.

“It has repeatedly met with difficulties in obtaining information and cooperation from the trustees and multiple instances of non-compliance, including with an Order issued under section 52 of the Charities Act,” said the Commission.

“The underlying concerns about this individual’s continued involvement in the charity and the trustees’ ongoing failures to properly engage with the regulator have resulted in the Commission’s decision to open a statutory inquiry.”

The inquiry was opened last month and will look at the administration, governance and management of the charity and whether trustees have had sufficient oversight of the charity’s activities and leadership. It will also examine whether there has been any misconduct or mismanagement by the trustees.

The Organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans was initially registered in 1994 as a charity and re-registered in 2011 after incorporating as a charitable company. Its accounts for the years ending March 2021 and 2020 were both handed to the regulator late, according to the charity register.

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