The Charity Commission has reported its inquiry findings into London-based Christian charity, Kingdom Life Minisitries, where former trustees have been disqualified.
The Commission found evidence of serious mismanagement by the former trustees in the administration of the charity and has disqualified the individuals after they resigned as trustees, holding them to account for financial mismanagement, governance failings, and non-compliance with the Commission.
In its investigation into Kingdom Life Ministries (1109664), which was opened after repeated failures to file accounts, the regulator found that all trustees received unauthorised payments from the charity between June 2013 and November 2018, totalling £456,853. Bank records also showed that over £700,000 in cash was withdrawn from the charity’s account over three years. After being informed that the inquiry was closing, the former trustees submitted a list of estimated expenses, but these do not match the withdrawals.
The Commission also pointed to failures in governance, with two trustees married, meaning that there was only one independent un-conflicted trustee. Decisions were made without identifying, recording or managing conflicts, and the charity had no written policy or procedures to manage conflicts of interest.
Under section 181A of the Charities Act, the inquiry has disqualified all three former trustees of Kingdom Life Ministries from serving as a trustee or senior manager of any charity in England and Wales, for a period of 10 years.
Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team at the Charity Commission said: “We know that late filing of accounts can be an indicator of far more serious concerns within a charity: this inquiry has confirmed that, and brought to light some concerning patterns of mismanagement. Charity trustees should carry out their duties with probity and care.”
The inquiry has issued a further order under section 84 of the Charities Act requesting the new trustees to address outstanding issues with the charity’s accounts and financial management. They have already engaged positively with the inquiry.