The Charity Commission is warning trustees to be mindful of their duties to prevent misuse of their charity’s funds and assets. The message comes after a charity was removed from the register of charities because of failings by its trustees.
The Commission removed the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association from its register after a statutory inquiry. The inquiry was launched after serious incident reports and reports by funders of the charity, the Welsh Government and the Big Lottery Fund, which found poor governance and financial mismanagement.
The inquiry found that the trustees:
- Failed to act in the charity’s best interests.
- Had insufficient oversight of the charity’s management.
- Held meetings at irregular and infrequent intervals.
- Had not made adequate reporting arrangements.
- Did not properly supervise the actions of senior staff members.
- Had failed to submit two years of annual accounts to the Commission.
In light of the inquiry, trustees from other charities should ensure that they:
- Understand and abide by their duty to safeguard their charity’s funds and prevent misuse of funds and other assets.
- Ensure they have sufficient oversight of the income and expenditure of the charity and create and enforce an adequate expenses policy.
Expert legal advice for charities
It is vital to the wellbeing of a charity that its trustees are given adequate training on the responsibilities of their role and the legal duties of being a trustee.
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