The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a new statutory inquiry into Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society, registered charity number 255866. The investigation was opened on 13 September 2017.
The charity’s activities include caring for and supporting stray dogs in East Hampshire and West Sussex.
In March 2017 the charity’s independent examiner, in accordance with his statutory duties under the Charities Act 2011, reported anomalies in the charity’s financial records. The Commission subsequently reviewed the charity’s financial records and identified concerns about its financial controls.
The charity has also failed to submit its accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2016, which were due by 31 January 2017 and the accounts for 2015 are not compliant with the Statement of Recommended Practice, and have not been independently examined.
The inquiry was opened due to these serious regulatory concerns and will examine the following issues:
- the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees with specific regard to the extent to which the trustees have;
- responsibly managed the charity’s resources and financial affairs, in particular the adequacy of the charity’s financial controls
- adequately managed risks to the charity, its property and reputation including the risks of misappropriation and misapplication of charity funds
- avoided or managed conflicts of interest
- the extent to which any failings or weaknesses identified in the administration of the charity during the conduct of the inquiry were a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees
As a result of its concerns regarding the charity’s financial controls, the Commission has made an order under Section 76(3)(d) to freeze the charity’s bank accounts. It has also made an order under Section 76 (3)(f) of the Charites Act restricting the trustees from entering into transactions in the administration of the charity without the authority of the Commission.
The Commission stresses that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. The purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been misconduct and mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work; decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers to do so.
It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.
The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.
Notes to Editors
- The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
- Search for charities on our online register.
- Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.
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