The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Fashion for Relief, over concerns about potential misconduct and/or mismanagement.
The charity, which has purposes to relieve poverty and advance health and education, has previously been the subject of a compliance case. During that case, which opened in September 2020, the Commission identified a range of regulatory concerns relating to the governance and finances of the charity. This included the charity's consistent late filing of accounts and lack of evidence to show that conflicts of interest were being managed.
In March this year, the Commission issued the trustees with an action plan, aimed at improving the charity's financial management.
Following a review of the charity's response to the action plan, the regulator identified further concerns in the charity's financial management and governance to explore. As a result, the Commission escalated its engagement with the charity to an inquiry, which will examine:
- whether those in control of the charity have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law
- the financial management of the charity, including payments made to a trustee for services provided to the charity and the level of charitable expenditure
- the governance and management of the charity by the trustees including the failure to file statutory returns on time
- whether there has been misconduct and/ or mismanagement by those in control of the charity
The inquiry opened on 8 November. In order to protect the charity's property, the Commission has used its power to restrict the trustees from certain financial transactions.
The regulator may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.
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 are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to Editors:
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- The inquiry has been opened under Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.
- The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.