The regulator is concerned about irregularities in the charity's accounts.
The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into Devon Freewheelers, after inconsistencies were identified in its accounts.
The charity was set up to transport blood, medical equipment and samples to NHS establishments around Devon. It was registered as a charitable trust in 2010 before incorporating as a CIO in 2018.
The Commission engaged with the charity after it failed to submit its annual accounting information for the financial years ending 2020 and 2021, and it was placed into the class inquiry for charities in double default of their annual reporting requirements.
Upon submission of the overdue accounts, the regulator identified a number of related party transactions and potential irregularities in the charity's accounts when compared to information drawn from the charity's bank statements.
It is also concerned about conflicts of interest and whether the charity is operating in line with its objects. It therefore opened an inquiry into Devon Freewheelers on 14 September 2023.
It will examine the following regulatory issues:
- the charity's financial management and whether there has been any unauthorised personal benefit and/or breach of trust by any of the current or previous trustees
- whether the trustees have identified and managed conflicts of interest and/ or loyalty in accordance with the charity's governing document and their legal duties
- whether there has been any misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity by the current or previous trustees.
The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.
It is the Commission's usual policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing the issues examined, any action taken, and the inquiry's outcomes.
Notes to Editors
- 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.
- The Commission's class inquiry for double defaulters examines charities which have failed to submit their annual accounting information for two or more years in the last five years.
- The Charity Commission opened the statutory inquiry into Devon Freewheelers under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 on 14 September 2023.