Regulator launches inquiry into disability charity

From: Charity Commission
Published: Mon Jan 23 2023

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans (OBAC).

The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into the Organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans to examine potential serious wrongdoing by an individual involved in the control of the charity. These regulatory concerns have been exacerbated by significant difficulties in obtaining information from the trustees.

The charity was initially registered with the Commission in 1994, and re-registered in 2011 after incorporating as a charitable company. The charity provides services, education and training to people who are blind or partially sighted in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean.

Since July 2021 the Commission has attempted to engage with the charity to explore concerns around potential wrongdoing and/or abuse by a senior employee. It has repeatedly met with difficulties in obtaining information and cooperation from the trustees and multiple instances of non-compliance, including with an Order issued under section 52 of the Charities Act.

The underlying concerns about this individual's continued involvement in the charity and the trustees' ongoing failures to properly engage with the regulator have resulted in the Commission's decision to open a statutory inquiry.

The inquiry was opened on 15 December 2022 and will examine:

  • The administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees.
  • Whether the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law; in particular whether they exercise sufficient oversight over the charity's activities and executive leadership.
  • Whether there has been any misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.

The Commission 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 issues the examined, the action undertaken, and the inquiry's outcomes.

Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.

Notes to Editors

  1. 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.
  2. The inquiry was opened on the 15th December 2022, under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.
Company: Charity Commission

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