14 July 2014
A steep increase in investigatory case work undertaken by the Charity Commission has been found in its annual report.
The report has found that the Commission opened 64 statutory inquiries between April 2013 and March 2014, compared to 15 during the previous financial year. The regulator concluded 23 inquiries during that same period, compared to 5 during the previous year.
Statutory inquiries are used by the Commission's to investigate and deal with the most serious regulatory issues and allow it to make use of its full range of legal powers.
The report also highlights the work of the regulator's newly launched operations function monitoring team, whose work includes monitoring charities that have just applied to be registered and charities that have just been registered. The report includes case studies demonstrating the impact of this team, which actioned 318 referrals between October 2013 and April 2014.
The report also includes a legal annexe, which sets out in detail the issues involved in and implications of key legal cases, including the Commission's decision to register the Preston Down Trust.
William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, said: ‘This report details a difficult year for the Commission. We have faced external criticism and continued serious pressures on our resources. Despite this, the Commission has made significant improvements: these include stepping up our investigatory case work and improving our ability to identify concerns in charities.’