The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into the Kenya Community Support Network (1104003). The investigation was opened on 22 January 2018.
The charity’s objects include relieving poverty, sickness, and distress among Kenyans and promoting research into the conditions of life of Kenyans. The charity’s stated activities include providing advice and guidance on issues such as immigration, health, welfare benefits, housing, further education, training, and basic counseling.
The Commission engaged with the charity in October 2017 after receiving a complaint. This complaint raised concerns about the charity’s expenditure and whether it was in furtherance of the charity’s objects. The Commission met with representatives from the charity to explore the charity’s internal governance, management, and administration and inspected the charity’s records. The Commission is concerned that there are strong indicators that show that the charity is being used for significant private benefit, that there are mismanagement and misconduct in the administration of the charity, and that the charity is not carrying out activities in furtherance of its charitable objects for the public benefit.
In order to address these concerns, the investigation will look at:
- whether the trustees have acted in compliance with their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law in the administration of the charity
- the financial management of the charity, in particular with regard to its expenditure
- whether there has been any private benefit to the trustees of the charity
- whether the trustees have operated the charity in furtherance of its charitable objects for the public benefit
- whether there has been misconduct and/ or mismanagement by the trustees
In light of the Commission’s concerns, it has taken action to protect the charity’s assets by restricting the transactions from the charity’s bank account. As a result, the charity cannot make payments or part with any of the charity’s assets without the Commission’s prior written approval.
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, investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct; establish the extent of any risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work and 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.