Press release: Interim Manager appointed to Viva Palestina charity

The charity regulator used its powers under the Charities Act 2011 (‘the Act’) to appoint Helen Blundell of MHA Bloomer Heaven as Interim Manager of the Charity to the exclusion of the Charity’s trustees as a temporary and protective measure. She took over the management of the Charity on Monday 15 September. The Charity has been informed of the decision.

Viva Palestina was registered in 2009; its objects include providing medicine and essential goods and services to the civilian population and highlighting the causes and results of wars with a view to achieving peace.

In June 2013, the regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the Charity to investigate serious concerns relating to financial management, including a failure by the current and/or former trustees to account for charity funds since the inception of the Charity. The commission also used its powers to freeze the Charity’s bank account.

Since the opening of the inquiry, the commission has used its legal powers to compel both former and current trustees to provide information to ensure that the Charity complied with its legal duty to submit the outstanding accounts and annual returns required by the commission. This resulted in two separate appeals being lodged with the First-Tier Tribunal, the nature of which delayed the progress of the inquiry. The appeals were subsequently withdrawn by the appellants, the last one being on 3 October 2014.

As the regulator’s concerns about the financial management of the Charity have not been resolved, and its annual accounts and returns are still outstanding, the commission has acted to appoint an Interim Manager to take over the management and administration of the Charity including specifically to compile and submit overdue accounts, reports and returns, and report to the commission any additional regulatory issues identified.

It is the commission’s normal practice to publish a report on conclusion of an inquiry setting out what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.


PR 85/14

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
  2. Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
    • charities know what they have to do
    • the public know what charities do
    • charities are held to account
  3. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Charity Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the commission access to a range of protective and remedial powers. Section 76(3)(g) of the Act is temporary and protective power available to the commission after an inquiry has been opened to appoint an Interim Manager. This role is supervised by the commission in accordance with section 78 of the Act.
  4. The commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

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