Press release: New charity investigation: Gaunts House Charitable Foundation Limited

The Charity Commission (‘the commission’), the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Gaunts House Charitable Foundation Limited, registered charity number 1120688. The inquiry was opened on 10 December 2015.

Gaunts House Charitable Foundation Limited has objects for the advancement of education in the fields of religion, philosophy, psychology and sociology.

The charity, which was formerly part of the commission’s double defaulters class inquiry in 2014 (see endnote 1), failed to meet its statutory obligations to file its accounts for the financial year ending 30 September 2014. Although the charity failed to file accounts with the commission, it had filed accounts with Companies House for the same period.

Examination of the accounts filed with Companies House indicated that the charity planned to transfer its activities to the Richard Glyn Charitable Foundation from 1 October 2014. However, information provided to the commission identified that the trustees (see endnote 2) of the charity all had personal links to the Richard Glyn Charitable Foundation giving rise to serious concerns about the financial management and overall governance of the charity, due to the inability of the trustees to manage conflicts of interest and therefore, potentially putting the charity’s funds at risk.

The issues the inquiry will examine include:

  • the financial controls, management and application of charitable funds, property and assets belonging to the charity

  • the governance, management and administration of the charity by the trustees, particularly whether the trustees have acted prudently and exercised reasonable care in respect of the day-to-day running of the charity

  • whether the charity’s decision making process is adequate, taking account of relevant risk factors and safeguarding charitable funds, in particular how the trustees have managed the conflicts of interests identified

  • whether there has been any misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees and whether remedial regulatory action is necessary

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 are available on GOV.UK.

The charity’s details can be viewed on the commission’s online charity search tool.

Ends

PR 05/16


Endnotes

  1. The charity ceased to be part of that inquiry when it submitted its last set of outstanding accounts on 10 December 2014.
  2. The charity has not updated its records and the trustees currently listed on the commission’s website are not the current trustees.

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 investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.
  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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