Press release: New charity investigation: Ghulam Mustafa Trust

The Charity Commission (‘the commission’), the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into the Ghulam Mustafa Trust (‘the charity’) (charity registration number 1157588).

The charity’s objects include the prevention or relief of poverty or financial hardship in Pakistan by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training and healthcare.

The commission is aware of some inaccurate reporting of the commission’s actions in relation to this charity. It can clarify that it acted quickly when it was made aware of concerns about the content of a post on the charity’s Facebook page in late June.

The regulator reviewed the post and concluded that material was completely inappropriate and raised serious regulatory concerns about the management and administration of the charity. After reporting the matter to the police, the commission contacted the charity’s trustees to request that they remove the post. After the post was removed the commission conducted a compliance visit to the charity on 22 July.

The commission’s inspection revealed governance failings, prompting it to issue the charity’s trustees with a report and action plan on 2 September. The action plan required the trustees to complete certain actions within specified timeframes. The trustees failed to comply, to the commission’s satisfaction, with one of the actions required nor did they comply with the requirement to report completed actions to the commission within specified timeframes. Consequently, the commission opened an inquiry into the charity on the 18 November 2015 after the trustees failed to comply with the action plan within the deadline set.

The investigation is examining:

  • the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees

  • the financial controls and management of the charity

  • the conduct of the trustees

  • whether or not the trustees had complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law

On 21 December the commission issued the trustees with a legal direction under section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 to complete a number of specified actions to address the commission’s regulatory concerns. The commission will monitor the trustees’ compliance with this direction.

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 its website.

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



Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent 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
  2. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the commission access to a range of protective and remedial powers. Section 84 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the commission the power to direct any action to be taken that it considers expedient in the interests of the charity.
  3. 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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