Press release: New Charity Investigation: Island Health Trust

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a new statutory inquiry into Island Health Trust (1127466). The investigation was opened on 20 November 2017.

The charity operates in the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham and promotes the provision of primary healthcare.

The Commission has been monitoring the charity’s governance and financial administration since February 2017 after concerns were raised regarding the use of the charity’s funds and potential private benefit to one or more trustees.

The Commission’s enquiries confirmed that a consultancy company, solely owned by a trustee of the charity, received significant benefits from the charity relating to a strategic development project.

Based on the information provided to date, the Commission has regulatory concerns whether the:

  • expenditure of these funds upon strategy development falls wholly within the charity’s objects
  • trustees have managed the charity’s resources responsibly and acted in the best interest of the charity. These concerns include whether the decision to enter into the contract with the consultancy company was properly taken in the best interests of the charity and whether the charity exercised sufficient oversight and adequately monitored its performance.

The inquiry will examine the following regulatory issues:

  • the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees with specific regard to the extent to which the trustees have:
    • prudently managed the charity’s financial resources since 1 April 2012
    • expended funds on activities which fall wholly within the charity’s purposes
    • ensured the decision to enter into contracts/pay trustees or connected parties (resulting in significant expenditure) were properly taken and adequately supervised
  • whether and to what extent any issues or weaknesses in the administration of the charity during the period under review:
    • were as a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees
    • require rectification by the trustees or the Commission

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.

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

Ends

PR 77/17

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  2. Search for charities on our check charity tool.
  3. 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 investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.

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