23 March 2018
The Charity Commission’s new policy on restitution and the recovery of charitable funds misappropriated or lost to charity in breach of trust sets out clear principles reminding trustees of their responsibilities to manage and protect their charity’s property and to ensure that it is only used to further the charity’s purposes. The policy emphasises that trustees will be held accountable for deliberate or reckless behaviour amounting to misconduct and occasioning serious losses to their charity and that it will be their responsibility to recover any property lost as a result of such wrongdoing. The policy states that, where the trustees are unable or unwilling to take appropriate steps to recover the property, the Commission will not hesitate to use its powers of intervention and will consider taking action through the courts in appropriate and exceptional cases.
Kenneth Dibble, Chief Legal Adviser at the Charity Commission, has stated that the policy ‘serves to remind charities that, in appropriate cases of serious misconduct and avoidable loss, the charity itself should pursue the matter – the public has a right to expect this’. The policy can be viewed online here.