27 March 2020 - Article
On 7 January 2020, the Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Resham Helping Hand and decided to temporarily restrict the charity’s transactions in order to protect charitable assets.
Resham Helping Hand provides aid for people around the world suffering financial hardship, particularly in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. The inquiry has been opened due to concerns that there has been misconduct and mismanagement at the charity. The trustees of the charity had met previously with the Charity Commission to put an action plan in place to address the concerns that the Commission had regarding due diligence and the end use of charitable funds, following the filing of the charity’s annual return.
Having revisited the charity, the Charity Commission still had concerns over its management. The charity’s trustees are said to have not conducted due diligence checks, as was initially advised by the regulator, before parting with charitable funds. The trustees were also unable to demonstrate how the charitable funds would be used and so the Commission has concerns that the trustees do not properly monitor the end use of charitable funds. This ties into the Commission’s ongoing concerns about the proper application of its funds in furtherance of its objects and accordingly it has decided to open an inquiry.
The Charity Commission has used its power to temporarily restrict the charity’s transactions in order to protect the charitable funds and it is not clear when these restrictions will be lifted. There are no fixed deadlines for an inquiry of this kind, and although the Charity Commission aims to complete investigations within 9 months, some recent cases have demonstrated that it can in fact be much longer.
Once the inquiry has been completed, as is its policy, the Charity Commission will publish a report detailing what the issues were, what actions were taken in connection with the inquiry and what the outcome is.