UK Regulator Investigates International Humanitarian Charity
Tuesday, 19th August 2014 at 9:29 am
The UK Charity regulator has opened a statutory inquiry into international humanitarian charity Human Aid UK.
The Charity Commission says it is investigating concerns about the charity's management, including concerns about poor financial controls and record keeping, inadequate fundraising controls and concerns about a lack of trustee oversight.
It says the charity has objects to relieve the need and suffering of victims of natural or other disasters, to advance the education of the public and to promote racial harmony.
Human Aid UK specialises in providing aid and support to orphans and vulnerable women, carrying humanitarian work, development work and building infrastructure. The Commission has also identified that the charity has been involved in delivering aid to Syrian refugees.
The regulator says the inquiry will examine:
the financial controls and management of the charity;
whether or not the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities under charity law.
A statement from the Commission said that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrong-doing.
“The purpose of an inquiry to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been misconduct and mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity's property, beneficiaries or work; decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its legal powers to do so,” the statement said.
Human Aid UK issued a statement saying it has been co-operating with the Charity Commission, answering queries and addressing concerns for over 18 months now.
“We will co-operate with the Commission and are confident we will satisfactorily address all their concerns. We are however disappointed, but not surprised, that the Commission has chosen a Statutory Inquiry route rather than ongoing engagement, monitoring and action plan to address any genuine concerns it has.
“We are of the view that there is an active policy to restrict the work of charities in Syria, through continuous monitoring and investigations. We are sure that our donors understand this, and would expect us to continue supporting the people of Syria.
“Human Aid UK, has grown rapidly over the last two years as a result of public support for our work in Syria. The development of our organisation has also been taking place side by side. We have been putting in place policies, procedures, and implementing risk assessments and controls,” the statement said.
“The food, medical aid, and ambulances we have sent to the people of Syria, have helped immensely to relieve suffering and save lives. Our donors understand the importance of work we have been doing, and have continued to support us with their generous donations.
“We wish to re-assure them that there is no evidence of any wrong doing. Our work will continue whilst the inquiry goes on.”
The charity's details can be viewed on the Commission's online charity search tool.