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National Audit Office to investigate Charity Commission’s ability to regulate

The National Audit Office will complete a report on the Charity Commission's ability to effectively regulate the sector after MPs voiced serious concerns at a Public Accounts Committee meeting this morning.

William Shawcross, chairman of the Charity Commission and Sam Younger, chief executive appeared before the Public Accounts Committee this morning to answer questions on the Commission’s investigation into the Cup Trust, which was used as a tax avoidance scheme.

Concluding proceedings Margaret Hodge, chairman of the committee said: “We’re pretty appalled, I think, as to whether or not you have the right regulatory regime to give the public confidence that charitable trusts are being properly regulated by you.”

She revealed that the National Audit Office is going to do a report on this issue for the committee, after which Shawcross and Younger be called before the committee to answer further questions.

The Charity Commission has also been asked to provide the committee with details of its investigatory activity within one week.

During questioning Shawcross admitted that the revelations about the Cup Trust were: “Very damaging to the sector and to the Commission.” And that the fact that the Cup Trust was registered to a sole trustee based in the British Virgin Islands “should have been a red flag”.

Shawcross said that the Commission will shortly publish a detailed report about the Cup Trust. 

Hodge said she believed that there were 50 charities operating in a similar way to the Cup Trust. Shawcross disputed this figure.

This article was taken from Civil Society – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/14643