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Press release: New Charity Investigation: Livingstone House Mother of the Harvest Ministries

(AGENPARL) – London 10 ago 2018 The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into Livingstone House Mother of the Harvest Ministries (http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityFramework.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1102286&SubsidiaryNumber=0) (1102286) over concerns about misconduct or mismanagement with regards to the administration of the charity. The inquiry was opened on 2 July 2018.

The charity’s object is to rehabilitate people with alcohol and drug addictions. The charity which is based in Birmingham provides detoxification, primary and secondary care and uses a Christian 12 step programme to encourage sober living.

The Commission placed the charity into a class inquiry on 15 February 2017 because it failed to submit its accounting information on time for the financial years ending 31 December 2014 and 31 December 2015. The charity complied with the class inquiry and filed the overdue accounting information required.

As a part of our previous engagement, the Commission issued regulatory advice to the trustees on their duty to submit accounting information on time. However, despite this the trustees have again defaulted on submitting accounts for the financial year ending 31 December 2016.

In addition to a persistent pattern of defaults the Commission also has regulatory concerns about the charity’s governance. The Commission’s Register records that there have only been two trustees since January 2016 and one trustee from 27 April 2016 to 16 May 2017. The charity’s governing document states that the number of trustees should not fall below three, therefore raising concerns that trustees may have been acting while inquorate. Furthermore, potential conflicts of interest have been identified which raise concerns about whether connected party transactions have been properly authorised.

In order to address its concerns, the Commission has opened a statutory inquiry.

The inquiry will examine the extent to which:

the trustees are complying with their legal duties in respect of their administration, governance and management of the charity and in particular: their compliance with legal obligations for the preparation and filing of their charity’s accounts and other information or returns, as well as the extent to which the trustees ensure that the charity is operating in accordance with the provisions of its governing document.
any failings or weaknesses identified in the administration of the charity during the conduct of the inquiry were a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.
the trustees have responsibly managed the charity’s resources and financial affairs, in particular with respect to how they have managed conflicts of interest/loyalty in particular in relation to connected party transactions
the trustees have complied with previously issued regulatory guidance.

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 (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/inquiry-reports-charity-commission) GOV.UK.

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission is the regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work see the (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission/about) about us page on GOV.UK.
Search for charities on our (https://www.gov.uk/find-charity-information) check charity tool.
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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