The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has statutory objectives to ensure trustees comply with their legal obligations in managing charities and to increase public trust and confidence in charities. We also have a statutory function to identify and investigate abuse and mismanagement in charities. We will begin to do this in a number of ways through our compliance work, which may lead to us carrying out investigations or monitoring charities. In carrying out assessments and investigations we will work, where appropriate, with other regulators, law enforcement agencies and other government departments. We will raise awareness of the result of this work for the benefit of the wider sector.
Regulatory oversight of concerns about abuse and non-compliance in the sector is an important role expected of any modern regulator. The primary purpose is to monitor charities where we have concerns that there is serious non-compliance, or believe that there is a significant risk of serious non-compliance within a charity. Regulatory supervision and monitoring work will include appropriate and targeted scrutiny of accounts, ensuring actions trustees have promised to carry out have been completed and carrying out compliance visits.
When different groups within a charity disagree they may ask us to take one side or the other and impose a solution. However, a charity’s trustees have the responsibility for running their charity and we will only intervene in these types of internal disputes, in exceptional circumstances.