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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Charities can learn from the mistakes of others, says regulator

Northern Ireland’s charity regulator has published a series of new reports and case studies, highlighting how it has dealt with real life concerns about charities in Northern Ireland.

The anonymised studies, produced by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, are aimed at building awareness of how the Commission’s charity investigations team works, as well as providing lessons learned for other charities.

Head of Compliance and Enquiries at the Commission, Myles McKeown, said: “As regulator, the Commission has a remit to investigate concerns about charities and, where appropriate, take action to protect charities from mismanagement and abuse.

“Much of that investigatory and remedial work is behind the scenes, highlighting to charities where they have gone wrong and supporting them in putting things right for the future.

“Our suite of thematic reports provides a way for us to share this learning, highlighting common concerns and experiences so other charities can avoid making similar mistakes.”

The Commission has recently added a further four reports and case studies to its suite of thematic reports, all of which are available in the Charity essentials section of the Commission's website.

The latest additions are as follows.

  • Regulatory case study: Using professional fundraisers.
  • Regulatory case study: Calling an Annual General Meeting.
  • Why is evidence so important?
  • Disqualified trustees.

The two case studies are aimed at providing an insight into a particular area of concern, providing guidance on the legislative background as well as the Commission’s regulatory actions in that case.

The thematic reports were created as a result of a number of common queries or concerns and, using anonymous case studies for context, provide detailed information and guidance on the issues raised.

For example, the Disqualified trustees report advises charities on the checks they should undertake on potential trustees and highlights what the Commission will do if a disqualified trustee remains in post.

The evidence focussed report explains the important role evidence plays in the Commission’s charity investigations, not only in substantiating allegations made but supporting the Commission in deciding the steps to be taken.

Mr McKeown added: “I would encourage all charities, their trustees and staff to make good use of the reports and case studies we publish.

“Prevention is always better than cure and reading through our thematic reports may be enough to highlight an issue or answer a query about your charity, helping you to follow good governance practices from the outset.”

For further information or to download a Commission report or case study, please visit the Charity essentials section of the Commission’s website.

Ends

For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on tel: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email: shirley.kernan@charitycommissionni.org.uk 

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Social Development.

The Commission has statutory objectives to ensure trustees comply with their legal obligations in managing charities, and to increase public trust and confidence in charities.

This includes a statutory function to identify and investigate apparent misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of charities, and to take remedial or protective action.