Commission opens inquiry into charity that spent 5 per cent of income on cause


Commission opens inquiry into charity that spent 5 per cent of income on cause

The Charity Commission is investigating a Christian charity that spent 5 per cent of its income on charitable activities.

Today, the Commission announced that it opened a statutory inquiry into Into the Light Ministries in October after concerns were reported regarding its financial controls by a third party.

Reviewing the charity’s accounts and bank records, the Commission found “significant concerns” regarding potential conflicts of interest, non-primary purpose trading and public benefit, and a possible risk to charitable property.

In 2015/16 it had an income of £840,000 and spending of £539,000. It spent £44,000, or 5 per cent of its income, on charitable activies, but £495,000 on raising funds. 

Most of its inocme from from trading to raise funds. It spent £36,000 on church building expenses and £495,000 on warehouse and food distribution expenses. 

The Commission said the charity’s accounts for the year ending 31 August 2016 were also not compliant with the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP).

As a result, the Commission took regulatory action under section 76 of the Charities Act to safeguard the charity’s property and funds, and has opened a statutory inquiry to examine the governance, management and administration of the charity.

The inquiry will focus on:

  • whether the charity has adequate controls in place to enable the timely submission of accounts
  • whether any trading carried out by the charity is compliant with legislation
  • whether trustees are responsibly managing the charity’s resources
  • its management of potential conflicts of interests
  • its authorisation of payment to trustees and connected parties
  • to what extent the charity operates for the public benefit, and whether there has been mismanagement or misconduct

The charity, which opened in 2011, runs a church and outreach programme for the poor and needy in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

Auditor Riley Accounting Solutions says in the charity's latest accounts: "The procedures undertaken do not require all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and consequently no opinion is given as to whether the accounts present a true and fair view."

Its two named trustees are Deborah Kaye and chair Colin Kaye.