Charity Commission starts statutory inquiry into Island Health Trust

The Charity Commission has launched a new statutory inquiry into the Island Health Trust charity after monitoring its activities since February 2017.

The investigation was opened on 20 November this year.

Isle of Dogs surgery forced to close first floor

LW revealed concerns about the Island Health Charity in January this year after it came to light that Island Health, a local GP surgery on the Isle of Dogs, could no longer afford to use the first floor of their premises due to increased service charges by Island Health Trust, its landlord.

Island Health Centre is located next to the Isle of Dogs ASDA superstore

According to the Charity Commission’s statement their enquiries confirmed that a consultancy company, solely owned by a trustee of the charity, received significant benefits from the charity relating to a strategic development project.

Trust chair paid £179,176 for consultancy services

Chair of the Island Health Trust, Suzanne Goodband

The January LW story revealed that the Chair of the Island Health Trust, Suzanne Goodband, was paid £179,176 for “consultancy services relating to charity development, strategy implementation and property development” by the Island Health Trust through companies of which she is the sole shareholder.

Regulatory concerns

Based on the information provided to date the Commission has regulatory concerns whether:

  • Expenditure of these funds upon strategy development falls wholly within the charity’s objects
  • That trustees have managed the charity’s resources responsibly and acted in the best interest of the charity.

These concerns include whether the decision to enter into the contract with the consultancy company was properly taken in the best interests of the charity and whether the charity exercised sufficient oversight and adequately monitored its performance.

Was Island Health Trust’s money managed prudently?

The inquiry will examine the following regulatory issues:

The administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees with specific regard to the extent to which the trustees have:

  • Prudently managed the charity’s financial resources since 1 April 2012
  • Expended funds on activities which fall wholly within the charity’s purpose
  • Ensured the decision to enter into contracts/pay trustees or connected parties (resulting in significant expenditure) were properly taken and adequately supervised

Whether and to what extent any issues or weaknesses in the administration of the charity during the period under review were:

  • As a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees
  • Require rectification by the trustees or the Commission

The Charity Commission emphasises that opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing but is to fully examine issues as detailed above so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct.

A report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and the outcomes will be published.

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