Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into Olive Grove Foundation

Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into Olive Grove Foundation

Concerns over Olive Grove Foundation’s governance and financial management have prompted the Charity Commission to launch a statutory investigation.

The organisation, based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, aims to assist individuals afflicted by poverty, wars, and natural catastrophes all around the world.

Concerns about the charity’s spending in high-risk parts of the world have prompted the regulator to contact it earlier. The Commission issued official regulatory recommendations in October 2019, including a requirement that the charity implement solid financial audit procedures so that trustees could better monitor how the organization’s money were spent. The Commission decided that the trustees had not acted on previous advice and that severe regulatory issues remained after conducting a follow-up case to monitor compliance with these standards.

The concerns include, but are not limited to, poor governance, poor monitoring of charitable funds and the use of a personal bank account to transfer money overseas.

The inquiry will examine:

  • The administration, governance, and management of the charity by the trustees
  • The charity’s financial controls, including the transfer of charitable funds to personal bank accounts
  • The charity’s activities and overseas partnerships
  • Whether the trustees have fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law
  • Whether there has been misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity

In addition to opening the inquiry, the regulator has also exercised its legal powers to restrict the transactions the charity’s trustees can enter into without the prior written consent of the regulator. This includes transferring funds overseas and withdrawing charitable funds in cash.

The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

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.

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