The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into The Cup Trust (registered charity number 1129044). The Commission has appointed an interim manager to take control of the charity and its affairs.
The inquiry was opened on 12 April immediately following the receipt of new information from HMRC on 10 April about significant recent events. The information was supplied in the course of our regular contact with HMRC about charities giving us cause for concern and under a specific legal provision which permits the sharing of information in such circumstances. This new information came on top of the Commission’s growing concerns about the administration and management of the charity.
The Commission has used its powers under the Charities Act 2011 to appoint Jonathan Burchfield, a partner of Stone King LLP, as interim manager of the charity. He will act as manager of the charity and will have all the powers and duties of the trustee. The corporate trustee will cease to have any ability or authority to act. This is a temporary appointment and will be reviewed by the Commission on a regular basis. The Corporate Trustee is seeking to challenge the decisions the Commission has made.
Michelle Russell, Head of Investigations & Enforcement at the Charity Commission, said,
“We have had ongoing concerns about the charity’s involvement in the Gift Aid scheme and the potential for damage to public trust and confidence. While we took no regulatory action pending HMRC’s determination of the charity’s Gift Aid claims, we have continued to look at the trustee’s handling of its responsibilities and duties.
“We always made it clear that if new information came to light we might open a further investigation. In the light of our ongoing concerns, when we received new information from HMRC we took immediate steps to open a statutory inquiry.”
The purpose of the inquiry into The Cup Trust is to examine regulatory concerns including mismanagement in the administration of the charity, the handling of the gift aid claims with HMRC and the trustee’s compliance with its duties and responsibilities. The scope of the investigation is to consider:
- the charity’s Gift Aid claims including its on-going engagement with HMRC
- the management of conflicts of interest, particularly in relation to the handling of the Gift Aid claims
- the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustee and its involvement in the Gift Aid scheme whether or not the trustee had complied with and fulfilled its duties and responsibilities as a trustee