On 1 July 2015, The Charity Commission filed yet another statutory inquiry. This time it was into the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) after abnormal financial discrepancies were spotted when the charity submitted their accounts to the charities watchdog. The STA is an organisation that aims to ‘preserve human life by the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques’. The lifesaving organisation is one of the UK’s largest swimming associations, boasting an annual income of £2million. In June 2015, the STA submitted an Incident Report, which proposed a restructure of the business by transferring assets to a private company. Upon receiving the request, a representative from the Charity Commission stated. “The Commission identified serious concerns with the charity governance, aspects of its financial controls and proposed organisational changes which posed a risk to the charity’s assets since it was unclear if the changes were in the best interest of the charity… These concerns prompted the Commission to open the statutory Inquiry”. Consequently, the Charity Commission will be examining the following areas of concern:
- The governance and management of the charity’s trustees
- Rate relief on property that the charity owns, which may have been wrongly claimed for
- Financial controls and expenses of the charity
- Mismanagement and misconduct by those who have a relationship with the charity
This investigation once again stresses the important to maintain transparent financial accounts. If you would like further information or confidential advice on your accounts, please contact Suda Ratnam at firstname.lastname@example.org.