Chichester dog rescue charity under investigation

The Chichester and District Dog Society is being investigated by the Charity Commission.

Thursday, 5th October 2017, 12:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:27 pm
News. Photo: Shutterstock

The independent regulator of charities in England and Wales announced last week it had opened a new statutory inquiry on September 13.

The charity, founded in 1963 and based at Plovers, West Ashling Road, Hambrook, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and rescues and the re-homes stray and unwanted dogs across West Sussex and Hampshire.

In a statement, the commission said that in March, the charity’s independent examiner reported anomalies in the society’s financial records.

“The commission subsequently reviewed the charity’s financial records and identified concerns about its financial controls.

“The charity has also failed to submit its accounts for the financial year ending March 31, 2016, which were due by January 31, 2017 and the accounts for 2015 are not compliant with the Statement of Recommended Practice, and have not been independently examined.”

The inquiry will examine:

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

n Responsibly managed the charity’s resources and financial affairs, in particular the adequacy of the charity’s financial controls.

n Adequately managed risks to the charity, its property and reputation including the risks of misappropriation and misapplication of charity funds.

n Avoided or managed conflicts of interest.

The extent to which any failings or weaknesses identified in the administration of the charity during the conduct of the inquiry were a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.

The commission has made a request to freeze the society’s bank accounts.

It stressed that ‘opening an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrong doing’.

“The purpose of an inquiry to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether there has been misconduct and mismanagement; establish the extent of the risk to the charity’s property, beneficiaries or work; decide what action needs to be taken to resolve the serious concerns, if necessary using its investigative, protective and remedial powers to do so,” the commission stated.

Its findings will be published following the inquiry.

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