LONDON: The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into Dudley Central Mosque and Muslim Community Centre after the charity failed in its accounting requirements for four years in a row. These failures are symptomatic of wider administration and governance issues that persist at the charity, despite previous engagement from the regulator.
The charity has been the subject of three regulatory compliance cases in the past four years, all of which examined issues arising from an ongoing dispute between two groups representing the charity.
In November 2018, the Commission issued formal regulatory advice. It advised the charity to seek legal advice to establish the official trustees in line with its constitution. It also asked the two sides to mediate and agree to hold an election overseen by an independent committee. An election took place, but one side disputed the independence of the election and governance issues remained.
The charity was also placed into the Commission’s ‘double defaulters’ class inquiry in March 2022 as it had failed to submit its annual reports, accounts and annual returns for four years in a row. Accounting information since March 2018 is still outstanding.
The Commission is concerned that, despite previous engagement and regulatory advice, the charity has not resolved its administration and governance issues. For this reason, a statutory inquiry was opened on 1 July 2022.
The inquiry will examine the administration, governance and management of the charity and in particular:
- whether it is being managed in accordance with its governing document
- the failure to comply with legal obligations in relation to the filing of the charity’s accounts and annual returns
The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional issues emerge.
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