Charities

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 17th December 2018.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Charity Commission on the time taken to conduct investigations into charities.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Officials in my department have regular conversations with the Charity Commission.

In serious cases of abuse of and within charities, the Commission may open a statutory inquiry and will use its powers to robustly tackle abuse and misconduct. In 2017-2018, the Commission exercised its powers 1,136 times.

There is no fixed duration for an inquiry, but the Commission’s aim is to conclude investigations as soon as is practicable. The time an inquiry can take will depend on many factors, including: the nature and complexity of the issues being investigated; the responsiveness of trustees and third parties; and whether other agencies are involved. The majority of the Commission’s inquiries are complex and must be conducted thoroughly and comprehensively, in line with public expectations of the regulator.

Furthermore, where the Commission is investigating issues alongside other regulators and law enforcement agencies, those investigations may take priority so as to avoid prejudicing the outcome of their work or impact on the length of an inquiry in some other way.

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