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Key Fraud Organisations Support Charity Commission Proposals

UKFraud and Welfare Reform Group join forces in full agreement and support of the Cabinet Office consultation to propose greater powers for the Charity Commission that, in the cases of abuse of charities would effectively allow it to seize assets, replace trustees and/or put in managers to take over and to strengthen its ability to prosecute.

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Many will have assumed that these powers would already have been in place given the size of the abuse of the problems and the £millions that get diverted by dishonest charities and errant charity trustees; and no-one would disagree that the money raised by charities should always reach the recipients that the money was intended for.

UKFraud and the Welfare Reform Group also strongly believe that the reforms should be extended to incorporate thinking that would support preventative measures too, as the focus on these proposals only cover the ways in which the Charity Commission should deal with abuse when it is discovered.

To deter and prevent fraud, consideration must also be given to requiring charities to provide full details on all key publicity, web-sites, documentation, correspondences and collection boxes that includes:

- Fund-raising size of the charity
- The percentage (or pence in the £) spent on charity staff salaries and expenses
- The Percentage (or pence in the £) delivered directly in the hands of the intended recipients.

…. and then that these details would become a principle part of the auditing by the Charity Commission for accuracy.

Controls over the appointment of, duties required of and remuneration arrangements for all trustees, senior management and donation handling should also be key parts of an abuse-control regime.

Malcolm Gardner of the Welfare Reform Club said "Donations to charities are often made by people who have little to give themselves. It is wrong that money given in good faith should end up funding lavish lifestyles for the greedy or to be lost through poor management, regardless of how noble the intentions. It is important that charities and not-for-profit organisation are properly policed and regulated by a strong and focused Charities Commission."

Bill Trueman emphasised: "It is important that the Cabinet Office should strive to implement more and more preventative and deterrent measures against fraud attacks, in addition to their favoured tactical reactive/audit measures."

About UKFraud (www.ukfraud.co.uk)

UKFraud is a leading UK based consultancy, with an impressive international track record of eliminating business risks, exposures and fraud. Its founder Bill Trueman is widely accepted as one of Europe's leading risk and fraud experts and a frequent commentator and writer on the issues involved. Trueman has extensive experience in managing risk within banks, insurance companies and in the financial services sectors and is a thought leader at the forefront of many industry wide and international debates.

About the Welfare Reform Club

The Welfare Reform Club supports local authorities with the transition to Universal Credit, and helps local authorities with local welfare delivery. The Team consists of Deven Ghelani, who has worked on Universal Credit since inception at the Centre for Social Justice; Malcolm Gardner a Revenues and Benefits expert; and Paul Howarth, who is responsible for agreeing government strategy for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support for Mortgage Interest. Over 140 Local Authorities, Housing Association and Charities are members of the Welfare Reform Club