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10th November 2020

Regulator finds mismanagement at faith broadcasting charity

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A Charity Commission inquiry, opened in 2014, into Revelation Foundation has finally concluded that the charity was not used for private advantage. However, the inquiry report has identified a number of serious failings in the structure and governance of the charity which amount to mismanagement in the administration of the charity by the trustees.

Revelation Foundation produces and broadcasts Christian content television programmes.

The trustees had allowed an unwieldy structure surrounding the charity (including associated companies) to develop. This raised concerns both in terms of the trustees’ decision making and because the structure itself placed a very significant proportion of the charity’s assets beyond its direct control and therefore at risk.

Whilst there was no evidence of any unauthorised benefit to any trustee because of trustees’ failings, the inquiry found that the trustees had failed to identify and manage conflicts of interest.

The inquiry identified a number of significant governance failures including the failure to implement and maintain appropriate financial controls; the failure to conduct detailed risk assessments and obtain appropriate professional advice before taking major decisions; and the failure to properly account for the charity’s property by maintaining a detailed asset register.

The Charity Commission reports that the trustees have taken significant steps to address the regulatory concerns identified by the inquiry. The charity sits within a simplified structure, with greater focus on risk management. The trustees have implemented improvements to the governance of the charity, including in terms of record keeping and control of assets.

If your charity is facing similar issues, please ensure that you take professional advice at an early stage.  Contact us if you would like to discuss this by clicking here.