The Charity Commission is the independent regulator for charities in England and Wales. Its overall mission is to ensure that charities work effectively amongst society for the benefit of the public.
The Charity Commission promotes legal compliance through publications and casework. It has strong legal powers to investigate and deal with fraud and dishonesty in charities, including the powers to protect and freeze charity assets, if a formal investigation establishes serous mismanagement or abuse. Whilst the Commission is not a prosecuting authority, it is authorised to work with the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and other authorities.
Its role includes securing compliance with charity law, and dealing with abuse and poor practice; enabling charities to work better; promoting sound governance and accountability, and improving public confidence and trust in charities.
Most charities in England and Wales must register with the Commission and it also maintains the public Register of Charities.
Charities with annual incomes over £10,000 must, by law, send the Charity Commission their accounts and reports every year, within ten months of the end of their year-end. These are publicly available online. Charities that fail to meet these requirements are highlighted online.