The Charity Commission has opened an investigation into a sports charity where a father passed on the £210,000-a-year chief executive job to his son.
Theo Millward took over as chief executive in June, having previously been its operation director. His father, Roger Millward, had been the organisation’s chief executive of 20 years and announced his intention to retire last year.
Last month the charity, which had an annual income of around £2.2m in the year to May 2014, submitted a serious incident report concerning the proposed transfer of assets to a private company.
After engaging with the charity the Commission said it “identified serious concerns with the charity’s governance, aspects of its financial controls and the proposed organisational changes which posed a potential risk to the charity’s assets”.
The statutory inquiry will examine the trustees’ oversight of the charity, including its recruitment processes and remuneration of senior staff and at whether the charity improperly claimed rates relief on property.
It will also look at the charity’s financial controls, including expenses and whether there has been any mismanagement by the trustees or employees.
In 2014 one employee earned up to £210,000 and one earned up to £70,000. There were around 50 members of staff. One trustee was paid almost £8,500 for contributions to books and manuals during the year, seven trustees received expenses of just over £8,000 and four trustees received an honorarium of £7,300 for their role as regional organisers.
In a statement the trustees for the STA said: “We can confirm that STA’s trustees became aware of a number of serious issues relating to the management of STA at the end of June. In response they acted decisively and immediately notified the Charity Commission.”
It added: “Please appreciate that because this is an independent inquiry being managed by the Charity Commission, we are not at liberty to comment any further at this stage.
“However, we can absolutely reassure you that the Trustees with the support of the senior management team are continuing to ensure the smooth operation of STA and STA will continue to provide the highest standard of service and training to members and customers.”