The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Chichester and District Dog Rescue Society and frozen its accounts due to concerns regarding the charity’s financial controls.
In March, the charity’s independent examiner reported anomalies in the charity’s financial records, which the Commission reviewed and identified concerns about its financial controls.
The charity was founded in 1963 and registered with the Commission in 1968. It provides rescue and rehoming services for stray and unwanted animals and lists Her Grade the Duchess of Richmond and Gordon patron on its website.
The Commission says the charity has also failed to submit its accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2016, which were due by 31 January 2017, and the accounts for 2015 have not been independently examined.
As a result, the Commission opened an investigation on 13 September, which will examine the extent to which the trustees have responsibly managed the charity’s resources and financial affairs, in particular the adequacy of the charity’s financial controls, adequately managed risks to the charity, its property and reputation including the risks of misappropriation and misapplication of charity funds and avoided or managed conflicts of interest.
It will also consider the extent to which any failings or weaknesses identified in the administration of the charity during the conduct of the inquiry were a result of misconduct or mismanagement by the trustees.
As well as freezing the charity’s bank accounts, the Commission has also made an order under Section 76 (3)(f) of the Charites Act restricting the trustees from entering into transactions in the administration of the charity without the regulator’s authority.
In the year ending March 2015, the charity’s income was reported as £114,600. It has six registered trustees including chair Andrew Morley.