Charity faces second commission inquiry in a year

Charity

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into a blood bike bike charity after finding “potential irregularities in its accounts”.

Devon Freewheelers transports blood, medical equipment and samples to NHS establishments around Devon.

In March, the charity was placed into the commission’s “double defaulter” class inquiry, which scrutinises charities that are late with their accounts for two years or more.

The day after the investigation was announced the commission said Devon Freewheelers was “fully up-to-date” in filing its annual returns and it was removed from the inquiry.

The charity said at the time that being told by the commission to have an independent audit of its accounts caused a delay and the knock-on effect meant the next year’s documents were also late.

But the commission said today that once the accounts were filed, it identified “a number of related party transactions and potential irregularities in the charity’s accounts when compared with information drawn from the charity’s bank statements”.

The regulator also said it was concerned about conflicts of interest and whether the charity was operating in line with its objects.

The inquiry, which was opened on 14 September, will examine the charity’s financial management, whether the trustees have identified and managed conflicts of interest and whether there has been any misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.

The charity’s accounts for the financial year ending 31 October 2022, which were uploaded on time, list income of £161,979 and expenditure of £238,645.

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