Inappropriate Political Activity

James made this Freedom of Information request to Charity Commission for England and Wales

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Charity Commission for England and Wales Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

Please can you tell me in the past 3 years how many cases of inappropriate political activity by charities have been investigated by the Charity Commission and in each case:

(a) What was the charity concerned.
(b) What were the allegations.
(c) What was the outcome of the investigation.

Yours faithfully,
James Harvey.

Carroll, Liam, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Dear Mr Harvey

Thank you for your recent email. I am sorry that I could not respond
sooner. I understand that you would like to know how many cases of
inappropriate political activity have been investigated by the Charity
Commission, over the last 3 years, and in each case:

(a)        What was the charity concerned

(b)        What were the allegations

(c)         What was the outcome of the investigation.

I have considered this as a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). The Act imposes a duty, set out in section
1 (1) (a) to confirm or deny whether we hold information of the
description specified in your request. In this instance, though, I am a
little unsure.  

I have for the purposes of this request taken ‘investigated’ to mean those
occasions when the Commission has taken detailed action resulting in
either an Inquiry Report or a Regulatory Case Report (RCRs). I should
clarify that there may well have been other occasions when concerns about
inappropriate political activity have been brought to the Commission’s
attention, but have not resulted in this level of consideration. It’s
likely that we would have opened a case to deal with these as a complaint
or governance issue. We do not, however, keep a running total of the
number of complaints or cases for each charity or for the nature of the
case/complaint, so it would be difficult to extract this type of
information.

With regard to the more detailed compliance cases, then this information
would be exempt under Sections 21 and 22 of the Act. Section 21 as it is
accessible to you by other means and Section 22 as part of the information
you would like is intended for future publication.

I think that much of the information you would like can be accessed via
the following links:

[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/our-...

 

Particularly the information that we have gathered together in our
publication - Charities Back on Track, available here:

 

[2]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/our-...

Within the publications for 2010/11 and 2011/12 there are details on the
number of Inquiry Reports and RCR’s that were undertaken and the issues
involved. Political activity is one of the categories. The publication
also shows the Charity involved.  You will see that for 10/11 there was
one Inquiry Report of this nature and 5 RCR’s. There were none for 11/12.
I gather that details for 2012/13 will be published in the next few
months.

Inquiry Reports and RCR’s for the specific charities identified, which
explain in more detail the allegations and the outcome of the Commission’s
actions are available here:

[3]http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...

[4]http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...

 

[5]http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...

 

I hope that has clarified the position but if you think I’ve misunderstood
your request in any way then please let me know.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests should be
submitted within three months of this letter and should be addressed to
the Commission at PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69 3UG (email:
[6][email address].)

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commission can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Kind regards

 

Liam Carroll

Complaints and FOI Manager

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References

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1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/our-...
2. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/our-...
3. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
4. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
5. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
6. mailto:[email address]