Timescales and Policies for Abuse Investigations

Doug Paulley 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.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

Please provide your procedures for investigating charities actions where there are allegations that a beneficiary has been abused by a charity.

Please supply details of the prescribed timescales for such investigations.

Please provide information showing how you safeguard the interests of the alleged abused beneficiary throughout this process.

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the Commission*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost i*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn yw*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un o*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu â
chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn. Fe
fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person sy*n delio
gyda*ch ymholiad.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete
the original message from your system.

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References

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1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

CCD Email Team, Charity Commission for England and Wales

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Dear Doug Paulley,

Please find attached the Governing Document of the above charity as
requested.

Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact
Charity Commission Direct on 0845 300 0218 or via
[email address].

Yours sincerely,

David Ellis
Charity Commission Direct

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete the original message from your system.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Dear CCD Email Team,

Thank you very much for this useful information.

I have 2 freedom of information requests which I think have become a little mixed up. One was for the Leonard Cheshire governance doc which you have just provided, but in a response to a different request, which was for info in your compliance procedures. I just wanted to check that the following request hasn't got accidentally lost as a result. Thank you

Please provide your procedures for investigating charities actions
where there are allegations that a beneficiary has been abused by a
charity.

Please supply details of the prescribed timescales for such
investigations.

Please provide information showing how you safeguard the interests
of the alleged abused beneficiary throughout this process.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the Commission*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost i*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn yw*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un o*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu â
chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn. Fe
fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person sy*n delio
gyda*ch ymholiad.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete
the original message from your system.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

CCD Email Team, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Dear Mr Paulley

Thank you for your email of 7 December 2010, in connection with the above.

Your query has been assessed as falling to be answered within the
framework of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and we are able to advise
as follows:

1. The Commission's policy on considering complaints against charities is
contained in its publication CC47, which can be accessed directly from
our website via the following link -
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Publ..., or by
typing CC47 into the grey search box at the top right of our homepage.
2. Where allegations of criminal activity are involved, these should be
reported to the Police rather than the Commission. Our role in such
matters would be to liaise with any subsequent Police inquiry where
risks to charity property/funds were involved. Where allegations of
this nature are reported to us we would advise those making them to
contact the Police - we would only engage with the charity concerned
if a Police investigation were opened.
3. Where the Commission considers it necessary to exercise its own
powers, by conducting a formal inquiry into a charity's activities or
administration, there is no set timescale involved. Each such Inquiry
is conducted for however long is required to complete it, each is
conducted on a case by case basis dependent on the specific
circumstances and nature of concern involved.
4. Where any information is provided to the Commission in confidence, we
will respect that confidence wherever possible. In some circumstances
however the Commission could be required to release information by the
Court, to other Government Departments/Agencies where those bodies
required it to exercise their own regulatory powers, or to the Police
as part of an on-going criminal inquiry. All personal details
provided to the Commission are held subject to the provisions of the
Data Protection Act 1998.
5. The Commission can not consider complaints or concerns relating to the
quality of services offered by charities to their beneficiaries. Such
issues are internal to a charity and should be resolved between the
trustees and the parities concerned. Our role as Regulator does not
extend to mediating or investigating what are Civil matters, falling
to the Courts where they can not be resolved between the parties
concerned. We can not consider or advise on issues associated with
Employer/Employee disputes or Terms/Conditions of Employment, as they
too fall to other Agencies or Regulators.
6. Where the Commission does open a formal inquiry into a charity our
findings will be published on our website at
[2]www.charitycommission.gov.uk, however where such an inquiry
addresses specific beneficiaries we will never publish their names,
address details, or where possible information which would enable them
to be identified by a third party.
7. You can access full reports of recent/archived inquiries conducted by
the Commission by using the following link to our website -
[3]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Our_....

Allegations of abuse are serious matters and potentially criminal, as such
they should be reported to the Police not the Commission - as it is they
who would bring any subsequent prosecution. The Commission publishes
specific guidance for trustees on reporting to us serious incidents
involving charities, the following link will take you directly to that
guidance on our website -

[4]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Our_....

We hope that this information will be of assistance to you.

If you are unhappy with our response to your FOI request, have a complaint
or wish to request a review of our FOI decision, you should write to:
Charity Commission Direct by email to
[5][Charity Commission request email] or by post to P.O. Box 1227,
LIVERPOOL, L69 3UG. Please state what it is you are dissatisfied with,
which will assist us when we review our response.

If you request a Decision Review you will be notified of our final
decision. Please note that we will accept requests for a Decision Review
up to a maximum of 3 months after the original decision. The 3 months will
be calculated from the date on which you receive written notification of
the original decision. You will be deemed to have received written
notification on the day after the letter enclosing the decision was sent
or the same day if the decision was sent by email.

If after this you remain unhappy with the decision, you may apply directly
to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO
cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints procedure.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner***s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF.

Very often the quickest way to answer any enquiries that you have is to
look on our website, especially the [6]frequent questions covering the
main issues that we are being asked about. You will also find the latest
news, together with our publications and guidance. You can even [7]sign up
for email updates.

Yours sincerely

Kenneth Rogers

Charity Commission Direct

------------------- Original Message

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Dear CCD Email Team,

Thank you for this.

I wonder if I could clarify a little. I'm most specifically NOT asking for personal information here, I'm asking under the Freedom of Information Act for details of your organisation's policies and procedures, but if I give my situation as background it may help in ascertaining which information I'm after.

The Charity Commission are in the process of an investigation into the organisation that runs the residential home in which I live after the local safeguarding process concluded I've been subjected to long-standing institutional abuse by senior management. The CC are involved because of the way I alone have been treated.

The CC's investigation has taken quite some time so far because the local authority safeguarding process has been ongoing, but now that process has practically finished.

The whole safeguarding process has been quite stressful and prolonged. I want to minimise the stress in the ongoing CC investigation. The open ended nature of the timescales together with the opacity of the methods and potential outcomes of the CC investigation increase and prolong the stress and aren't good for my mental health.

So what I want to know is, for people in my sort of situation,

1) what procedures the CC have in place in general for this sort of situation
2) what procedures the CC have to ensure that the investigation causes the minimum of extra stress to the victim
3) I'd like to see CC's Protection of Vulnerable Adults Policy
4) guidelines as to how long such an investigation should take, or how long similar investigations have taken in the past
5) how the CC empowers the service user as much as possible
6) how the CC follows their duty to promote disability equality whilst discharging their duties to investigate such abuse cases

Basically, I'd like to see all information the Charity Commission holds on how it handles this type of situation, in particular all policies and procedures.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Web Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Thank you for your email to the Charity Commission.

We aim to give you a full and clear response within fifteen working days
from receipt of your email. We will ensure that our response is both
accurate and appropriate.

This is the same service standard we apply to letters and faxes but
Charity Commission Direct will usually respond to general email enquiries
within five working days where there is no need for referral to one of our
specialist operational teams.

If we cannot give you a full response within fifteen days, we will contact
you and let you know the reasons why this is not possible and indicate
when we expect to be in a position to give you a full response. We will
also let you have the name and contact number of the person dealing with
your query.

You can find the Commission*s contact details on our website at
[1]http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Diolch am eich e-bost i*r Comisiwn Elusennau.

Rydym yn anelu at ymateb yn llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod gwaith o dderbyn
eich e-bost.

Hwn yw*r un targed ac ymateb i lythyron ond mae Comisiwn Elusennau
Uniongyrchol fel arfer yn ymateb i e-byst o fewn pum diwrnod gwaith, ble
does yna ddim angen cyfeirio at un o*n timau gweithredol arbenigol.

Os na fedrwn roi ymateb llawn o fewn pymtheg diwrnod, fe wnawn gysylltu â
chi i esbonio pam, gan nodi pryd y byddwn yn medru ymateb yn llawn. Fe
fyddwn hefyd yn rhoi gwybod enw a rhif uniongyrchol y person sy*n delio
gyda*ch ymholiad.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete
the original message from your system.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/tcc/...

Spiller, Amy, Charity Commission for England and Wales

2 Attachments

Dear Doug

Please find attached a letter in response to your email of 16 December
2010.

Yours sincerely

Amy Spiller
Senior Manager
Compliance Investigations Unit London
Charity Commission

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and
delete the original message from your system.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.