If that would lead to a closer scrutiny of the accounts and an investigation, as a private person I don't carry much weight apparently. Upon consultation with some learned friends the following answer can't be endorsed, we have no insight into the response from the charity itself to the commission, if any was indeed requested. The response we got from the Foundation itself was inconclusive/patronising. Their attention was drawn to various points, none of which they addressed, this was also reported to the CC. The guidelines set out (and mentioned below) by the Commission are, I believe not legally binding. Placation seems to be a major profession in the UK these days :-)
A next step indication would be helpful or as you suggest some way of encouraging the CC to proceed would be good. As I say, as a private person I cannot get anyone there to do anything apart from placate.
A question here is whether it is legal for a charity to spend over 70% of its funds on "fundraising" or the development of unrelated projects to those stated in the statutes. Are they bound to the statutes at all if trustees endorse expenditure?
From Charities Commission:
Thank you for your email of 21 March 2011.
I have carefully considered the contents of your email, my understanding of your email is that you have concerns regarding
- The wishes of ***** are not being fulfilled by the trustees.
- The funds being spent on direct charitable expenditure are low.
It may help if I briefly set out how the Commission deals with complaints about charities.
When we receive a complaint we first of all assess its seriousness so that we can decide whether we need to intervene. Not every complaint requires our intervention; for example, we will not normally intervene simply because there is disagreement with a decision that the charity’s trustees have lawfully taken, even if it is an unpopular one. The Commission will not take forward complaints where a person disagrees with decisions made by the trustees and those decisions have been properly made within the law and the provisions of the charity’s governing document.
The fulfilment of Mr ***** wishes is a matter for the trustees. If you have concerns that Mr ****** wishes are not being fulfilled by the trustees then you should raise these with the trustees.
You state that you would be “interested to know what proportion of spending should have been with respect directly to charitable activity”. Each charity is dealt with on its own individual merits. Due to the diversity within the charitable sector it is not possible to issue guidelines on the percentage of funds that should be spent on direct charitable expenditure. The proportion of costs allocated to direct charitable expenditure is for the trustees to determine, in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice.
In view of my comments above, it appear that the Commission cannot intervene in the concerns outlined in your email. I realise that my response will be disappointing for you but I do hope that you can appreciate our position here that we simply cannot become involved.