• Register
Return to: Home > News > Financial Results > Charity chief executive ‘acted in self-interest’ finds regulator

Charity chief executive ‘acted in self-interest’ finds regulator


A UK Charity Commission inquiry into the Busoga Association has found serious mismanagement and/or misconduct by the trustees and CEO of the charity, who has since been disqualified. Busoga Association was founded to support the relief of poverty worldwide, with a particular focus on the Busoga area in Uganda.

The Commission opened an inquiry following a complaint from the UK-based funder of the charity, who found that not all of £767,000 donated to the charity could be adequately accounted for. Trustees refused to meet with the Commission, but an inspection of all the charity’s books and records revealed serious accounting faults.

The inquiry found that the trustees put the charity’s assets at risk and allowed the charity to be run by the CEO, who acted as a de facto trustee, without sufficient oversight. The CEO used the charity’s funds as he saw fit.

Accounting records were inadequate, so it was not possible to determine how all of the charitable funds had been spent. However, the day-to-day running of the charity was clearly undertaken by the CEO from 2002.

The CEO set his own salary without any consultation or approval from the trustees. Decisions made solely by the CEO included a payment of £50,000 of restricted charitable funds towards a private consultancy firm, without consultation with or oversight from the trustees.

The CEO also submitted accounts to the Commission which had not been independently examined, but purported to be. Due to his actions, the Commission has disqualified the former CEO from acting as a trustee and from holding any office or employment with senior management functions for ten years and secured a signed voluntary undertaking that a former trustee would not act as trustee for five years. The inquiry also took protective action to freeze the charity’s bank account to prevent the further misuse of funds.

Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team, at the Charity Commission said: “Charities hold special status in our society and trustees, as the custodians of their charity, should reflect this responsibility in their behaviour and attitude, ensuring they act to advance their charity’s mission and purpose, and never their own self-interest.

“The trustees of Busoga Association (UK) failed to protect their charity, allowing their CEO to use the charity for his own agenda. This was a terrible abuse of charity on his part and a complete failure by the other trustees to hold him to account. The CEO responsible has been rightly disqualified.”

The charity was removed by the Commission from the register of charities on 6 October 2015 as it had ceased to operate.

Top Content

    South Africa: sensing new opportunities

    It has been an interesting couple of years for the profession in South Africa. A number of high-profile scandals have brought the profession and the role of auditors into sharp public focus, brewing a distrust towards accountants and a large expectations gap. Joe Pickard reports.

    read more

    Ghana: a quest for consistency

    Ghana’s current economic profile would suggest a fertile landscape for purveyors of accounting services. But inconsistent approaches to compliance and application of standards – coupled with problems in the banking sector and consequent liquidity constraints – have created a challenging environment. Paul Golden writes.

    read more

    Drone technology: audit takes to the skies

    The movement towards a digitised era has already impacted the auditing profession in a number of ways, from blockchain to artificial intelligence. Now firms are taking to sky and using drone technology in their audits. Mishelle Thurai speaks to Big Four firms to find out more.

    read more

    SBC: a new alliance joins the market

    Jonathan Minter speaks to Paul Tutin, chair of founding firm Streets Chartered Accountants, about why the business and its European partners took the decision to launch their own association.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.