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Charity Commission case report: National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline

7 July 2017

The fundamental importance of trustee compliance has been strongly emphasised by the Charity Commission in its Case Report of the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline.

The Helpline was randomly selected from a group of 94 charities identified by the Charity Commission as being at risk of financial distress and potential insolvency. After undertaking an analysis of the charity’s accounts and finances, the Commission found a lack of appropriate financial controls and an unsustainable financial model. In particular, trustees failed to meet regularly to manage the running of the charity, the Chair of trustees signed unauthorised payments to himself, and there were several loans to the charity from one of the trustees without a formal repayment structure. After receiving an official warning for failing to comply with the Charity Commission’s detailed action plan, the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline’s progress continues to be monitored.

By publishing the case report, the Charity Commission has sought to ensure transparency and accountability to promote trustee compliance. All charities should acknowledge from this case the importance of guaranteeing that their trustees fully understand and appreciate their responsibilities.

See the Commission’s guidance for trustees here.

All charities should acknowledge from this case the importance of guaranteeing that their trustees fully understand and appreciate their responsibilities. 

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