The Charity Commission has welcomed the Charity Tribunal’s decision to dismiss the appeal of The 1Click Charitable Trust and uphold the Commission’s decision to remove the company from the Register of Charities on the grounds that it is not operating.
The 1Click trust was established to research and develop systems to enable the elderly to take advantage of the technological age. It’s aim was to develop technology to enable users to order repeat prescriptions, access to online shopping, and link them to local social services.
The Tribunal concurred with the Commission’s conclusions “because the charity does not pursue charitable activities and it has not adopted a sensible and sustainable plan for the generation of future income”.
An accurate and up-to-date Register of Charities is at the heart of the Commission’s work. Without it, the Commission’s regulatory work would be severely hampered and charities would be much less accountable and transparent to donors and the public.
The Chief Operating Officer and Registrar of Charities, David Holdsworth said: “The public have a clear interest in knowing what organisations are charities and what organisations no longer operate. The Commission in promoting public trust and confidence in charities may remove charities from the Register of Charities if they are merely performing administrative functions with no reasonable prospect of further charitable activity.”
The charity said it expected to have an annual income of around £600,000 from European Union grants. However its highest annual income was £3,751 and for three years it was less than £5.
The Tribunal heard that the charity had not provided the Commission with sufficient evidence that it was operating or of its ability to generate sufficient income to operate as a charity in the foreseeable future. The investigation also revealed that the charity had established a public house as a trading subsidiary and expected this to transfer £50,000 to the charity by the end of the year. The Commission’s analysis of the subsidiaries finances suggested that it would generate a surplus of around £2,000.
The Charity Commission’s legal director Kenneth Dibble confirmed that the decision will inform the Commission’s approach to the removal of organisations from the Register of Charities. He said: “This case shows the approach the Tribunal will take when dealing with appeals against the Commission’s decisions to remove non-operating charities from the Register. We will adopt a robust approach in removing these charities where they have minimal assets and are making no significant attempts to further charitable purposes.”
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