The probe will look at arrangements between the charity and a company linked to Sir Tom's daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, and her husband Colin.
Image: Sir Captain Tom Moore, with (L to R) grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia
The Captain Tom Foundation is being investigated over concerns about the charity’s management and independence from the late veteran’s family.
The Charity Commission opened a case into the charity in March 2021, just a month after Sir Tom’s passing, and began reviewing the set-up of the organisation.
The watchdog has now launched an inquiry after becoming concerned about arrangements between the charity and a company linked to Sir Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, and her husband Colin.
Concerns were also raised about the trustees’ decision-making and how the charity was governed.
Sir Tom was propelled into the limelight during the COVID pandemic after raising £38m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday at the height of the UK’s first lockdown in April 2020.
The watchdog says the money raised for the NHS, which was donated to NHS Charities Together, is not part of the scope of its inquiry.
The Captain Tom Foundation was registered in June 2020 following the war veteran’s fundraising efforts.
The publication of the first annual accounts of the foundation in March 2022 revealed the charity incurred £240,000 in costs and gave £160,000 to good causes.
But the commission said it was concerned that a “failure to consider intellectual property and trademark issues” when the charity was set up gave a private company, called Club Nook Limited, the opportunity to trademark variations of the name “Captain Tom” without objection from the charity.
This could have generated “significant profit” for the company, which is controlled by Ms Ingram-Moore and Mr Ingram-Moore, the commission added.
Launched on 16 June, the inquiry is assessing whether the trustees of The Captain Tom Foundation have been responsible for mismanagement or misconduct in the administration of the charity leading to any losses, adequately managed conflicts of interest and complied with their duties and responsibilities under charity law.
Prior to the inquiry opening, the commission engaged with the charity over several issues.
In March 2021, the charity requested the regulator’s permission to employ Ms Ingram-Moore, a former trustee, on a salary of £60,000 per year, for three days a week. The commission requested evidence of the benchmarking exercise undertaken.
The charity provided the commission with this evidence and a revised proposal to appoint Ms Ingram-Moore on a salary of £100,000 on a full-time basis.
Image: The charity requested the regulator's permission to employ Ms Ingram-Moore on a salary of £60,000 per year
Then in July 2021, the regulator refused permission to employ Ms Ingram-Moore as chief executive on a salary of £100,000 – considering the proposed salary neither reasonable nor justifiable.
The following month, the commission permitted the charity to appoint Ms Ingram-Moore as interim chief executive on a salary of £85,000 per year, on a three-month rolling contract, for a maximum of nine months whilst the trustees conducted an open recruitment process.
The charity has since recruited a new chief executive.
Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “The late Captain Sir Tom Moore inspired the nation with his courage, tenacity and concern for others. It is vital that public trust in charity is protected, and that people continue to feel confident in supporting good causes.
“We do not take any decision to open an inquiry lightly but in this case our concerns have mounted. We consider it in the public interest to examine them through a formal investigation, which gives us access to the full range of our protective and enforcement powers.”
The commission previously raised concerns about the payment of consultancy fees to third parties but said it was later “satisfied” that these specific payments were a reasonable reimbursement for expenses incurred by the companies in the formation of the charity.
Image: Sir Captain Tom Moore died at the age of 100 last year
It added that it was also satisfied that the payments were “adequately identified and managed”.
Stephen Jones, chairman of the board of trustees of the Captain Tom Foundation, said: “We will of course work closely with the commission in its inquiry relating to intellectual property management.
“I note that the trustees confirmed with the commission during the process of registration that the ‘image rights and intellectual property rights of the name were held within a private family trust’, and the commission was aware that this was always intended to be the case.
“We welcome that the Charity Commission today reports that it is ‘satisfied’ in relation to questions that had been raised about the foundation’s annual report which was published in February, and has concluded that payments were reasonable and that conflicts of interest were identified and managed.”
Jack Gilbert, who took on the role of chief executive at the beginning of the month, added: “My appointment marks the start of an important period of transformation for the Captain Tom Foundation.
“With a revitalised and more focused mission, in coming months we will be announcing an array of charitable activities at both grassroots and national levels that change the way we think, feel and act towards age and ageing, combat ageism, and build meaningful connections between communities and generations.
“Working with the board, I am using the NCVO-backed Trusted Charities standards to ensure that in all respects, including governance and finance, the foundation conforms to best practice. These will be externally validated as part of the process.”News Related
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