The Importance Of Holding AGMs And Electing Trustees In Accordance With Your Governing Document

Wrigleys Solicitors


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For trustees who may need assistance in updating their governing document or guidance on governance issues.
UK Corporate/Commercial Law
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For trustees who may need assistance in updating their governing document or guidance on governance issues.

The Charity Commission's recent inquiry into the Jamia Hanfia Ghosia Mosque and Princess Street Resource Centre serves as an important reminder that trustees must operate within the bounds of their charity's governing document.

The findings of the inquiry revealed that the charity's former trustees repeatedly failed to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and neglected to conduct trustee elections as required by the charity's governing document over successive years. This was despite receiving written advice from the Charity Commission on several occasions.

The Commission concluded that there was serious misconduct and/or mismanagement in the charity's administration and management by the former trustees.

A full report detailing the findings of the inquiry can be found here.

The Commission's conclusions highlight the importance of trustees ensuring compliance with their charity's governing document. If the document mandates that an AGM must be held and outlines how trustees should be elected, it is critical that trustees abide by this.

The result of this inquiry reinforces the need for trustees to revisit their charity's governing document to ensure that the administration of their charity is compliant.

Many trustees may find themselves unaware of the precise contents of their charity's governing document, potentially resulting in inadvertent non-compliance. We would recommend that new trustees are given a copy of the governing document and key policies, and that all trustees are offered regular training on trustee duties and their governance responsibilities. Charities should also consider undergoing governance reviews on a regular basis (say, every five years), to check that their governing documents and policies are still fit for purposes.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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