Two former chief executives of BAAF have written to the Charity Commission asking it to launch an investigation into the charity’s collapse.
In the letter, former chief executive Felicity Collier and former acting chief executive Barbara Hutchinson, question the handling of the adoption and fostering charity’s closure.
“Although we accept that the charity was in a weak financial position, in our opinion more could have been undertaken to consider alternatives to administration,” reads the letter, which was sent to the commission on Monday 10 August.
The letter questions whether BAAF followed the charity regulator’s guidance on managing financial difficulties or insolvency. The guidance says charities should talk to stakeholders or members who may be able to help and consider launching an emergency fundraising appeal.
“To the best of our knowledge none of these options was seriously explored,” the letter states.
The letter also asks why the senior management team at BAAF were excluded from discussions about its financial situation and questions the depth of the financial information provided to the board of trustees after March 2015.
Other questions raised in the letter, which has also been sent to the charity’s creditors, include:
- Why were BAAF staff told to conduct business as normal even after the decision to enter administration was made?
- Why did the consultant hired to conduct a review of the charity’s finances in April this year only interview the finance director?
- Why were new staff hired in the eight weeks leading up to the charity’s insolvency?
- Whether the administrators were right to conclude that there was no UK-wide organisation that could take on BAAF’s operations?
- What discussions took place with charities other than Coram about taking on BAAF’s operations?
“We are requesting that, in light of this letter and any similar comments you have received from elsewhere, you conduct an investigation,” the letter concludes.
The Charity Commission has said it is considering whether any regulatory concerns need to be addressed with the trustees of BAAF.