CHARITY REGULATORS are to be carpeted by Parliament's spending watchdog amid claims that they are failing to clamp down on malpractice.
The Public Accounts Committee will demand an explanation from the Charity Commissioners after an investigation by The Independent revealed delays and inaction in a string of cases.
Among those highlighted was the case of a care home charity in Cheshire whose residents lacked adequate food and clothing despite annual grants of pounds 400,000. The commission is still investigating 15 months after staff blew the whistle, and the local health authority has been forced to step in and find new carers for the residents.
In a separate case, an MP has complained that a charity for landmine victims received hundreds of thousands of pounds to fit more than 1,200 artificial limbs per year in Laos, but actually fitted just 400 in its first two years. The Charity Commission said it had "no current concerns" about the organisation.
The commission also allowed one major charity, the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, to re-employ staff who were at the centre of a major investigation into alleged breaches of charity law.
And it has allowed a cult which believes in witchcraft and demons, and whose Brazilian founder went to prison for fraud, to remain on its register for five years without raising any concerns.
David Davis, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said yesterday that he intended to call in the commissioners to explain their record when Parliament returned this autumn.
His committee said two years ago that fraud and maladministration among Britain's 184,000 charities were going unchecked because …