Monday, 6 July 2009

WikiLeaks; charities get the MP's disease

It seems that embroiled UK charity Novas Scarman is not keen on having its dirty laundry aired. On June 23, 2009, WikiLeaks released "UK charity Novas Scarman Group looted, confidential auditors report, 15 Dec 2008". Although the UK press have so far missed the ball on this doozy of a report, Novas Scarman management was alerted to it by an investigative journalist. Apparently wanting to make sure the report disappears before more reporters get wind of it, the charity threatened to sue WikiLeaks. Novas Scarmand demanded that the report be removed, claiming it was obtained "in breach of confidence". However, WikiLeaks will not remove the report.

Hundreds of the most vulnerable tenants in the UK may soon have no where to live.

In 2007 three significant UK charities, the Novas Group (Charity of the Year, 2007), PATH and the Scarman Trust merged to form the Novas Scarman Group:

"The Novas Group was Charity of the Year in 2007 and combines support for vulnerable individuals with major programmes of social enterprise development
The Scarman Trust pioneered support for grassroots social entrepreneurs and recently helped to develop proposals for a new Social Investment Bank – backed by both Gordon Brown and David Cameron
PATH supports Black and Minority Ethnic entrants to professions and has recently been given both the RTPI and Civil Service Diversity Award"[1]

Yet by December 2008, the new group was in undeclared bankruptcy.

Auditors BDO Story Hayward were commissioned to investigate the group. This file presents their confidential final report. It reveals that:

  • Monies from funders "have been deliberately been hidden from central and local Government and Novas’ regulator."
  • There were many substantial and irregular payments and or subsidies to executives and staff, from corporate credit cards to expensive art purchases.
  • At present, Novas is unable to pay creditors as they fall due, with a number of creditors have threatened/begun legal action against Novas.
  • Major housing assets must be disposed of to have a hope of medium term viability.
  • The accounts for the Scarman Trust were lost at the time of the merger.
  • There is not sufficient cash-flow to complete Arlington House, despite over 7,000,000 pounds already having been spent.
  • Novas, as it currently stands, does not appear viable in the short or long term.
  • The actions of Michael Wake, Maria Donoghue-Mills and Terry Lau may be regarded as misconduct.

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