OSCR orders bank to freeze charity’s assets

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Watchdog says it is concerned with the way the award-winning charity is being run 

12th July 2019 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Scotland’s charity regulator has ordered a bank to prevent the sale of a Paisley-based social enterprise’s assets.

Aspire Community Solutions, a multi-trade facilities business, is facing an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) over concerns about financial controls and how it is being run.  

The award-winning firm, run by Jordan McPhail, says it is “committed to reinvesting profits for social purposes” on its website.  

However OSCR says its inquiries have uncovered “misconduct in its administration” after trustees failed to provide information to the regulator following formal requests.

Aspire’s latest annual report was 192 days overdue although it now appears that McPhail has created a construction business called MCP Contracting which was registered with Companies House on 17 June this year.

Aspire’s Facebook page and website have been taken down.

A statement from OSCR said: “Inquiries into the charity have given us concern surrounding both the governance and financial controls within the charity.

“Based on the information we have obtained throughout the course of our inquiry, which rains ongoing, we are concerned that there has been misconduct in the administration of the charity and consider it necessary and desirable to take protective action in respect of the charity’s property.

“We have therefore issued a formal direction to the charity’s bank preventing it from parting with any property without OSCR’s consent.”

Aged just 19, McPhail secured £30,000 funding in 2017 from Social Investment Scotland which was used to buy a van.

The charity took on a number of contracts with other charities and social enterprises including Ferguslie Park Housing Association who awarded the social firm a contract in April this year to carry out grounds maintenance and grass cutting to tenant’s gardens.

OSCR’s direction is valid for six months.

12th July 2019 by Eileen Ure

Hopefully this situation will be a cautionary warning to other charities who are perhaps considering the route McPhail has went done. It is imperative that the public have trust in charities in Scotland.