News – October 19 2012

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In July 2012, Positive Action in Housing announced its discovery of an alleged fraud committed against the charity by a former employee, and its instigation of a police investigation.

Robina Qureshi, Chief Executive Officer of Positive Action in Housing, said:

“We are determined to be open and transparent and keep our members, supporters and everyone we work with as informed as possible, even though we can’t fully comment until the police investigation is concluded.”

“Fortunately, we caught the problem, recovered the majority of the funds and there has been no impact on our frontline services.  However, it remains our intention to vigorously pursue criminal and then civil proceedings for the crime committed against this charity, its service users, volunteers, staff and trustees. We work with some of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society and are determined to continue that work for years to come and honour the trust placed in us by our members, donors, and supporters.”

The charity’s trustees are fully confident of recovering the full amount of the allegedly misappropriated funds, totalling £69,664, and has so far recovered £50,000 from insurance. Further measures are being pursued for the recovery of the remainder.

Since July, Positive Action in Housing commissioned an independent forensic audit of the charity’s finances, which gave the charity’s accounts and procedures a clean bill of health.

The charity’s trustees also provided a full report to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), which ensures that trustees act appropriately to protect a charity’s assets in such cases. The OSCR has informed Positive Action in Housing’s trustees that it has no concerns and commended the charity’s actions and its speed at handling the situation.

The charity has also carried out an extensive review of its financial and non-financial systems.

Robina Qureshi said: “This appears to have been a betrayal of trust that found an opportunity to exploit procedures that had served us well for 16 years. It was a painful experience but an important lesson that has made us stronger, including through improved fraud prevention and detection measures.”

She added: “We are grateful for the steadfast support that the charity has received from our members, funders, and supporters during this time and to Strathclyde Police for their help throughout. Our work to help those whom this charity was set up to serve, destitute and poor people from refugee, migrant and minority ethnic communities, continues unhindered and is a testament to the charity’s strength.
Positive Action in Housing Ltd is a registered Scottish charity working with communities, voluntary organisations and faith groups to give everyone an equal chance to live in good quality, affordable and safe homes, free from discrimination and the fear of racial harassment and violence.

In case of media queries, please email home@paih.org