The Executive Committee has a legal duty to take all necessary steps to protect BISA’s funds and assets from misuse, and to comply with relevant legislation on fraud and financial crime.
The key financial crimes that BISA’s Executive Committee need to consider are money laundering and terrorist financing.
Money laundering is usually described as the process of turning the proceeds of crime into property or money that can be accessed legitimately without arousing suspicion. Terrorist financing is the raising, moving, storing and using of financial resources for the purposes of terrorism.
Money laundering and terrorism are real risks to all industries and sectors. Although the perceived risk to BISA may be low, it is important that the Association remain vigilant at all times and adhere to all laws, rules and regulations, particularly when dealing with international transactions (of any size).
1. Preventing abuse
The Executive Committee must take reasonable steps to ensure that BISA is not used for money laundering activities, or activities that may support or condone terrorism or terrorist activities.
The Executive Committee must ensure that BISA carries out due diligence on those individuals and organisations that give money to, receive money from, or work closely with BISA.
The Executive Committee will focus on the following key areas:
- embedding good financial controls and sound financial management as a core part of BISA’s working practices;
- ensuring relevant employees are trained and understand BISA’s financial controls and their responsibilities;
- segregating duties where possible and not allowing one person to be in charge of all aspects of BISA’s financial controls;
- regularly reviewing budgeting and cash flows. Looking at comparative figures for previous periods. If there are significant variations, or no variation at all, this should be regarded as grounds for further query;
- establishing authority thresholds for the approval of payments;
- assessing employee/trustee connections with third parties;
- being open and transparent with donors;
- encouraging open discussion and questioning - if something doesn’t look or seem right to the trustees then it should be properly investigated; and
- acting promptly and properly to minimise damage and prevent loss.
Donations: In accordance with BISA’s Donations, sponsorship and fundraising policy, BISA is free to accept donations with conditions attached, but only if those conditions are compatible with the purposes, priorities and activities of BISA. If the conditions are so inflexible that they could undermine the charity’s independence, the trustees should refuse the donation.
In taking steps to identify suspect donations, trustees should be alert to the following situations which may indicate higher risks:
- unusual or substantial one-off donations or a series of smaller donations or interest-free loans from sources that cannot be identified or checked;
- where BISA is asked to act as a conduit for the passing of a donation to a second body which may or may not be another charity;
- if conditions attached to a donation mean that BISA would merely be a vehicle for transferring funds from one individual or organisation to another without the trustees being able to satisfy themselves that they have been properly used;
- where BISA is told it can keep a donation for a certain period of time, perhaps with the attraction of being able to keep any interest earned whilst holding the money, but the principal sum is to be returned at the end of a specified, short, period;
- where donations are made in a foreign currency, and again unusual conditions are attached to their use, e.g. including a requirement that the original sum is to be returned to the donor in a different currency;
- where donations are conditional on particular individuals or organisations being used to do work for BISA where the trustees have concerns about those individuals or organisations; and
- where BISA is asked to provide services or benefits on favourable terms to a donor or a person nominated by the donor.
The Executive Committee shall carry out due diligence checks on donors in accordance with this policy and its Donations, Sponsorship and Fundraising Policy, ensure that employees know how to recognise the possible warning signs of financial crime and shall employ robust methods of recording and documenting donations.
2. Suspect donations
Trustees should report suspect donations to Action Fraud (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/) or the police, as well as the Charity Commission.
3. Monitoring and reviewing this policy
This Policy should be considered in conjunction with the following BISA policies:
- Donations, sponsorship and fundraising policy
- Procurement policy (available from the BISA office: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Conflict of interest policy and disclosure form
This policy shall be reviewed annually by the BISA Executive Committee. Responsibility for the Policy lies with the Director who is answerable to the BISA Chair. The Director, in turn, can delegate oversight and implementation to an appropriate BISA staff member or trustee.
4. Change and review history
- Reviewed Jan 2020 – amended
- Reviewed Feb 2022