Suspicious of charity’s finances

| 22/01/2019

Do you know if charities (not churches) are monitored on-island or required to do an audit? I am just wondering because there is one charity on-island, which I am concerned about backhanders and siphoning of funds going on. Who does one report this to?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusAuntie’s answer: The enactment of the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) Law, 2017 has resulted in strict regulation of charities in Cayman and how they are managed and administered. All non-profits have to register (or re-register if they were previously granted that status) with the Cayman Islands General Registry under this law and the process is not for the faint of heart.

The mounds of paperwork and various certified documents that need to be filed may be onerous, but the process ensures only qualified charities should be able to be granted an NPO licence.

Therefore, it is distressing and surprising (not to mention detestable if true) to hear of your concern about a particular “charity”.

The first thing I recommend you do is to go to the General Registry website and head to the Non-Profit Organisations page, where you will find a list of all the registered charities in Cayman. You can check if the one you are asking about is even listed as one.

As to your question on audits, under the law, any NPO with a gross annual income of more than $250,000 which remits 30% or more of that outside of the Cayman Islands “shall have its financial statements reviewed in accordance with internationally accepted standards on review engagements or such other review engagement standards as may be prescribed”.

But even if a charity falls below that threshold, it still has to comply with all the strict rules governing the operation of a non-profit, including filing an annual return with the General Registry.

As an indication of how seriously the regulation of NPOs is taken, the office also has a dedicated officer, Paul Inniss, who is the head of compliance as well as the supervisor of the non-profit organisation sector.

If you have serious concerns that you feel are credible about how a charity is operating, I suggest you call the registry at 946-7922.

If you have any evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed, you could also contact the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit by calling 949-8797 or by emailing

The law mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    these charities need to be audited. It is not right for the community to give cash &/or kind without accountability, from the recipients especially with all the sticky fingers we have in our country these days.

  2. C'mon nah says:

    I’d be suspicious of every charity especially churche$. They should all have to open their books and backup every cent what they claim to give to charities. No wonder we have one of the highest number of churches per capita, its an easy way to take and hide money. Oops I forgot to mention laundering those $$$$$$$. I bet if I started a mosque up here I’d surely be under the proverbial microscope, so why not put these so called God fearing you know whats under the same scrutiny?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just one? They’re all at it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t donate to any charity until their finances are public and you are sure every penny is going to a cause.
    In the past I was volunteering in funds raising for one charity only to discover the total absence of any controls.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Churches also need to be queried. All charities should have to publish their accounts every year. These should be signed off by all members of their board. Then those accounts should be published using the same website mentioned in the article. Therefore if a member of the public has a concern they can review what s happening.
    Plus every charity should have to recertify at least every 3 years.