As well as appointing a Chief Executive who wrote for an AIDS denialist magazine, the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH) have also come under scrutiny for alleged financial irregularities and channeling money from a disgraced politician, Dame Shirley Porter, to fund a commissioned report, the Smallwood Report. Motivated by this I have examined the accounts for the FIH and some of the various bodies that have funded them, including the Porter Foundation- Dame Porter’s charitable organisation. This has revealed some unusual transactions.
The Smallwood Report was originally to have been funded by the FIH but ended up being directly commissioned by the Prince of Wales who, apparently, wished to remain discrete about the fact that it was funded by Dame Porter.
The 2005 accounts from the Porter Foundation show that £50,000 was given directly to the FIH as a grant, subsequent accounts from the Porter Foundation reveal that this was a one off payment and they did not fund the FIH further. There is nothing untoward in the Porter Foundation accounts as far as I am aware. However, there are some strange entries in the accounts for the FIH in this period.
The 2005 accounts for the FIH shows that £48,104 was received as a grant from the Prince’s Charities Foundation, another of the Prince of Wales’ charity organisations, to fund the Smallwood report. This precise sum is listed in both the incoming and outgoing resource columns for that year, as well as in the incoming grants section, suggesting the money was spent or transferred outside the FIH. There is no record of the £50,000 from the Porter Foundation in the accounts for this year.
There are also other incidences of discrepancies between the entries for incoming funds, and the accounts of these funders.
In 2004 the Prince’s Charities Foundation donated £447,500 to the FIH, yet the FIH accounts list a donation of £400,000 from this foundation.
In 2005 the Prince’s Charities Foundation donated £525,038 to the FIH, yet the FIH accounts list a donation of £598,014.
This information is taken from the FIH’s 2005 accounts and the 2004/05 accounts of the Prince’s Charities Foundation.
Curiously only the 2005 accounts from the FIH list the specific contributions from the Prince’s Charities Foundation, although the latter’s accounts make clear that they have donated large sums of money to the FIH in the form of grants, as follows:
These grants are roughly split in half each year as restricted and unrestricted funds. Their absence from the accounts maybe because these donations have been included as part of the voluntary income of the FIH, rather than listed as grants. However, the accounts from all years do list specific grants of Restricted Funds as income, with the exception of 2005, there is no record of donations from the Prince’s Charities Foundation as Restricted Grants in the FIH accounts. The Prince’s Charities Foundation have given the FIH £2,738,936 over 6 years and there is almost no record of this within the FIH accounts.
- the FIH have not listed grants from the Porter Foundation, despite this organisation clearly indicating it gave the FIH money
- the money spent on the Smallwood report does not match that received from the Porter Foundation
- in 2004/05 the sums received from the Prince’s Charities Foundation do not match those listed in the accounts
- in all other years there is no record of grants from the Prince’s Charities Foundation, despite the latter donating almost £3million to the FIH
I have asked the FIH to specifically comment on these discrepancies for nearly two weeks. They have not responded despite repeated requests for comment. This may be indicative of wider problems at the FIH, they still have not submitted their most recent accounts to the Charities Commission, they now have less than 10 days to submit them before the Charity Commission is obliged to take action.
If, despite reminders, a charity’s accounts and Annual Return or its Annual Update have not been received 4 months after the end of the 10 month period in which they are required to submit the documents, it is a strong indication that they are no longer operating. The charity is notified at this point that if we do not receive their due documents in the following 2 months they may be removed from the Register or subject to further action.
Are the FIH still operating?
The implications of the FIH ceasing to operate would be enormous. This is not a minor charity run by some incompetent quacks, this a charity whose founder and President is the UK’s future King, the Prince of Wales, and run by some of the most respected and influential advocates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the country. The charity helped to set up the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), a regulatory body for CAM practitioners, as well as being a powerful lobby for the acceptance of CAM. Without the FIH, the CAM community would find its influence in the elected and unelected of the Houses of Parliament compromised. There would also be awkward constitutional issues raised, the Prince of Wales and the FIH have already been attacked for a ‘vendetta’ against Professor Edzard Ernst, despite the Prince being required not to involve himself in politics. If it turns out that the financial discrepancies were part of a larger, very serious, problem then there would be considerable questions over the Prince’s judgement as well as character and his many critics would demand a full investigation. This could result in the unprecedented investigation of a future monarch as part of a wider investigation into financial fraud.
We should find out the likelihood of this in 10 days.
The Quackometer has some analysis of the position the FIH finds itself in as well as strong words of condemnation for its actions.
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