Future of Camden tenants’ group under threat following allegations of financial irregularities

The future of a voluntary group which looks after the interests of council tenants in Camden is under threat following allegations of financial irregularities.

The Ham&High understands that an interim audit by the council uncovered a series of concerns relating to the financing of the Camden Federation of Tenants and Residents Association. CFTRA refutes these suggestions.

A source at Camden Council revealed that the anti-fraud and investigations team within the audit department have been looking at CFTRA following a series of complaints.

The source said that the allegations arose before grant funding was issued and that ‘comprehensive due diligence’ had been undertaken.

The source said: “The existence of the Camden Fed is principally threatened not by the council, but by their own internal financial arrangements and governance processes.”

Four directors of the association have recently resigned and it is understood that the council has ‘grave concerns’ surrounding the governance of the organisation.

The source said: “The lack of robust governance arrangements combined more seriously with a series of recent financial decisions have placed the long term financial viability of the organisation in doubt.”

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“As a public body we have a duty to ensure that any grants paid to external organisations provide value for money and deliver the stated aims and objectives.”

The source added that a decision would be taken shortly on whether funding would continue.

A report due to go before the cabinet member for housing on July 5 recommends bringing the resident engagement support services and associated activities back under council control – including the transfer of one employed members of staff at CFTRA.

Cllr Julian Fulbrook, cabinet member for housing, said “I am extremely concerned with the issues that have been brought to my attention and I have asked officers to urgently look at how the housing advice and representational work currently carried out by the Camden Fed can be continued.”

A spokesman for CFTRA agreed that the future of the association was under threat but denied there had been any financial irregularities, saying it was due to the service going in-house.

The spokesman said: “Certain claims are completely unfounded.”