After Shaun Bailey's 'panic' statement to The Times about the £16k unaccounted spending by the My Generation charity where he is chief executive (see blogs below), he has been more careful preparing comments to other media. But these latest responses have raised more questions.
Bailey told Civil Society: "My Generation is a small charity that has experienced rapid growth. At that time we had a full-time staff of only two people responsible for all of the charity's projects and administration. Like many small charities and voluntary organisations, it took us some time to develop the administrative processes."
But the accounts in question are for the third full year that the charity has operated - 2008-9. Three years should be more than long enough to sort these things out, particularly for someone who aspires to be an MP. Surely the charity's chief executive should have dealt with this 'bad administration'?
In a statement to Third Sector, Bailey said the trustees of My Generation believed the discrepancy arose because the charity changed accountants and it appeared that the old accountants did not pass all the invoices on to the new accountants. "As soon as the paper trail is clarified, the complete 2008/9 accounts will be re-submitted so that everything is clear. The charity's accountants are waiting to see what information can be recovered and then will provide an explanation to the Charity Commission."
The question for Bailey is: why did the independent accountants not highlight this in their comments in the 2008-9 accounts? And why did it take so long to come up with this reason?
No doubt there will be plenty of other questions from the Charity Commission when they examine the 2008-9 accounts in detail. Such as what was the £16k spent on? And who funds My Generation?