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Reasonable use of resources/public money

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Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 14.09.11 16:19

Question for PeterMac or anyone else who might have police background:



Although this type of case is extremely rare/one of a kind, the McCanns have repeatedly stated that they do not believe enough is being done. I disagree based on the following:



1) Over 11000 documents in public domain (I think I recall that the total was closer to 30,000 completed by PJ)



2) Rogatory interviews done in Leicestershire



3) Governement spokesperson



4) Government review of £3 1/2 million



5) Global media exposure



6) Millions of pounds of public donations



I have no idea of the total number of hours or total cost to the taxpayer, or if this is a normal amount of resources thrown at a case, but I do think that some of the manhours will have been to the detriment of other equally important investigations.



I think they have a bit of a cheek TBH to expect so much from the public purse, what do others think?



EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to say, that for the purposes of this question, forget all the old carp surrounding this case, consider it a direct comparison to other investigations. IE, is the investment in this case abnormal?

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Guest on 14.09.11 16:34

Yes

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 14.09.11 16:48

straight to the point!

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by jd on 14.09.11 17:10

According to kate not enough is being done:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8572479/Kate-McCann-victims-of-burglary-get-better-treatment-than-families-of-missing-loved-ones.html

To quote "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.
"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing"
"This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."
She went on: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry.
"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Astounding isn't it

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 14.09.11 17:25

Well that is astounding. I don't recall anyone getting this much attention etc and their claims that it is next to nothing is rubbish. Victim support eh? She had Justine McGuinness, Clarence Mitchell, a meeting with Teresa May, celebrity endorsements, 24/7 news coverage for months, two police forces, what the hell more could have been done?



I've said it before and I'll say it again, Madeleine is not any more important than any other child who has befallen a tradgedy.



If people want to get mad at an injustice against a child or children, EVERY 7 SECONDS or so a child dies from starvation somewhere in the world. That is a far bigger tradgedy IMHO.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Guest on 14.09.11 17:44

Some of the support they received....................

At home and abroad: team Madeleine

Last updated at 08:52 15 May 2007

Behind Kate and Gerry McCann is a growing band of family, friends and specialists desperately trying to ease their burden. The original party of friends who flew out to the Algarve with their children and the McCanns remain in Praia da Luz comforting the couple while the team, both at home and abroad, is maximising publicity and expertise. Here MICHAEL SEAMARK profiles Team Madeleine


The lawyers

The McCanns have instructed the International Family Law Group, specialist London lawyers in child abduction and international family law, together with barrister Michael Nicholls QC, to help them in the search for Madeleine.
Mr McCann said the arrival of lawyers from the firm in Praia da Luz had meant 'a burden being lifted from our shoulders' and the law group says members of the public will soon be able to make their own financial contribution to a 'fighting fund' for the search, which could pay for private detectives across Europe.
Mark Warner, the holiday company the McCanns booked with, said accommodation and flights for them and their relatives was being given free for as long as the family needed it.

The family priest

Father Paul Seddon married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine. He led a service to pray for her safe return at Our Lady of Compassion Church in Formby, near Liverpool, last Thursday night.
The Roman Catholic parish priest and family friend had been in regular phone and text contact with the distraught couple in the aftermath of her disappearance.
He flew out at the weekend and accompanied Kate to Mass on Sunday.

The PR man

Experiemced public relations man Alex Woolfall has been acting as the family spokesman when Kate and Gerry McCann have not wished to appear themselves before the world's media.
He is described as press officer for the Mark Warner holiday group but, in fact, has been seconded from the Bell Pottinger Group - the PR firm headed by Lord Bell, Lady Thatcher's former PR guru.

The Cracker experts

Two criminal behaviour experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre flew into Portugal to help assist in the hunt.Detective Superintendent Graham Hill of Surrey Police has worked on a string of high-profile cases, including the kidnap and murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler - whose body was found in a Hampshire wood six months after she was snatched in 2002 while walking home from school. Joe Sullivan, a forensic psychologist, has wide experience of child-sex murders and paedophile rings.

Trauma counsellors

Mark Warner flew out two specialist counsellors to help comfort the McCanns, spending time with the couple through the traumatic days. Leicestershire police sent three family liaison officers.

Back in Glasgow

Madeleine'es uncle John McCann is spearheading the fight to keep her 'name up there so no one forgets about her'.
The family are targeting the 40,000 Spanish fans and 500 journalists from across Europe congregating in Glasgow for tomorrow's UEFA Cup final at Hampden Park between Seville and Espanyol.
Mr McCann, a 48-year- old drugs company representative, hopes to gain permission for a picture of his niece to be placed on every seat at the stadium.

Leicester

Thousands have travelled to the McCanns' home village of Rothley to place messages on railings by the village green, no longer visible beneath a mass of yellow ribbons.
Villagers and visitors alike have begun to tie yellow ribbons to their vehicles while in nearby Queniborough - the McCanns' home until a year ago - Madeleine's great-uncle Brian Kennedy was among those who released 40 pink balloons on Saturday to mark her birthday.

Liverpool

Before Sunday's Premiership match at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, the Everton players ran out wearing T-shirts featuring Madeleine's picture and fans in the crowd carried banners calling for her safe return


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-454949/At-home-abroad-team-Madeleine.html#ixzz1XwhBkKZN

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by puzzled on 14.09.11 19:29

@Smokeandmirrors wrote:

I think they have a bit of a cheek TBH to expect so much from the public purse, what do others think?


Nothing that you do for a narcissist is ever enough.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Lemain on 07.10.11 23:02

@Smokeandmirrors wrote:............. the McCanns have repeatedly stated that they do not believe enough is being done.

The McCanns might have done more themselves, starting with answering the questions put to KM by the Portuguese Police. The moment they refused to answer questions from the police was the moment they disqualified themselves from the right to criticise the police. From that moment on, the entire investigation was by the state for the state.

Furthermore, the PJ say that they told the McCanns that their activities were hindering the investigation.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by jmac on 08.10.11 0:02

I believe public resources have been squandered in this case. One of the reasons for that is that the parents` strategy to find Madeleine cannot work. By drawing attention to missing Madeleine year in year out they sealed her fate. That`s if there was an abduction. I do not understand why people still accept this strategy as workable.

It would have been preferable and cost less I am sure if the police had got on quietly and discretely with their own investigation rather than have the parents run the show. It would have been helpful if the McCanns had cooperated.

The McCanns have no right to complain. They have had a bigger slice of the cake than other parents of missing children and to no avail. As a society we have a right to complain about the McCanns and how they have wasted so much and made such a mess of the investigation.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by mexx on 08.10.11 4:57

The Fund is, supposedly, to search for Madeleine and they have misspent millions worth of it... Is there any way that the remaining funds can be sequestered to cover the huge cost of the review which, after all, they asked for!

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Lemain on 08.10.11 8:52

@mexx wrote:The Fund is, supposedly, to search for Madeleine and they have misspent millions worth of it... Is there any way that the remaining funds can be sequestered to cover the huge cost of the review which, after all, they asked for!

It all depends on what you call 'misspent'. ISTR that the fund was always deliberately NOT a charity; had it been registered as a charity in the UK then special rules would have applied, probably disallowing some of the application of some of the funds. Instead, on its website, the McCanns describe the campaign as a "non-charitable
not-for-profit company," which was set up to "help find Madeleine McCann
and to support her family and bring her abductors to justice".

So any drawings by the McCanns for private use -- presumably with the permission of the trustees -- seems to be legal. So are payments to Methodo 3 -- though one wonders at the size of their fee and where all of that ended up especially as the directors of M3 are not exactly of choir-boy reputation.

When they launched the fund, I thought it was a sick joke for the family to spend the money on themselves and the joke gets sicker by the month.

As for sequestering the fund to pay for police time in the UK, I suspect that the UK police and the PJ would need to make a claim against the fund. I suspect that this would require them to prove that their time and resources had been deliberately wasted. To do that, I suspect you'd need a conviction against one or other of the parents -- but I doubt that's going to happen. The best we might hope for at this late stage is a death-bed confession by one of those involved or one of their consciences to be pricked.

Has anyone ever heard of the Find Madeleine fund giving financial support for other missing children - one of the deliberate first aims of the fund? Certainly this case has been soured by the Monopoly-sized amount of cash collected.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by PeterMac on 08.10.11 9:00

@Lemain wrote:
Has anyone ever heard of the Find Madeleine fund giving financial support for other missing children - one of the deliberate first aims of the fund? Certainly this case has been soured by the Monopoly-sized amount of cash collected.

No.
"The full objects of the Fund are:
• To secure the safe return to her family of Madeleine McCann who was abducted in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007;
• To procure that Madeleine's abduction is thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to justice; and
• To provide support, including financial assistance, to Madeleine's family.
If the above objects are fulfilled then the objects of the Foundation shall be to pursue such purposes in similar cases arising in the United Kingdom, Portugal or elsewhere."


Very important IF and THEN.
1 Madeleine McCann can never be returned safely to her family. They know that.
2 Her "abductor" can never be identified and brought to justice. They know that.

The IF clause is incapable of fulfilment, and so the THEN clause will never be activated.
Meanwhile the fund can legally be used to give financial assistance to the family.

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The "transparent" fund

Post by Marian on 08.10.11 9:06

You got there before me PeterMac. Here's a link to the Find Madeleine website page about the aims of the fund and other information.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/about_the_campaign/index.html

I was unaware that there was ever an intention of providing assistance to anyone else with missing children. The family of Shannon Matthews supposedly contacted the fund for help but whether that was true I don't know.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Lemain on 08.10.11 9:39

@PeterMac wrote:....................Very important IF and THEN..............The IF clause is incapable of fulfilment, and so the THEN clause will never be activated.
Meanwhile the fund can legally be used to give financial assistance to the family.

I hadn't realised that there was an if/then surrounding other similar cases. Suppose, then, that Madeleine's remains were found -- and proven to be hers -- the objects could never be fulfilled in full and since there would be clearly no point in continuing the search for the girl, the fund would have to concentrate on finding the perpetrator(s) and supporting the family (which might be one and the same thing if a dodgy PI firm is used)?

Looking the trust up on the trust's website http://www.findmadeleine.com/about_us/madeleines-fund.html I found at the bottom this little gem....
Anyone who wishes further information with regards to the financial
details of Madeleine's Fund and its professional advisors, please refer
to the accounts filed at Companies House. Crown Way Maindy Cardiff CF14
3UZ

While it's true that accounts are filed at Companies House (which is accessible online) only the most basic details are free. You then have to pay to access more detail. Wouldn't it have been an act of simple decency, honesty and transparency to attach those accounts (at least the ones that are in the public domain already, such as Companies House) and make them downloadable? As it stands, if a donor -- probably of far more limited means than a family with two medical doctors -- wants to know how his/her money was spent, he has to pay CH for the information.

Of course it isn't a legal requirement that they should do so; isn't that the general situation when it comes to those parents? Hide their activities behind every legal shield they can find, blow a few raspberries, grab a fistful of fivers and duck down again while suing anyone who has the gall to speak ill of them....and if the perpetrator isn't worth suing, they make him govel, grovel, grovel.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Miraflores on 08.10.11 9:52

How are the legal fees for Carter-Ruck and the various court cases in Portugal being financed?

Is it from the Fund? If so, under which clause? This seems to be the only likely clause, but I can't see how this covers taking Amaral to court or covers Carter Rucks actions.
• To procure that Madeleine's abduction is
thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who
played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to
justice;


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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Lemain on 08.10.11 10:06

By the way, below is the link to the free info at Companies House -- if it doesn't work for you (i.e. if you have to go in via their CH portal) then go to companieshouse.gov.uk and do a webcheck for "MADELEINE'S FUND: LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED LIMITED"

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/47907a36d08eb17a0141f5309115cdcc/wcprodorder?ft=1

I see that Peter Hubner is shown as 'Appointment Terminated' rather than 'director resigned' though I don't know the legal significance of that, if any.

Mods and Admin: Documents are £1 each. If this forum wanted to raise enough to buy the lot, I'd chip-in via PayPal though I don't know the legality of posting them here (copyright, etc.). £36 should cover the lot, I think, and I'd happily chip-in a pound.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Lemain on 08.10.11 10:17

@Miraflores wrote:How are the legal fees for Carter-Ruck and the various court cases in Portugal being financed?

Is it from the Fund? If so, under which clause? This seems to be the only likely clause, but I can't see how this covers taking Amaral to court or covers Carter Rucks actions.
• To procure that Madeleine's abduction is
thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who
played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to
justice


You could argue that those who publicly state that the child is dead are impeding the legitimate search for her. To an extent that's true. Had Ameral and other interested parties (including this forum) not promulgated negative comments about the parents and the disappearance then almost certainly the Fund (sorry, the company limited by guarantee, controlled by the McCanns and their family) would have had more money available to pay to PIs, lawyers, and the family of Kate and Gerry, if needed. It's sufficiently borderline, I would have thought, to be not worth taking legal action over especially since Kate and Gerry seem to have friends in VERY high places, from the Pope, Prime Ministers, down.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by PeterMac on 08.10.11 11:48

"• To procure that Madeleine's abduction is thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to justice; "
It is very clever wording. Not for nothing did they employ 'good' solicitors.
It could have said
To procure that the circumstances surrounding Madeleine's disappearance are thoroughly investigated, and that any person or persons in any way involved are indentified and brought to justice.
But it doesn't. Which means that the Fund will always be available to the McCanns for their private use. And Legally !

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by jmac on 08.10.11 13:48

One of the aims of the Madeleine Fund is to procure the `thorough investigation` of the abduction of Madeleine. I would like to know in what way the Fund has procured a `thorough investigation`. It looks like they have done a pretty botched job so far with some of their private investigators now doing a prison sentence. Surely this is evidence of the abuse of funds and they should be held accountable for this. But what body could the public appeal to? Is there such a body?

And what is a `thorough investigation` anyway, apart from two words on a screen? Is there a body who could ask for clarification, ask for the specifics, oversee everything with reference to the specifics, get reports and scrutinize the results? Has the public no right to these kind of assurances? Or would that just cost more money?

The word `thorough` has got to mean `based on sound methodology`. What is their methodology? Has it ever been specified?

I know I`m struggling here but I can`t help but feel that the way to begin to question the legality of the Fund is to go more deeply into this aspect of the Fund`s aims. What seems to have happened so far has been haphazard and all over the place. But it wasn`t supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be `thorough`.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Angelique on 08.10.11 16:48

@PeterMac wrote:
@Lemain wrote:
Has anyone ever heard of the Find Madeleine fund giving financial support for other missing children - one of the deliberate first aims of the fund? Certainly this case has been soured by the Monopoly-sized amount of cash collected.

No.
"The full objects of the Fund are:
• To secure the safe return to her family of Madeleine McCann who was abducted in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007;
• To procure that Madeleine's abduction is thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to justice; and
• To provide support, including financial assistance, to Madeleine's family.
If the above objects are fulfilled then the objects of the Foundation shall be to pursue such purposes in similar cases arising in the United Kingdom, Portugal or elsewhere."


Very important IF and THEN.
1 Madeleine McCann can never be returned safely to her family. They know that.
2 Her "abductor" can never be identified and brought to justice. They know that.

The IF clause is incapable of fulfilment, and so the THEN clause will never be activated.
Meanwhile the fund can legally be used to give financial assistance to the family.

As PeterMac has stated the aims of the fund can never be fulfilled and it shows why the McCanns are so desperate not to let GA publish and to try and stamp out any dissent. When the greater public realise that there are discrepancies regarding the abduction theory and that there may be no chance of Madeleine's abductor being apprehended - then the donations from the public will probably cease.

It's similar to the Reward - that also cannot never be achieved.

This is what is so galling for me and it rankles me that they have so organised everything for their own protection from beginning to end. The fact that we only gain the information at a later date means that they gain the high ground every time.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by PeterMac on 08.10.11 16:59

@jmac wrote:One of the aims of the Madeleine Fund is to procure the `thorough investigation` of the abduction of Madeleine. I would like to know in what way the Fund has procured a `thorough investigation`. SNIP
We need to put the quotes round the whole phrase
"thorough investigation of the abduction..."
Since there was no abduction, where does that leave the investigation into it ? Anything they do will by definition be thorough. They are doing all they can to investigate a non existent scenario / hypotheseis / assumption. They can do no more.
They are not required to produce results, merely to pretend to investigate something that in fact did not happen.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Angelique on 09.10.11 1:30

PeteMac

Nail - head!

They can swan off doing interviews and Edgar can sit on a desk and be photographed till the cows come home - and probably will. Full body protection to ask for donations and make appeals.

I wonder though - if the contributors to the Reward also know the chances of being called upon to stump up the anti is virtually nil. No risk involved.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by PeterMac on 09.10.11 8:08

@Angelique wrote:I wonder though - if the contributors to the Reward also know the chances of being called upon to stump up the anti is virtually nil. No risk involved.
Very probably. Similar to the £ 100,000 prize offered for anyone who can fly more than 100 yards off Brighton Pier, or wherever it is. A wonderful diversion from the fact that it is impossible of achievement.
Rather like this case in fact.

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by jmac on 09.10.11 21:11

@PeterMac wrote:
@jmac wrote:One of the aims of the Madeleine Fund is to procure the `thorough investigation` of the abduction of Madeleine. I would like to know in what way the Fund has procured a `thorough investigation`. SNIP
We need to put the quotes round the whole phrase
"thorough investigation of the abduction..."
Since there was no abduction, where does that leave the investigation into it ? Anything they do will by definition be thorough. They are doing all they can to investigate a non existent scenario / hypotheseis / assumption. They can do no more.
They are not required to produce results, merely to pretend to investigate something that in fact did not happen.

Thanks for the clarity of your thoughts on the matter
Yes, I understand that this can only ever be a pretend investigation since the aims are not achievable.
Neither is there any Trading Standards etc for a situation like this.
I did read in a thread below that it is possible for an individual who has donated to the Fund to hire their own lawyer to sue for fraud. But that would cost a fortune. Whether a case could actually be made I don`t know.
The deeper I think about this the more cynical the whole Fund seems. Shocking!

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Re: Reasonable use of resources/public money

Post by Gillyspot on 09.10.11 22:10

@Miraflores wrote:How are the legal fees for Carter-Ruck and the various court cases in Portugal being financed?

Is it from the Fund? If so, under which clause? This seems to be the only likely clause, but I can't see how this covers taking Amaral to court or covers Carter Rucks actions.
• To procure that Madeleine's abduction is
thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who
played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to
justice;

Carter Ruck denied in 2010 that they were being paid by the McCanns (that may have changed since) but I think it is no win no fee (as they expect to win. The fund is/was paying for suing Amaral as if you read the 2009 accounts.

Chairmans Statement

Paid for legal representation for Kate, Gerry, Sean & Amelie in Portugal, enabling them to obtain an injunction banning Mr Amaral from repeating his fabricated claims about Madeleine's abduction

Also:

In as far as is relevant the Fund follows best practice governance procedures as set out in the publication" Good Gvernance: A code for the Voluntary & Community Sector"

http://www.mccannfiles.com/id303.html

Now on the Charity Commission website one of the important criteria is

An effective board will provide good governance and leadership by being open and accountable.

"The board will lead the organisation in being open and accountable, both internally and externally. This will include:

open communications, informing people about the organisation and its work
appropriate consultation on significant changes to the organisation's services or policies
listening and responding to the views of supporters, funders, beneficiaries, service users and others with an interest in the organisation's work
handling complaints constructively, impartially and effectively
considering the organisation's responsibilities to the wider community, e.g. its environmental impact."

Does this mean that if anyone can prove using paypal etc that they have donated they should get more information from the McCanns "fund"?

Taken from this http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/Charity_governance/Good_governance/good_gov_code.aspx

As regards published Companies House information the 2010 accounts on www.mccannfiles.co.uk are the latest available so there is no need to go to companies house at this time.

In this it is interesting to note (again in the Chairman's statement) that the fund paid the McCanns

"provided some administrative support to Madeleine's family in maintaining the impetus of the investigation"

http://www.mccannfiles.com/id352.html

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