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BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief corruption

The money that the public pay to BBC's Children In Need allegedly doesn't fully go to the charity only the interests does so how much is the BBC making from CIN and why don't they make this clear for the donor? 

Charity accounts reveal £87.7million invested in portfolios which the BBC will be handed out once they assess the impacts of other projects (pictured, charity mascot Pudsey and show host Terry Wogan)

The Daily Mail reported in 2014 that the broadcaster admitted staff knowingly withheld money meant for causes including Children in Need and Comic Relief. The scandal emerged after auditors carried out an investigation into the BBC’s phone-voting systems.

The cash was generated by callers voting after phone lines had closed on about 20 shows, believed to include Eurovision and Fame Academy, between October 2005 and September 2007.

They were still charged for their calls, typically around 25p a time, but the cash went into the bank account of BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, rather than the charities.

An internal audit showed that a number of workers in Audiocall, part of BBC Worldwide, repeatedly kept money back. It has now been passed on, with interest. The BBC has said the ‘small number’ of staff involved face disciplinary action.
In 2006 TV viewers were warned against giving money to the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

An independent watchdog said donating to the charity is ‘a bad idea’ because of its huge administration costs – £2.4million out of a total of £33million raised at the time.
Intelligent Giving said money is swallowed up by the need for two sets of bureaucrats: those who run the charity and those in charge of the organisations to which it gives money.

BBC 'shelves' Panorama exposé of Comic Relief

Telegraph reported that the planned broadcast of a Panorama investigation into Comic Relief has reportedly been cancelled after a string of BBC executives ruled themselves out of making decisions about it.

The documentary is understood to examine how the charity allegedly invested £150 million of its funds for up to eight years, before handing the money to the causes for which it had been raised.

Some of the money was allegedly invested in tobacco firms and an arms company.
By the end of last year, the charity was allegedly sitting on £261million in a mixture of shares, bonds and cash.
The six-month investigation also explores how staffing costs at Comic Relief have allegedly almost doubled from £7.1million a year in 2008 to £13.5 million by 2012.

A BBC source said “It has already been put back once and the worry is this investigation will never see the light of day.
“This is causing huge problems within the Corporation, opening a can of worms some would rather it stayed closed. 

"We’re struggling to find other execs to take the place of those who ruled themselves out due to a conflict of interest. This is the BBC in full-on post-Savile self-flagellation mode.”

Comic Relief raises millions of pounds through its two major fundraising campaigns, Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, to fight poverty in the UK and overseas.
Both campaigns receive extensive coverage on BBC television.
A record £75 million was raised for Comic Relief in March, to be spent on charity projects in Africa and Britain.

Comic Relief said operating costs “have gone up in order to generate more funds” and costs were covered by corporate sponsors and Gift Aid claims from HM Revenue and Customs.
In a statement released later, it added: “We can assure the public that Comic Relief takes the issue of managing money very seriously indeed and we publish full details of the approach taken on our website.

"These claims are inaccurate, misleading and show a total lack of understanding of the actual position.

"The charity has done nothing wrong. Comic Relief keeps its costs under close control and abides by all Charity Commission regulations.

"Importantly, Comic Relief is committed to making sure that every pound the charity gets directly from the public is a pound that goes towards helping transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people.”

The charity said it did not invest directly in any company but in blue chip managed funds, “to fulfil legal and Charity Commission requirements on how charities manage their money, and in line with independent advice.”

It said costs had increased because it was doing “more than ever before to help poor and vulnerable people across the world.”

A BBC spokesman said: “At any one time the BBC is working on any number of investigations. We don’t comment on these.”

Matchlight, the independent production company that carried out the investigation, declined to comment.

Comic Relief money invested in arms and tobacco shares

Millions of pounds donated to Comic Relief have been invested in funds with shares in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms, BBC Panorama has learned.
The BBC has also seen evidence which suggests Save the Children censored criticism of energy firms, to avoid upsetting corporate partners.
Comic Relief said it used its funds to "deliver the greatest benefits to the most vulnerable people".

Save the Children said its campaigns were unaffected by any partnerships.

Comic Relief has raised nearly £1bn for worthwhile causes in the UK and abroad.
It pays out the money it receives to other charities, sometimes over several years.
That means Comic Relief holds tens of millions of pounds at any one time.

The charity uses a number of managed funds which invests that money on the charity's behalf, including in the stock market.

Panorama has learnt that between 2007 and 2009, some of these investments, amounting to millions of pounds, appear to contradict several of its core aims.
Despite its mission statement claiming it is committed to helping "people affected by conflict", in 2009 the charity had £630,000 invested in shares in weapons firm BAE Systems.

Comic Relief also had more than £300,000 invested in shares in the alcohol industry despite its mission statement saying it is "working to reduce alcohol misuse and minimise alcohol-related harm".

The majority was invested in Diageo, which manufactures dozens of alcoholic drinks and was criticised by the Health Select Committee in 2009 for exploiting weaknesses in the regulation of alcohol advertising.

Comic Relief also appeals for money to fight tuberculosis and has given over £300,000 to a charity called Target Tuberculosis.

Target TB believes that smoking may be responsible for over 20% of TB cases worldwide.
While raising funds in 2009, nearly £3m of Comic Relief money was invested in shares in tobacco companies.

'Risking their reputation'

During that time, entrepreneur and Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne was a full trustee of Comic Relief.
In 2008 he made a BBC documentary attacking a tobacco company for targeting African children.
He told Panorama he "wouldn't put donors' money into tobacco companies" and said charities should invest ethically.

Ethical fund manager Helen Wildsmith looks after the cash of thousands of charities.
She said she was surprised that a charity as high profile as Comic Relief would risk its reputation and future donations.

"If people who've been giving them money, after watching the television, next year think twice and don't give that money, because they're concerned about their investment policy, then that could be argued to be a breach of fiduciary duty."
Comic Relief has now changed the way it presents its accounts and it is currently impossible for the public to tell which funds the charity currently invests in.
It declined to comment on whether any money invested since 2009 is in shares in alcohol, arms, or tobacco companies.

Comic Relief said its approach is within regulatory guidelines.
"We put the money into large managed funds, as many other leading charities and pension funds do," they said.
"On balance, we believe this is the approach that will deliver the greatest benefits to the most vulnerable people."

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