Collapsed charity Kids Company received at least £46m of public money despite repeated concerns about how it was run, the National Audit Office has found.
There was a “consistent pattern” of the charity receiving grants after claiming it would close without them, it said.
Kids Company got more Department for Education money than any other charity in 2011, and officials relied on its own performance reviews, the NAO said. Kids Company’s founder Camila Batmanghelidjh has denied claims the charity was financially mismanaged.
Ms Batmanghelidjh has previously said there had been a “malicious discrediting campaign” against the charity, while Alan Yentob, who was charity chairman, and is the BBC’s creative director, said suggestions of financial mismanagement were “complete rubbish”.
Ex-children’s minister Tim Loughton said he warned the Department for Education against giving a “very sizeable” grant to Kids Company in 2012. The NAO found it received public funding for at least 15 years, with at least £42m provided in government grants, including £28m from the Department for Education (DfE) and its predecessors.
It also received about £2m from councils and £2m from the National Lottery. The charity confirmed it had closed on 5th August.
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What was Kids Company?
- Founded in 1996 in south London by Camila Batmanghelidjh
- Relied on donations and government money and was backed by Prime Minister David Cameron
- Financial difficulties first reported to councils in June
- Ministers approved £3m grant on 26 June
- In July, police said specialist child abuse investigators were looking into the charity
- The Cabinet Office tried to reclaim the £3m and the charity confirmed it had closed on 5 August