Phil Groom writes:
Thanks to Mark Bennet, who explains a little of what this situation means:
The interim manager’s job is to obtain control of the assets and to ensure that they are used for the Charitable purposes for which they were intended. I would hesitate to say that someone just appointed would have control of all the assets, but they will be moving quickly to obtain such control, and also to trace any assets which have ‘gone missing’.
Whether this is good news so far as the USDAW cases are concerned is unclear, since court awards cannot be paid if there are no assets to pay them. However, it should bring some much-needed clarity to the situation.
Here is an official explanation:
An excerpt from that page:
The Charity Commission has the power to appoint an Interim Manager  to act as a receiver over a charity’s property. We can use this power only after opening a formal Inquiry under section 8 of the Charities Act 1993 (as amended by the 2006 Act) and after we have obtained evidence of misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of a charity or if it is necessary to protect the charity’s property.
Usually we appoint an Interim Manager to manage a charity to the exclusion of the trustees and the charity normally has to pay the Interim Manager’s fees. For this reason we appoint an Interim Manager only after very careful consideration of other possible solutions to the problems the charity in question faces. Where possible, appointments are made after a tender exercise, the purpose of which is to find an Interim Manager with the right skills and experience at a price that will provide the charity with value for money.
Although we can make appointments with the agreement of the charity trustees, most are imposed because in our view the problems facing the charity are sufficiently serious and the trustees are either unwilling or unable to put matters right themselves.