Saturday, February 10, 2018

OXFAM - Charities

The Times newspaper has written a number of articles exposing not only the scandals of some of Oxfam's staff in "earth quake-torn Haiti" as long ago as 2011, but also the apparent failures of that charity and the Charity Commission, to act firmly and openly by responding to and tackling, the  serious issues raised.

The scandals are said to arise from senior Oxfam staff using prostitutes whilst working for Oxfam in Haiti. The charity seem to have let the perpetrators leave their employment with Oxfam but did not then give a full report to the Charity Commissioners in England nor presumably, to HM Government, which continued to fund the charity with £millions.

Worse still, some of the former Oxfam staff involved  appear then to have secured posts with other charities, with the latter aparently not being forewarned by Oxfam  even to be careful.

Naturally following The Times reporting, everybody is blaming everyone else for the scandals. 

Probably the Charity Commission should have done more at the time the scandal was partially reported to it and likewise the government of the day but the real culprit apart from the rogue staff themselves, must  be Oxfam.

The Times reports that the government is reviewing its funding policy for Oxfam which runs apparently to over £30m annually.

Preventing the poor and helpless from losing out through Oxfam's failures is surely a priority? Simply denying Oxfam the funds would hardly assist the charity's really needy beneficiaries. 

Perhaps the Charity Commissioners of England and Wales could consider removing Oxfam's board and appointing its own at least for a limited period. That would serve to keep the undoubted general good work of the Charity continuing yet at the same time, serve as a lesson to Oxfam and charity trustees more generally, that good governance is key to the financial charitable reliefs that are given to all charities, in the interest of furthering their charitable works.

The relevant legal provisions for the above (gratitude to Third Sector) are:

The commission has the power to suspend a trustee or employee at a charity for a maximum of 12 months while it considers whether to remove them from their role, according to the commission’s website. Removing a trustee means they are disqualified from acting as a trustee of any other charity. The regulator has previously expressed frustration at the fact that the rules allow suspended trustees to resign from their position before they are formally removed.

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