14 Feb 2018
WCVA have released a statement following Monday’s announcement that the Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Oxfam.
The Charity Commission inquiry follows shocking media coverage
about allegations of misconduct by Oxfam staff members who were
involved in the charity's Haiti Programme in 2011. The Commission
is concerned that Oxfam did not 'fully and frankly' disclose
material details about the allegations and its handling of the
incidents at the time.
Should the public be concerned about charities?
Fortunately incidents such as these are extremely rare, and the
overwhelming majority of charities not only operate in a
professional manner but make huge contributions to society. In
Wales we only have to look at some of the
organisations recognised at the Third Sector Awards Cymru last
week as examples of this.
However, this incident is a reminder to trustees of the
importance of maintaining high standards of governance and
safeguarding in their organisations. Episodes of this kind cause
untold harm to beneficiaries and serious, long-term damage to
public trust and confidence in charities.
It is the responsibility of trustees to ensure that their
organisations are well-governed and safeguarding is prioritised,
but only last week the Commission's annual compliance report
'Over half of serious
incidents reported by the charities to their regulator related to
As the national umbrella body for the third sector in Wales,
WCVA is here to support the sector in maintaining high standards of
practice in governance and safeguarding, ensuring that everyone who
comes into contact with their organisation is kept safe and does
not experience harm, and that organisations are well run.
WCVA and the national network of county voluntary councils
(CVCs) can provide information, guidance and signposting on
governance and safeguarding issues, and we'd encourage any
organisation to contact us for help getting these important areas
Charity Governance Code
Good governance in charities is fundamental to their success. It
enables and supports a charity's compliance with the law and
relevant regulations. It also promotes a culture where everything
works towards fulfilling the charity's vision. Visit www.charitygovernancecode.org to
find out more.