Charities – need to focus on beneficiaries and not self-interest - PKF Francis Clark
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Charities – need to focus on beneficiaries and not self-interest

Reputations are hard won and easily lost. If there’s one thing that we have learned this week, it’s that the management and culture of charities are now firmly under the spotlight with The Charity Commission issuing a warning to Oxfam about its “mismanagement” over the serious sexual misconduct of some of its key workers in Haiti.

The findings are unusually strongly worded regarding its lack of action regarding the individuals concerned and their dismissive treatment of the whistle-blowers who eventually managed to expose this story. On top of this, the reputational damage sustained by Oxfam is immense and is going to take years to repair, both in the charities sector and especially with the public.

Whilst Oxfam has accepted the findings, saying what happened in Haiti was “shameful”, this showcases how wrong things can go without accountable and transparent good governance. A robust risk management strategy is vital and should define the responsibilities of executives and trustees to ensure that services on the ground are delivered in accordance with the charity’s vision, mission and values. Sadly, in this case, Oxfam failed to deliver on the above.

You can read an update on the charities and not for profit sector, good governance and risk management in our latest newsletter.

 For the full findings of the Charity Commission click here

FEATURING: Duncan Leslie
Duncan is an audit partner based in our Plymouth and Truro offices and is focused mainly on larger businesses. He previously spent 20 years at… read more
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