Press release

Charity Commission agrees terms for independent review of Oxfam GB's safeguarding arrangements

The terms are set out for an external review of Oxfam GB's governance, management, policies and practices with regard to safeguarding.

placeholder

The Charity Commission has agreed the terms of an independent review of safeguarding at Oxfam GB. The independent review will work closely with and be subject to the supervision of the Commission’s statutory inquiry into the charity.

The external review of Oxfam GB’s governance, management and its policies and practices with regard to safeguarding will be chaired by Kate Gallafent QC. Jim Gamble QPM, CEO of Ineqe Group Limited, an independent company with considerable expertise in safeguarding matters, has been commissioned to conduct the independent review.

The statutory inquiry was opened on 12 February 2018 after the Commission examined documents regarding allegations of misconduct by staff involved in Oxfam GB’s humanitarian response in 2011.

The independent review’s work will include examination of:

  • Oxfam GB’s current safeguarding arrangements
  • Oxfam GB’s management of safeguarding allegations since 2011
  • Oxfam GB’s reporting of all relevant and applicable matters, accurately and to the levels required:
    • as serious incidents to the Commission
    • to law enforcement or other respective agencies in the UK and in other countries where appropriate
    • to statutory funders in the UK and other principal donors

It will also examine the charity’s progress in implementing the requirements of the safeguarding action plan agreed with the Commission in November 2017.

The review will make recommendations to the trustees and the Commission on relevant matters including future safeguarding arrangements for the charity and support Oxfam GB in the delivery of any changes considered necessary.

Harvey Grenville, Head of Investigations and Enforcement at the Charity Commission said:

The public rightly expects charities to operate to high safeguarding standards. The Commission has therefore ensured that the terms of reference of this review have been drafted to guarantee independent scrutiny and rigour. We expect the review to support Oxfam GB in developing its existing action plan to deliver an improved safeguarding framework for the future which meets these standards.

Anyone with information that could be relevant to the inquiry is advised to contact OxfamInquiry@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk.

The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  2. Search for charities on our online register.
  3. Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.
  4. It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. In this case, the Commission also plans to issue an interim report in May. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.
  5. The Commission recently announced a new suite of measures on safeguarding including the establishment of a dedicated safeguarding task force.
  6. Jim Gamble QPM is a former Chief Police Officer and was the founding Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Mr Gamble is currently the CEO of specialist safeguarding consultancy INEQE Group and the Independent Chair of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board and Bromley Safeguarding Children Board.

Press office

Published 28 March 2018