Oxfam GB Chief Executive Mark Goldring has this morning appeared before International Development Committee with news of more sexual misconduct claims.
During the session, chaired by Stephen Twigg MP, Goldring announced that the charity was now looking into a further 26 new claims of sexual misconduct, including 16 in its international operations, and that it had now appointed a former police officer to vet volunteers under new safeguarding actions.
Joined by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International and Caroline Thomson, chair of trustees for Oxfam GB, Goldring again apologised for the 2011 events in Haiti and the failings of the charity’s investigation into them, saying that Oxfam had to be held to the highest standards of personal behaviour, that the behaviour of the individuals concerned was not acceptable and that it was not acceptable that Oxfam had tolerated it and let some individuals resign instead of go through a disciplinary process.
Goldring also said that around 7,000 people had now cancelled regular donations in the last ten days, with corporate sponsors currently looking into the matter.
In reference to the charity’s DFiD funding, Goldring said that around 10% of its funding had come from DFiD. Oxfam has already agreed not to bid for further funding from DFiD while the allegations are investigated.
This was announced last Friday, 16 February, in a statement by International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, in which she said:
“Oxfam has agreed to withdraw from bidding for any new UK Government funding until DFID is satisfied that they can meet the high standards we expect of our partners”
She also said that all of DFiD’s charity partners had been asked to provide assurances regarding their safeguarding and reporting practices by 26 February.
“We have asked for assurances from all our charitable partners regarding their safeguarding and reporting practices by 26 February, including Oxfam. At that stage we will make further decisions about continuing or amending how those programmes are delivered. Our primary guiding principle in this will be the welfare of the beneficiaries of UK aid.
“The UK Government reserves the right to take whatever decisions about present or future funding to Oxfam, and any other organisation, that we deem necessary. We have been very clear that we will not work with any organisation that does not live up to the high standards on safeguarding and protection that we require.
Committee Chair Stephen Twigg has told Goldring that Oxfam must now get its house in order and demonstrate to the public that it is doing so.
Main image: Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB. Credit: Charlotte Ball.
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