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Shaks Ghosh gives evidence to the Select Committee on Charities at the House of Lords

2.11.2016

'Call a task force to implement your report': Shaks Ghosh's recommendation to the Select Committee on Charities

Our CEO Shaks Ghosh gave evidence on issues relating to charity governance to the Select Committee on Charities at the House of Lords yesterday, alongside Marged Griffiths, CEO at Y Bont, and Eve Martin, the Chair of Trustees at Brook. All witnesses were invited to make recommendations to the committee, and Shaks called on them to develop a task force to implement their report.

‘My recommendation is that you immediately call for a task force for implementation [of the report]. We have had loads and loads of inquiries and reports; my worry is that they don’t get implemented’. When pushed further as to how the report should be implemented she said, ‘my big recommendation is about support and training for the team at the top - whether it’s executive or trustees.’

She made the case for CEOs and charity directors to act as strategic partners with trustees to make sure trustees get the information they need to make decisions. Going further, she said that training and leadership development were necessary for all senior personnel to ensure they understand what good governance is, and also the skills required to implement it.

Discussing the role of the Charity Commission Shaks stated the significance of their regulatory power but felt they could use their ‘soft powers’ more. ‘I think they could do more to support and guide...There are fantastic examples of good governance, good trusteeship, great leadership, and we need to see more evidence of this to help modernise the sector.

Shaks acknowledged that the inquiry comes at an important time for the sector, saying her biggest concern in her role as a leader is the fall in public trust. ‘It pierces me to my very heart… that the British public are starting to question our role and their confidence in what we do.

‘At a time when public trust is falling, I think we [the sector] have to act.’

The committee's final report is due by 31 March 2017 following a year-long investigation to consider issues related to sustaining the charity sector and the challenges of charity governance.

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