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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Acevo launches blistering attack on Shawcross appointment

This news post is about 9 years old

​Pressure mounts on Shawcross as Acevo attacks his re-appointment

A body representing England’s charity chief executives has “grave concerns” over the re-appointment of William Shawcross as Charity Commission chair.

In an open letter posted on its website Acevo attacked the process by which the appointment was made saying it was made “on the quiet”.

Addressed to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, Sir Stepen Bubb, Acevo’s chief executive, said it was dubious how that the appointment had been made “nine months early” and just “three months before a general election”.

I and many of my colleagues in the charity sector...are surprised to learn the appointment has been made already

“Shawcross’ initial appointment followed a period of advertisement, shortlisting and a pre-appointment hearing from May 2012,” he said. “I and many of my colleagues in the charity sector, our supporters, donors and beneficiaries are therefore surprised to learn that the appointment has been made already.

“The fact that this appointment has taken place less than three months before a general election will serve only to raise those concerns in the mind of the public. They deserve and require assurance as to the absolute propriety of the processes that have been followed to make this appointment.”

Bubb asked whether due process has been followed and if the recruitment process was conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies.

The attack comes on top of criticism from former Charity Commission chief executive Andrew Hind who said that, under Shawcross’s leadership, the commission wasn’t fit for purpose.

However, the Cabinet Office said: “Under the impressive leadership of William Shawcross the Charity Commission is addressing longstanding weaknesses so it can effectively and proportionately regulate the charitable sector.

“His reappointment - and the additional day he is working for no further remuneration - will ensure these changes are effectively implemented."