RSPCA governance must be 'brought up to standard' says Commission

13 Jun 2017 News

The Charity Commission has warned the RSPCA to bring its governance “up to the standard that the public would expect” in the wake of the departure of the charity's latest chief executive. 

Yesterday it emerged that the charity’s chief executive had left with immediate effect shortly before publication of a review of the charity’s governance, which was started last March on the recommendation of the regulator.

A Commission spokeswoman said that the regulator has been working with the charity. 

“We have been engaging with the charity, both about this review and more generally about its administration and management,” the spokeswoman said.

“The RSPCA is a significant institution and it is important that its governance is brought up to the standard that the public would expect."

An RSPCA spokeswoman said yesterday that the results of the review would be published soon.

Troubled charity 

Jeremy Cooper is the second chief executive to have left the RSPCA in recent years. In 2014 its chief executive, Gavin Grant quit, citing health reasons, and was followed within months by his deputy, John Grounds. It then took two years to find a new chief executive. At least three trustees have resigned in protest. 

RSPCA has been criticised by national media titles over its prosecution activity and has been the subject of scrutiny from a Commons committee.

It was also fined by the Information Commissioner's Office for breaching the Data Protection Act. It received the largest fine of any charity.

However its latest accounts for the year ending December 2016, recently published on its website, show the charity’s income rising by £20m to £144m, largely down to an increase in legacy income. 

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