Commission orders independent review of RSPCA governance

02 Mar 2016 News

The Charity Commission has told the RSPCA to hire auditors to conduct an inquiry into the charity’s structure and governance, in the wake of revelations of trustee resignation last week.

A spokesman told Civil Society News that the regulator has asked the RSPCA to carry out a full review of its governance structure in order to “regularise current governance issues with the charity”.

It will be the second time in 18-months that the RSPCA has been forced to launch a major review of its structure.

A Charity Commission spokesmen said: "The Commission has regular and ongoing engagement with the RSPCA, as it does with a number of large charities.

“We were aware of the trustees’ resignation. We have recommended that the charity conduct an externally-led, independent governance review.

“This will enable them to regularise current governance issues with the charity."

According to the charity, the RSPCA board voted unanimously at a meeting on 24 February to agree to the Commission’s request for an independent audit.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “The RSPCA is committed to ensuring that its governance arrangements remain appropriate for a leading national charity and that the Council as the charity’s governing body continues to provide effective leadership and accountability for the RSPCA so we can fulfil our vital mission to prevent cruelty to animals and improve their welfare.

“The RSPCA will be carrying out an independent, external review of its governance. This was a decision unanimously agreed by trustees on 24 February.”

This comes after the news that two RSPCA trustees have resigned from the charity’s board in the last six months, saying they could no longer support the board and current leadership of the charity. The RSPCA has been without a chief executive since February 2014.

In resignation letters seen by Civil Society News, former trustee Sally Phillips said that the RSPCA is being “ill-led by its trustees” and that it had recruited candidates who “did not fit the society’s requirements with regard to animal welfare being put forward”.

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