NCVO begins governance review

11 Aug 2021 News

Dr Priya Singh, chair elect, NCVO

NCVO has appointed external consultants to help undertake a “wide-ranging” governance review at the umbrella body.

Radojka Miljevic and James Tickell, from the consultancy firm Campbell Tickell, will support work to assess whether NCVO’s governance structures are “fit for purpose”, the charity said.

NCVO also confirmed that it has appointed Nazia Mirza, an independent policy consultant, as the chair of its equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) committee.

It has been under pressure to strengthen its EDI work since allegations earlier this year that some staff had faced bullying and discrimination.

Equity ‘at the heart of our governance’

In a statement published late last week, Priya Singh, chair of trustees at NCVO, said that the review will “fully assess and report on whether our governance structures, processes, relationships, and documentation are fit for purpose moving forwards. 

“It will examine the roles, groups, and committees of the board. In parallel, the review will ensure equity and inclusion are at the heart of our governance as part of our culture change roadmap. 

“The review will also look at how we ensure our new organisational values are central to the way decisions are made. 

“It will engage members and wider staff, so we clearly understand the impact of our governance across the widest stakeholder landscape as possible.”

Campbell Tickell has previously worked with a wide range of charity sector bodies, including Amnesty International, Refugee Council and the Charity Commission, according to its website.

Equalities chair announced

Singh also confirmed that NCVO appointed an interim chair of its EDI committee earlier this year.

She told Civil Society News: “We appointed Nazia Mirza, a consultant with extensive experience in EDI, as the interim independent chair of our EDI board sub-committee in April.”

Singh added: “All board committees, including the EDI committee, will continue to meet during the review. Once the governance review is completed, we will recruit to the new permanent governance structure.” 

NCVO was forced to restart its search for a chair of the EDI committee after its first-choice candidate withdrew in March.

On her website, Mirza describes herself as “a policy-maker in the public sector”, as well as a poet and artist.

No role for former trustee

However, former NCVO board member Kiran Kaur has not taken up an offer to work as an adviser with the EDI committee.

Kaur quit the NCVO board in February, less than a year into her three-year term as a trustee, saying that “the change I seek is beyond this role”.

NCVO later told its members that Kaur had been offered the chance to work as an adviser with the new EDI committee, but Singh said that “Kiran is not currently acting in an advisory role.

“We are grateful to Kiran for the significant contribution and insight she brought during her time as a trustee at NCVO.”

Editor's note: 12 August 

Priya Singh's quote about the appointment of the EDI chair has been changed at NCVO's request. 

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