Bubb and Lewis: 'no more secrecy'

The chair and chief executive of Futurebuilders England have spoken out against secrecy agreements on the loans it makes to third sector organisations.

Stephen Bubb, chair of the organisation, and Jonathan Lewis, its chief executive, were commenting on a confidentiality clause that prevents publication of the terms on which Futurebuilders terminated its £1.8m loan to the after-school clubs charity Catz Club earlier this year (24 September, page 1).

The agreement was made by the previous management of Futurebuilders, the £215m fund that helps third sector organisations win public service delivery contracts, before the franchise was taken over by the Adventure Capital Fund.

The secrecy clause has been criticised by Greg Clark, the outgoing Conservative charities spokesman, who said there should be transparency about public money.

Lewis said the Futurebuilders board would consider the question of confidentiality agreements, but he was against them.

"When I started at Futurebuilders, I committed to being open and transparent," he said. "These things should not be confidential."

Bubb said he would prefer to be open about the organisation's dealings and opt for confidentiality "only when there was a strong commercial argument".

A spokesman for the Office of the Third Sector said it would not comment because Futurebuilders was going to consider the matter.

A spokeswoman for Catz Club also declined to comment.

- See Editorial, page 12.

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