Charity Commission outsources complaint review work

The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and Complaint Handling & Investigation Associates will replace the commission's own independent complaints reviewer

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has appointed two dispute resolution organisations to act as its independent complaint reviewers.

The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and Complaint Handling & Investigation Associates will deal with cases under the commission's complaints reviewing scheme, available to complainants who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the commission's internal complaints procedure.

The organisations replace the solicitor Jodi Berg as the commission's independent complaints reviewer. She stepped down in December 2010 after 10 years in the role.

A statement from the commission said that when Berg's contract ran out it decided to have more than one provider "in the interests of cost efficiency".

It said it anticipated that the arrangement with CEDR & CH&I would "continue for 12 months".

The commission declined to disclose the value of the contracts with the new providers because it said the information was commercially sensitive.

Under the new system, one person from the panel of complaint reviewers will be called upon each time a new case needs to be investigated.

Jon Danzig, a former volunteer at the Pituitary Foundation – who asked the commission to investigate the charity after he used the Data Protection Act to obtain copies of derogatory emails sent by staff and trustees – said he had been told by the commission that his case would be the first to be reviewed by the CEDR.

Danzig said he was disappointed that Berg would not be dealing with his complaint because she had done some preliminary work on the case and had agreed the terms of reference for the investigation.

The commission gave Danzig a £100 consolatory payment last year after admitting "serious deficiencies" in the way it had handled his complaint.

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