National Council for Voluntary Organisations launches inquiry into chief executive pay

Martyn Lewis, chair of the NCVO, will oversee an inquiry that will draw up guidelines for trustees on top pay and publish its recommendations in the spring

Martyn Lewis
Martyn Lewis

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has announced the members of an inquiry that will draw up guidelines for trustees on chief executive pay.

The NCVO announced in August that it would identify a group of charity chairs to draw up joint guidelines on chief executive pay, supported by the Charity Commission.

The announcement came after articles in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail newspapers criticised the salaries of chief executives from the Disasters Emergency Committee group of charities.

The inquiry, which will be overseen by Martyn Lewis, chair of the NCVO, will meet for the first time next month and will publish its recommendations in the spring.

In a statement accompanying the list of members, the NCVO said the inquiry would look at appropriate levels of pay for senior executives and the relationship between salary levels and public trust in the sector.

"The inquiry will produce definitive guidelines for charity trustees, informed by a broad debate on the issues involved, to take into account when setting salaries," it said.

Lewis said setting the pay of senior staff was a complicated task for trustees. "It’s right that we take the time to consider the complex issues around executive pay before coming forward with detailed recommendations," he said. "I’m delighted to bring together an experienced group of people who represent a cross section of organisations in the sector so that we can explore every aspect of this important debate."

A spokeswoman for the commission said the regulator welcomed the establishment of the inquiry group. "We have worked closely with the NCVO to develop the approach the group will take and will continue to support its work through providing information and advice and by being an observer at meetings," she said. "A commission board member is also a member of the inquiry."

The inquiry members are:

– Sir Charles Allen, chair, Join In

– Sir John Baker, former chair, Senior Salaries Review Body

– Nick Brooks, partner and head of not-for-profit sector group, Kingston Smith

– Andrew Dent, chair, Reach

– Sacha Deshmukh, deputy chair, Citizens Advice England & Wales

– Bruce Gordon, honorary treasurer, NCVO, and chair, Honorary Treasurers Forum

– Alice Maynard, chair, Scope

– Alan Parker, chair, Save the Children

– Lord Phillips of Sudbury, chancellor, University of Essex

– David Sheepshanks, chair, UK Community Foundations

– Michael Smyth, chair, Community Links

– John Stewart, chair, Guide Dogs

– Ian Theodoreson, chair, Charity Finance Group

– John Wood, board member, Charity Commission

– Mark Wood, chair, NSPCC

– Vicky Wright, deputy chair, RNLI

– Rosie Chapman (secretariat), independent charity adviser.

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