Charity Commission will not re-examine Motability Operations Group

The regulator says the salary of the chief executive of the organisation, a company connected to the charity Motability, does not come under its jurisdiction

The Charity Commission has rejected calls for it to re-examine the disability car charity Motability in relation to high salaries at a connected company.

The regulator’s statement, which was released at the end of last week, came after calls from Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, for the regulator to investigate why Motability Operations Group paid its chief executive £1.7m in the year to 30 September 2017.

Motability Operations Group is a company connected to Motability. The charity had been the subject of a Charity Commission review of its financial accounts and relationship with the company.

But the commission found that, because Motability Operations Group was not a charity, concerns about pay at the company did not come under the regulator’s jurisdiction.

The Charity Commission’s statement said: "In light of media reporting about the Motability scheme, we reviewed the highlighted issues to see if there was anything we had not investigated as part of our previous regulatory compliance case on Motability, which was under our jurisdiction as regulator of charities in England and Wales.

"Having reviewed the latest information in the media we have concluded that, as set out in our statement on 8 February, there are no new concerns that come under the commission’s jurisdiction."

The commission’s previous statement, which was released after the Motability Operations Group chief executive’s salary was reported in the media, said it was not for the commission to comment on the pay of a chief executive of a large, non-charitable, commercial company.

The statement added: "However, we have made clear to the trustees of the charity Motability that the pay of the chief executive of its commercial partner Motability Operations may be considered excessive and may raise reputational issues for the charity." 

The commission has published draft guidance for and opened a consultation on charities with connected companies.

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