Government to decide 'in due course' if Oxfam can bid again for DfID funding

The troubled charity withdrew from bidding for government funding after the safeguarding story broke in February last year

The government will make a decision "in due course" over whether Oxfam will be able to bid again for international development funding, after the conclusion of the Charity Commission’s investigation into the charity.

The commission said in a report on the Haiti safeguarding scandal today that there had been mismanagement and "a culture of tolerating poor behaviour at the charity".

Oxfam agreed to withdraw from bidding for government funding soon after the safeguarding story broke in February last year.

Funding from the Department for International Development was worth £20.9m to Oxfam GB in the year to the end of March 2018, its most recent accounts show.

Responding to the publication of the commission’s report, DfID said in a statement that Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, would meet Caroline Thomson, chair of Oxfam, to discuss the charity’s actions.

"Oxfam plays a crucial role in saving lives and reducing poverty in some of the world’s toughest places, and they are an important British institution," the statement said.

"In February 2018, Oxfam agreed to withdraw from bidding for any new UK government funding until DfID is satisfied that it can meet the high standards we expect of all our partners.? 

"Decisions on Oxfam’s funding relationship with the UK government will be made in due course." 

DfID’s statement said progress had been made but no one could be complacent.

The department added that it was waiting for the publication of the final report from the Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change, established soon after the safeguarding scandal broke. The report is expected to be published on Wednesday.

An interim report from the independent commission, published in January, concluded that Oxfam International had been too focused on what it did rather than how it did it.

Stewart said in a statement today: "The revelations of last year were horrifying and shone a light on fundamental problems.

"DfID has driven reform and our priority remains delivering for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, while keeping people safe from harm. 

"Oxfam is an important British institution that saves lives in some of the world’s toughest places.?This is a long-term process, in which there are no easy answers or room for complacency.

"We will be working closely with both Oxfam and the Charity Commission in the coming weeks."

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