Ministers to meet National Crime Agency today to discuss Oxfam scandal

The meeting will also involve Home Office officials, and the NCA will meet Charity Commission representatives tomorrow

International development ministers to meet crime agency
International development ministers to meet crime agency

Representatives from the Department for International Development will meet the National Crime Agency this afternoon to discuss the allegations of sexual exploitation made against Oxfam staff.

Home Office staff will also attend the meeting, which has been called after it emerged that Oxfam employees were dismissed or resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct involving beneficiaries in 2011, after which Oxfam failed to alert the Charity Commission or the government to the nature of the allegations.

The NCA has a range of powers to help it investigate certain sexual offences committed outside the UK. In a statement, an NCA spokeswoman said the agency had closely monitored events surrounding the allegations against Oxfam staff.

She said: "We look forward to discussion with colleagues in DfID and the Home Office, will consider how the NCA can assist with international safeguarding considerations in light of our global reach and will present our professional view on what more could or should be done."

The NCA will also be meeting representatives from the Charity Commission tomorrow, she said, so the agency could assure itself that appropriate action had been taken.

The commission said it held an all-day meeting with Oxfam’s chair and senior staff at the charity’s Oxford headquarters yesterday.

The commission, which has opened a statutory inquiry in the charity, said it would publish a statement about the scope of its inquiry later on today.

Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, has published her letter to all international aid agencies, which orders them to provide details about their systems, culture and transparency to protect vulnerable people.

She said aid charities should confirm that they had referred any and all concerns they had about specific cases and people in their organisations to the relevant authorities.

The letter said the assurances must be provided by 26 February.

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