Shaw Trust founder to step down as director-general

Tim Pape's retirement comes two months after Charity Commission report on trust's governance

Shaw Trust founder and director-general Tim Papé is to retire after a turbulent 12 months in which his organisation dismissed its chief executive and was advised by the Charity Commission to improve its governance.

Papé, 70, set up the trust in 1982 to provide work for disabled people. It has grown into a £73m organisation delivering multimillion-pound contracts on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

However, in March the commission issued trustees with advice and guidance on governance after a seven-month investigation prompted by the dismissal and a row over plans to expand to Australia.

The advice, leaked to Third Sector last week, consisted of eight recommendations on organisational structure, decision-making and conflicts of interest. They included the creation of a clear executive leader, greater clarity at board level on the purpose of overseas expansions and the writing of a conflicts of interest policy.

Ian Charlesworth, the trust's former chief executive, was put on gardening leave in July and eventually dismissed after warning trustees that their plans to bid for welfare-to-work contracts in Australia were too risky.

Charlesworth, who had led the Wiltshire-based organisation for 11 years, asked the commission to investigate the "unclear" roles of trustees and executives. The relationship between the chief executive and the director general was also raised.

Papé, who will become honorary president of the trust, declined to comment. Catherine A'Bear, chief officer for corporate affairs at the trust, said Papé had intended to retire last year but agreed to stay on when Charlesworth left.

She said having both a director-general and chief executive was an unusual structure, but had served the trust well.

"As a member of the executive, I was never in any doubt about the clarity of the roles and responsibilities, so I found it surprising that other people were," she said. She said the trust had already implemented the commission's recommendations.

The charity, which will advertise for a new chief executive next week, also announced that Tim Cooper, managing director for work and independence, is leaving to join the Department for Work and Pensions.

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