Whistleblowing reports to the Charity Commission up by one-third last year

The number of whistleblowing reports received by the Charity Commission increased by one-third last year, figures from the regulator show. 

The commission’s annual whistleblowing report, published yesterday, shows the regulator received 247 complaints in the year to the end of March, up from 185 in the previous 12 months. 

The figure is almost two-and-a-half times the number of reports made in 2017/18 and is likely to be a result of the greater focus put on whistleblowers since the Oxfam safeguarding scandal broke in early 2018. 

The regulator said the majority of disclosures came from charity employees, at almost two-thirds. 

The proportion of reports from volunteers and trustees increased significantly year on year, the figures show, with these accounting for 36.8 per cent of reports last year, compared with 9.7 per cent in the previous 12 months. 

The commission said it opened a case on 239 of the disclosures and decided to take no regulatory action on the remaining eight reports. 

It provided advice to the charity in 100 of the cases and concluded that no action was needed in 90 of them.

Seven resulted in the regulator issuing “corrective advice” or a plan, three resulted in the charity being removed from the register, and in two cases the charity issued an apology. 

Individual cases might have been counted in more than one of the above categories. 

Tracy Howarth, assistant director of casework at the Charity Commission, said the regulator was “committed to providing the best possible service to whistleblowers” and welcomed the increase in whistleblowing reports, 

“We want to send a clear message that we will listen to those who have concerns and, where appropriate, those concerns will be acted upon for the benefit of all of us,” she said.

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