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ACEVO and NCVO joint statement on announcement of Orlando Fraser as preferred candidate for next Charity Commission chair

ACEVO and NCVO today release a joint statement following announcement of Orlando Fraser as preferred candidate for the next chair of the Charity Commission.

ACEVO and NCVO today release a joint statement following announcement of Orlando Fraser as preferred candidate for the next chair of the Charity Commission.

We have set out the key attributes ACEVO and NCVO would like to see demonstrated by the next chair of the Charity Commission. While Mr Fraser has extensive experience of regulation and charities, we are concerned about his party political links.

We previously called for the process to be restarted and are disappointed that this approach was not followed. After a much delayed and challenging recruitment process, the sector needed to be reassured that the next chair was selected through a robust and transparent process, with appropriate due diligence carried out. We hope that the pre-appointment scrutiny hearing by the DCMS select committee will provide clarity and reassurance on these key areas.

Sarah Vibert, NCVO CEO, commented:
“As a former board member of the Charity Commission and through his voluntary sector experience, including as a former member of our Advisory Council, Orlando Fraser will bring significant experience of both charities and regulation.

"There will understandably be concern about his links with party politics, even though he has not been politically active recently. With ACEVO, we set out the importance of having a politically independent chair, and are disappointed that the government has not taken this opportunity to appoint a person with full political independence.This should be an area of scrutiny during the pre-appointment hearing.

“If he is appointed we look forward to engaging with Mr Fraser and continuing the positive working relationship with the Charity Commission that we have built during the pandemic. We hope he will set out how he will maintain his independence from government, and ensure the Commission focuses on being an effective, impartial regulator.”

Vicky Browning, CEO at ACEVO, said:
"After 12 months without a permanent chair of the Charity Commission, we welcome the announcement of Orlando Fraser as the new preferred candidate. We look forward to understanding more about his knowledge of regulation and the charity sector at his pre-appointment scrutiny hearing.
"We are disappointed that the appointment process was not rerun in full before Mr Fraser was announced as preferred candidate. Transparent and robust recruitment is vital in ensuring trust in the regulator. Given the challenges of the previous recruitment process, this approach would have allowed the new chair a fresh start, and an opportunity to rebuild a strong relationship with the sector as well as address issues around the diversity of the shortlist and new due diligence commitments.
"Strong, proportionate and enabling regulation is in the interests of charities, and we want to see the new chair of the Commission succeed. We look forward to working with Mr Fraser if his appointment is confirmed to ensure the Charity Commission supports good practice across the sector, and hope that he will engage constructively with those discussions."


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