Oxfam denies new cover up

Oxfam

Whistleblower says chief executive allowed staff member to resign 

18th June 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Oxfam has become embroiled in a new controversy just days after the Charity Commission published a highly critical report on the charity’s handling of the Haiti sex scandal.

Reports say chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah, who joined Oxfam last year, covered up a sex scandal in his previous job.

A former employee at the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), said a senior figure was allowed to resign in 2009 after it emerged he had paid for sex during work trips to Amsterdam and Los Angeles.

Sriskandarajah led the organisation before he took the role at Oxfam.  

Nigel McCollum, former head of public affairs at the RCS, said he reported the employee but no action was taken with the man allowed to move to another job in the charity sector.

McCollum said he was isolated for blowing the whistle, made to sign a gagging order and eventually forced out of the charity.

McCollum said: “This man covered up a scandal there, so he should not have been hired to clean up Oxfam. It's staggering.”

Sriskandarajah denied the allegations. “I was not involved in, or party to, any decisions relating to the resignation referred to in the reports," he said. 

“The matter was rightly dealt with by the trustees at the time and not me. I had been in post for just eight weeks at the time of the resignation.

"As the director of the RCS I was assured by the trustees that the allegations related to the individual's personal life and not the RCS."

David Morris MP has called for an inquiry.

“'It stands to reason that the person brought in to clean up Oxfam must himself be beyond reproach.” said Mr Morris.

“Therefore, these allegations must be investigated as a matter of the utmost urgency.”

The RCS said legal advice was taken by the Council of Trustees to ensure that all the relevant disclosures were made and due practice followed with regard to the resignation.