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Charity watchdog to launch Oxfam inquiry

The Charity Commission is to begin an investigation into Oxfam’s handling of a sex scandal in which staff hired prostitutes in Haiti in 2011. The watchdog has concerns the charity may not have “full and frankly disclosed material details”. It comes after Oxfam’s deputy chief executive Penny Lawrence quit over the charity’s response to the revelations. And a whistleblower said an Oxfam aid worker was accused of coercing a woman to have sex “in exchange for aid”. Whistleblower Helen Evans, who worked as Oxfam’s global head of safeguarding between 2012…

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Oxfam Haiti prostitute claims: Charity did not give watchdog 'full details'

Oxfam did not give the Charity Commission full details about the use of prostitutes by some aid workers in Haiti in 2011, the watchdog says. The charity did tell the regulator it was investigating inappropriate sexual behaviour, bullying, harassment and staff intimidation. The Charity Commission took no further action but says it would have acted differently had it known all the facts. Oxfam, which sacked four workers and let three resign, denies any cover up. The Department for International Development, which gave Oxfam nearly £32m last year, is now reviewing…

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Watchdog asks BBC for Carrie Gracie 'facts'

The UK’s equality watchdog will write to the BBC asking for information following claims of pay inequality by its former China editor Carrie Gracie. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it would consider whether further action is required based on the BBC’s response. Ms Gracie said she resigned because she could not “collude” in a policy of “unlawful pay discrimination”. The BBC said “fairness in pay” was “vital” to the corporation. In a statement, the EHRC said: “Women have a legal right to equal pay with men for…

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NHS watchdog staff 'told not to criticise' Welsh Government

Staff working for Wales’ community health councils have been told by senior colleagues not to criticise or embarrass the Welsh Government over plans to scrap the independent watchdogs, BBC Wales has learned. Ministers have consulted on replacing CHCs with one organisation. One CHC member told BBC’s Sunday Politics Wales their council’s response to the consultation was “toned down”. Mutale Merrill, chairwoman of the CHC board, said the claims were untrue. CHCs are independent bodies representing the interests of patients. There are seven in Wales – one for each of the…

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ANALYSIS: Health care quality would improve for all if we had a federal watchdog

This is the third article in a five-part series. In my last article, I talked about costs out of control in American health care. In this one I will talk about quality. First, think about a life-and-death industry you know that is under tight federal government control in many ways, to the unquestioned benefit of all Americans who use it. If you chose aviation, you are correct. Think about the incredible safety record of the commercial airline industry; I’ll bet you can’t even remember the last crash in this country…

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NHS overcharged by millions for key drug, says watchdog

Drug company Concordia overcharged the NHS by millions for a key thyroid treatment, the Competition and Markets Authority has provisionally found. The CMA said that last year the NHS spent £34m on its drug, liothyronine, up from about £600,000 in 2006. The amount the NHS paid per pack rose from around £4.46 in 2007 to £258.19 by July 2017, an increase of almost 6,000%. Concordia said it did “not believe that competition law has been infringed”. The CMA said the price rise took place despite “broadly stable” production costs. Liothyronine…

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Michael Gove plans new environment watchdog after Brexit

A new environment watchdog to protect UK wildlife, land, water and air once Britain leaves the European Union is being planned by the government. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the body would “hold the powerful to account” and deliver a “green Brexit”. In an article for the Sunday Telegraph, he said the watchdog would have “real bite” but did not outline exact powers. The plans come amid concerns that environmental regulations enshrined in EU law could be lost after Brexit. Mr Gove said the watchdog would be independent of government…

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