We concluded that there should be a maximum term for charity trustees of five years.
Today the FT writes one of its methodical editorials, focusing on the role of trustees at the charity, and Alan Yentob in particular, concluding
It is time Mr Yentob and his colleagues explained what they did, and did not do, in the case of Kids Company’s collapse.But of course the collapse was only the end game. What did the trustees do, and not do, over the previous years?
In the light of events, how can we not conclude that Alan Yentob did not do his job? There's no reason to think he was financially corrupt, but he was negligent and morally corrupt for taking the role, keeping it for far too long, and not doing the job. He emerges as an advocate for the charity rather than a watchdog.
We commented yesterday on Richard Handover, Vice Chairman of the trustees:
The trustees included ex-WH Smith chief executive Richard Handover, who should surely have known what was required. He has sullied his record.Just how badly sullied we can now start to see, thanks to the Daily Mail, which reports on Handover children employed by the charity - yes, not one, but two children. Daughter Sasha does not seem to worked there full time 9 to 5. Doubtless she enjoyed her fundraising exploits, but her efforts raised less than her salary.
A Kids' Company spokesman still sees nothing wrong in employing them.
Handover senior was a trustee for ten years. As a former boss of W H Smith he understood the principles of finance. Yet he connived at the charity continuing with inadequate reserves, despite successive years' accounts saying that the issue would be addressed. Meanwhile, the charity gave enjoyable employment to two of his three children.
Charities should be austere places to work. Trustees should be vigilant. Yentob - from high up in the the free-spending BBC - and Handover failed in their duties.