Charities' money transparency call
Charities should be more transparent to show they are offering good value for money, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.
Ms Greening spoke out after the Daily Telegraph reported that the number of executives at charities connected to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) receiving salaries of £100,000 or more has increased from 19 to 30 over the past three years.
Her comments also came after Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross warned that disproportionate salaries for executives risk bringing the wider charitable world into disrepute.
Writing on the Telegraph website, Ms Greening said: "When I became Development Secretary I wanted to get our costs under control and I wanted my department to be more transparent about how it spends taxpayers' money. Dfid (Department for International Development) now publishes all spend over £500 and our Development Tracker website shows exactly where the money goes.
"I have challenged our suppliers, including charities, to publish their own similar data on how they spend money on joint funded projects in a clear and accessible way.
"I think it is a real opportunity for many of our best-known charities to help people really understand the work they carry out helping to eradicate poverty and make lives better. I also believe that the more open organisations are the better the market will work to benchmark costs and improve value for money.
"This article is a clarion call for charities to be more open about value for money. As government has, it is time for them to grasp the nettle on transparency and value for money."
The Telegraph research focused on 14 foreign aid charities which make up the DEC, which raises money quickly at times of tragedy in the world.
The charities involved with DEC include Action Aid, Age International, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
Charities defended the salaries of their executives, citing the "enormous responsibility" of a position that requires "real leadership, experience, knowledge and skill".