NSPCC boss Mark Wood has been forced to admit that the charity was one of eight organisations contacted by the Information Commissioner’s Office last year about concerns over nuisance calls, despite a flat denial in front of the Parliamentary inquiry investigating fundraising.
When questioned by the Public Administration & Constitutional Affairs Committee last month whether his charity had been one of those which received a letter from the ICO about concerns that they were breaking Telephone Preference Service rules, Wood responded with an unequivocal: “We were not.”
The admission that the charity did in fact get a letter has been revealed in written evidence to the committee, with Wood claiming he had not recognised Information Commissioner Christopher Graham’s description of the letter earlier in the same evidence session. Wood even enclosed a copy of the correspondence the NSPCC had received in April 2014.
He maintained it was simply a “guidance circular to a wide range of organisations with no reference to any specific poor practice at the NSPCC or any issues that specifically needed to be addressed by the NSPCC”.
Last month, Macmillan Cancer Support admitted it had received the same letter in March 2014.
The regulator has consistently declined to reveal the identity of the six other charities which received letters last year, but says it has submitted their names to the committee, which is expected to publish them shortly.
In the summer it was revealed that the Institute of Fundraising’s own guidance on telemarketing was two years out of date.
The ICO is continuing its investigation into four charities – NSPCC, Macmillan, British Red Cross and Oxfam – which are accused of floating the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations governing the use of the TPS.
The NSPCC has so far shunned any telemarketing activity to promote its latest ad campaign (pictured).
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