NXIVM founder, actress indicted on sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy charges

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — NXIVM’s founder and an actress who was a member of his self-help group were indicted Friday on sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy charges related to what prosecutors say is a secret society within the group.Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard” to members within NXIVM, and Allison Mack, who is best known for her role on the TV series “Smallville,” were both indicted by a grand jury on charges arising from Raniere and Mack’s alleged roles in a secret society within NXIVM. According to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue, Mack recruited women into what they believed was a “female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere”. Prosecutors say many of the female victims were branded and forced to participate in sex acts with Raniere.Mack was arrested Friday and will be arraigned Friday before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak. Raniere was arrested in March on a federal complaint and is currently being held without bond at a detention center in Brooklyn. He is also expected to appear in court on Friday afternoonAccording to the U.S. State Attorney’s Office, Raniere was deported by Mexican authorities after he was found outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in a luxury villa last month. Two days later, he appeared before a judge at a federal courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas.“As alleged in the complaint, Keith Raniere created a secret society of women whom he had sex with and branded with his initials, coercing them with the threat of releasing their highly personal information and taking their assets,” Donoghue said in a statement released in March.NXIVM is a secretive self-help organization based in Albany, New York, that was founded by Raniere and Nancy Salzman. It touts itself as a “professional coaching company” and its website says it offers “Executive Success Programs,” or “ESP,” in New York, California, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.In a statement posted on the homepage of the group’s website, “In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character. We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light. We are saddened by the reports perpetuated by the media and their apparent disregard for ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ yet we will continue to honor the same principles on which our company was founded. It is during the times of greatest adversity that integrity, humanity and compassion are hardest, and needed most”ABC News’ “20/20” did an extensive report on NXIVM last year, including interviews with several former members, including Sarah Edmondson, who said she was a member of the group for over a decade.Edmondson told ABC News and said in a complaint to the New York State Department of Health that after attending NXIVM seminars for more than a decade, she was approached about an opportunity to join a secret sorority. Then, one night she said she and five other women were summoned to a house in the Albany area, where they thought they were going to get a tattoo but once there, found out she and the other women were going to be branded.“It was a horror movie,” she told “20/20.” “It was the most inhumane, horrific way to treat anybody. But the most horrific thing is that it’s women doing it to women.”Edmondson said each of the women would lie down naked and then was branded with a cauterizing device, without any anesthesia. When it was her turn, Edmondson said the pain felt “worse than childbirth.”As outlined in the Department of Justice press release, the complaint, which was unsealed last month, alleges that “in 2015, Raniere created a secret society within Nxivm called ‘DOS,’ which loosely translated to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,’ or ‘The Vow.’ DOS operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.’ Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than the (sic) Raniere, all members of DOS were women.”In a letter Donoghue submitted to the judge in Texas requesting that bail be denied, he asserts that Raniere has had more than 50 DOS slaves under him, many of whom were recruited from within NXIVM’s ranks.“As alleged, Keith Raniere displayed a disgusting abuse of power in his efforts to denigrate and manipulate women he considered his sex slaves,” FBI’s New York Field Office Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement in March. “He allegedly participated in horrifying acts of branding and burning them, with the cooperation of other women operating within this unorthodox pyramid scheme. These serious crimes against humanity are not only shocking, but disconcerting, to say the least, and we are putting an end to this torture today.”After reports started surfacing about DOS last year, a letter was posted on the NXIVM website, in which Raniere said, “The picture being painted in the media is not how I know our community and friends to be, nor how I experience it myself. However, as an organization and as individuals, we felt it was imperative that we hire experts to ensure there is no merit to the allegations.“Additionally, I feel it is important to clarify the sorority is not part of NXIVM and that I am not associated with the group,” the statement continued. “I firmly support one’s right to freedom of expression, so what the sorority or any other social group chooses to do is not our business so long as there is no abuse. Our experts, a forensic psychiatrist of international repute, psychologists and ex-law enforcement, say members of the sorority are thriving, healthy, happy, better off, and haven’t been coerced. Furthermore, the sorority is proud of what they created and want to share their story. I am confident they will be addressing you very soon.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

How doncaster council fought back

first_imgHow doncaster council fought backOn 1 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Ross Wigham charts the progress made by one council when it decided to put itstraining and development policies at the centre of an improvement programmeDoncaster Council looked down and out. A failing organisation desperate forreform, it was suffering from poor services made worse by allegations ofcorruption against some of its senior managers. Transforming a failing organisation is a tough enough task, made even harderwhen leaders are at the heart of the problem, but the HR team is now receivingplaudits for successfully turning things around. The HR and training policies have been singled out for praise for playing avital role throughout the process, which has seen the council identified as oneof the fastest improving in the country. The council hit the headlines between 1997 and 2001 for all the wrongreasons. Councillors were jailed after an expenses fraud scandal, while othermanagers were accused of junketing at the taxpayers’ expense, and a planningofficial was sent to prison after accepting benefits from a local businessman. HR strategy was key However, the Government’s Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA)programme recently cited the HR strategy as key to improvement which has nowseen Doncaster awarded a ‘fair’ performance rating. Head of HR Mandy Coalter says the first step was to draw up a new vision forthe council, and to put HR and training at the very heart of Doncaster’svalues. She developed an HR strategy to reflect the overall goals and values ofthe council, which included management development training and improvedcommunications. This plan was then embedded into the overall strategy,reflecting the council’s new commitment to developing its 14,500 staff. “We’ve modernised Doncaster by focusing on skills,” she says.”If we want a forward-looking council we have to be a forward-lookingemployer. It’s about capacity and skills, and we provide the organisation withthe tools to deliver,” she says. Training the staff to appreciate the council’s goals proved so successfulthat when the CPA inspectors arrived, every employee interviewed was able toidentify them. However, it was the body’s transforming leadership programme,which brought the borough’s elected politicians and managers together, andreally caught the eye of the CPA. “It’s very rare this ever happens in local government. It reallyconnects political leadership with the management values within the council,building political awareness and making for a more joined-uporganisation,” she says. Kay Leigh, HR manager for learning and organisational development, was theperson responsible for putting the innovative leadership programme together. She wanted the council’s elected members and senior managers to communicateand work more effectively, because both were crucial to every aspect of thecouncil’s operation. This training initiative was actually the first time thetwo groups had been brought together formally. “Training gave people the opportunity to stand back and to think abouttheir role and what they could do differently to help move the organisation forward,”Leigh explains. The initiative arose following research taken from a cross-section ofemployees which highlighted some key training needs for the top of theorganisation, and leadership was one of the key issues identified. Leadership skills “We looked at the whole area of leadership, what it means and howindividuals can relate to it. We wanted them to look at themselves and theirleadership skills, and then think how they could improve,” she says. The roll call for those involved reads like a Who’s Who of the local counciland included the borough’s first elected mayor and his deputy, members of thelocal government cabinet, the executive directors, heads of service and thechief executive. “It was a real challenge getting everyone together at the sametime,” recalls Leigh. “It was something of an achievement to get allthe senior managers and elected councillors involved.” Before setting off, everyone on the course went through a 360-degreeappraisal as a base for developing better leadership skills. The initial phaseof the programme comprised a two-night residential course attended by 46councillors and officers and people attended in groups of eight. These twonights away at Cave Castle in East Yorkshire were designed to investigate exactlywhere the skills gaps were and what further action would be needed in thefuture. The attendees first took part in a Myers Briggs assessment to find out eachindividual’s personality type and how they performed as leaders. This wasfollowed by a range of practical leadership exercises and complemented withconstant one-on-one coaching. Personal development Phase one was designed to raise awareness of the issues surroundingleadership and build a level of knowledge that could be developed further at a laterdate. “It was very much the personal development stage of the training.Participants did some group work, but it mainly consisted of lots of one-on-onework and feedback,” says Leigh. After analysis of the first phase was completed, the council decided tochange its plans for the next stage, partly because of the work alreadyachieved and because it was then able to target specific areas for attention. “We decided to tweak the second phase. We found we had slightlydifferent needs and started to focus on the importance of leadership aroundissues such as dealing with change and project management,” Leighexplains. The second phase began with a series of masterclasses using externalspeakers to demonstrate how leadership worked outside the local governmentsector. This was to get the top people at Doncaster thinking about leadership from adifferent perspective and in context with what they had learned from phase one.The council also launched a programme of classroom-based modular training toformalise some of the work done so far. This consisted of four modules coveringleadership, communication and image, change management and project management.HR allowed individuals to choose dates most convenient to them to ensuremaximum attendance at the training courses. Throughout the process, managers were supported with individual coachingcarried out on a one-to-one basis. The training department also arranged bestpractice visits to companies that had excelled in leadership. Leigh says this had the added benefit of bringing the team together.”It’s really improving communication and understanding between the twogroups leading the council,” says Leigh. “It lets people look attheir own behaviour – and in some cases changes it. You get a lot of motivationand commitment because you have such senior-level buy-in.” Leigh and Coalter now hope the focus on the top of the organisation – 94 percent of whom said the training proved a positive experience – will benefit thewhole of the council. “We needed to focus on the top of the organisation and get theleadership right first. We hope that will now flow down throughout the rest ofthe organisation,” says Leigh. The scheme has proved so useful that the council now plans to take another200 staff through the process during the next 12 months. Leadership has become a fundamental part of driving the council forward andHR is following up the course with secondments and more coaching. “We nowplan to cascade this down through our internal trainers who have now startedthe process with the next tier of managers and elected members,” saysLeigh. Innovative approach She is looking to instil leadership qualities in the next generation ofmanagers through the Flying Start programme, which aims to identify potentialmanagement talent and nurture it through internal training, secondments andcoaching. “Leadership is the key thing we want in our managers, so I really hopethis whole initiative can help instil this, starting at the very top,” shesays. The course has been a central factor in helping revive a moribund DoncasterCouncil and Leigh believes other local authorities should consider a similarapproach. “It’s an innovative approach and I think a lot of emphasis should beput on this. Other authorities should look at this as a joined-up approach toleadership.” What is a CPA?The Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) is a key elementof the Government’s framework for the future of local government. Theassessments are carried out by teams from the Audit Commission and they haveinspected every local authority in the country. The CPA makes a judgement on every tier of county councilmanagement across England and published its findings in the form of a balancedscorecard.Each organisation was awarded an overall performance score ofeither poor, weak, fair, good or excellent as well as a rating between one andfour on how it was run and how well its main services were functioning.www.audit-commission.gov.ukHow Doncaster Council performedIn the corporate assessment, the council was strongly praised for itsprogressive HR and training which it said was enabling Doncaster to deliver itsagenda.”Doncaster Council is improving rapidly.  Until two years ago the council had some serious failings.  The rate of improvement this year has beenexceptional.  The transformation hasbeen ably led by an effective partnership between the newly selected mayor andthe chief executive.”The council has a comprehensive HR strategy in place which identifiesthe capacity and skills of staff to deliver are the full potential”Overall rating:                                         FairHow the council was run                     ***Performance of main services             ** Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Emerging HR Leader of the Year prize goes to Selina Rothery of CBRE

first_imgEmerging HR Leader of the Year prize goes to Selina Rothery of CBREBy Adam McCulloch on 22 Nov 2017 in Awards 2017, Personnel Today, Leadership, PT Awards Selina Rothery (second from left) receives her award from Sue Perkins. Ed Telling Each of the shortlisted entries for the Personnel Today Awards 2017 rising star category are highly valued by their colleagues for their ability to encourage a collaborative culture and develop talent but it was Selina Rothery’s ability to resolve complex employee relations cases and deliver key initiatives that finally swayed the judges. The category was sponsored by Personnel Today JobsWinnerSelina Rothery, CBRE Global Workplace SolutionsHer innovative approach, emotional intelligence, first-class knowledge of her sector and can-do attitude has set apart Selina Rothery since she joined CBRE in 2013 as HR adviser to support two HR business partners across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She is currently HR business partner for the Project Management (PJM) division leading people matters for 170 UK employees and $25m revenue, overseeing a further 250 project managers embedded in divisions across the company.Selina has consistently added value beyond her role by leading and delivering key initiatives contributing to the business’s success. For example, she achieved closer collaboration between two of CBRE’s HR teams by using knowledge-sharing forums to align HR processes. Her expertise at resolving complex employee relations cases has been apparent in relation to several projects aimed at producing cost benefits, such as when removing the company car fleet benefit within one entity of the business.Since joining as HR lead for PJM in 2016 Selina has led on the acquisition and retention of talent, overseeing a growth in headcount of 40%. She has increased gender diversity in the team by 84%. Selina has improved talent management at the firm, working with the head of HR to design and deliver a talent calibration process including a talent pool workforce planner. Coupled with her instigation of weekly leadership meetings, this has resulted in 10 employees within four months internally transferring into new opportunities. Her use of the talent referral policy has helped produce significant cost reductions on recruitment fees.Runners-upLiz Laughton, Royal College of NursingLiz Laughton is described by colleagues as a “formidable, talented leader”. She has risen at RCN from being HR assistant on joining in 2009 to now being acting head of human resources and organisational development.She has worked in five different roles in the department. At RCN’s publishing subsidiary company, RCNi, Liz worked as acting head of HR on secondment. Her effectiveness in this role led the organisation’s chairman to offer her the role permanently but she chose to return to RCN as acting head of HR and OD.JudgesLaura Guttfield, HR Business Partner, ITNAngela O’Connor, CEO, The HR LoungeBruce Warman, Chairman, Centre for Economic and Business ResearchHer colleagues regard Liz as having been instrumental in helping the RCN achieve Investors in People Gold Status since 2012 and also being acknowledged at the HR Excellence Awards as the Best HR Department.Liz is considered by all at RCN to have the priceless ability of making people feel comfortable and valued, has shown a real ability at achieving tasks and has great vision.Angela Watkins, Midlands Air Ambulance CharityWhether she is designing and implementing a change management project or supporting volunteers in the field, Angela Watkins’ personality shines through, say the charity’s staff.Colleagues say that Angela has time for everyone and the air ambulance service (MAAC) has benefited hugely from her presence. Angela’s remit is to manage all HR aspects for the charity, as well as look after the charity’s governance, business administration, health and safety, risk register, IT infrastructure, and manage the busy administration and logistics teams.She also assists with fundraising events, supports the volunteer programme, and often steps in to assist with projects and the planning of large charity-managed events.Angela joined MAAC in 2012 and soon helped implement and manage a comprehensive training plan to engage, empower and further motivate staff. The staff are encouraged to source their own training requirements, to empower them to take responsibility for their professional development. And through Angela’s leadership of the administration department, 80% of its team have now achieved accredited NVQ qualifications at level 2 or above.By creating a team skills matrix detailing individuals’ key skills and experience, Angela has played a major part in developing internal training within the charity and promoting skills and staff between departments. She has also set up fundraising and finance working groups, enabling open discussion of the charity’s vision and strategy and giving junior staff a voice in the decision-making process. Together with away days and a staff recognition scheme, Angela has played a major role in reinforcing core values within the charity. She has also played a key role in ensuring high quality governance and that third-party suppliers are ethical by establishing a code of conduct.Natasha Whittaker, Microgaming Software SystemsBeing based on the Isle of Man means that finding the right people can be a tough task. However, since joining Microgaming in 2016, talent acquisition specialist Natasha Whittaker has already increased the rapidly growing company’s headcount by 13% in response to a need for new roles, teams and departments.Natasha overhauled the firm’s recruitment process, firstly by redesigning recruitment adverts and. focusing on social media campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn, using local newspapers far less.Natasha also looked at the candidate experience with the company soon finding that the simple introduction of closing dates and the prescheduling of shortlisting and interview dates would streamline the recruitment process. The company is aware of this chiefly because it was Natasha who also improved its recruitment metrics. To this end she reduced the time to hire by 44% and reduced Microgaming’s agency placements by 13% in 2016.Natasha’s recruitment strategy included an apprenticeship programme aimed at bringing future leaders to the business. The level of detail in Natasha’s planning ensured everyone knew exactly what their responsibilities were and how to go about the task of driving brand engagement with people who might one day lead the company. No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Extinction and recolonization of maritime Antarctica in the limpet Nacella concinna (Strebel, 1908) during the glacial cycle: toward a model of Quaternary biogeography in shallow Antarctic invertebrates

first_imgQuaternary glaciations in Antarctica drastically modified geographical ranges and population sizes of marine benthic invertebrates and thus affected the amount and distribution of intraspecific genetic variation. Here, we present new genetic information in the Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna, a dominant Antarctic benthic species along shallow ice-free rocky ecosystems. We examined the patterns of genetic diversity and structure in this broadcast spawner along maritime Antarctica and from the peri-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Genetic analyses showed that N. concinna represents a single panmictic unit in maritime Antarctic. Low levels of genetic diversity characterized this population; its median-joining haplotype network revealed a typical star-like topology with a short genealogy and a dominant haplotype broadly distributed. As previously reported with nuclear markers, we detected significant genetic differentiation between South Georgia Island and maritime Antarctica populations. Higher levels of genetic diversity, a more expanded genealogy and the presence of more private haplotypes support the hypothesis of glacial persistence in this peri-Antarctic island. Bayesian Skyline plot and mismatch distribution analyses recognized an older demographic history in South Georgia. Approximate Bayesian computations did not support the persistence of N. concinna along maritime Antarctica during the last glacial period, but indicated the resilience of the species in peri-Antarctic refugia (South Georgia Island). We proposed a model of Quaternary Biogeography for Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates with shallow and narrow bathymetric ranges including (i) extinction of maritime Antarctic populations during glacial periods; (ii) persistence of populations in peri-Antarctic refugia; and (iii) recolonization of maritime Antarctica following the deglaciation process.last_img read more

NBA-leading Jazz rebound from loss to beat Magic

first_img Tags: NBA/Utah Jazz Associated Press Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles filled in well again at point guard in place of Mike Conley to help the Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 124-109 on Saturday night.NBA-leading Utah bounced back from a loss a night earlier in Miami, improving to 6-1 following a defeat. Ingles had 17 points, six assists and three 3-pointers.Magic All-Star center Nikola Vucevic scored 34 points, but missed out on his 24th double-double by two rebounds. February 27, 2021 /Sports News – Local NBA-leading Jazz rebound from loss to beat Magiclast_img read more

Pie firm ambitious for growth

first_imgFamily pie firm Chappell’s Fine Foods has revealed ambitious expansion plans following its sale to food industry expert Ian Nicholls.Based in Wigston, Leicestershire, the company was founded by David Chappell in 1972 and supplies butchers, delis and retailers with pies and pasties, including its Forryans Melton Mowbray Pork Pie.Nicholls, who has previously worked for Associated British Foods and RHM, said he plans to quadruple turnover from approximately £750,000 to £3m in the next few years and double the 14-strong workforce at Chappell’s factory in Wigston’s Chartwell Industrial Estate.He took over in mid-May, when a replacement was needed to run the business, after the founder suffered a stroke a couple of years ago.”Our first objective is to double the turnover this year,” explained Nicholls. It will be done through a focus on the marketing of the company’s range of products, including servicing existing customers, winning new customers and new product development for new and existing customers, he said.”One thing we’ve not done much of is distributing pies as raw-frozen, which could be a good opportunity for growth, as the company has traditionally been distributing its products baked and chilled.”Nicholls also plans to take full advantage of Melton Mow-bray Pork Pie’s recently acquired protected geographical indication status (PGI).last_img read more

Insomnia defies gloom with promotional deals

first_imgIrish coffee shop chain Insomnia says recession-busting deals linking coffee and baked goods are driving sales, with over half its business now coming from promotions. It plans to continue the tactic throughout 2009.The Dublin-based 52-shop chain has run a series of successful discounts and ’meal deals’ since the onset of the recession, with promotional activity now accounting for 55% of sales and helping to drive up footfall by 5%, according to CEO Bobby Kerr.”Our muffin and a coffee promotion for E3 (£2.57) saw us selling 20,000 muffins a week and we’re planning to introduce a new cinnamon bun at the discounted price of E1.50 (£1.29),” he told British Baker. Other successful promotions include any scone or pastry with a coffee for E3.50 (£3) and any sandwich with a coffee for E5 (£4.29). “We were first out of the block with these kinds of deals in September and they have become so successful that the difficulty will be in dropping them,” said Kerr.Insomnia outsourced sandwich production in January to Newry-based firm Around Noon. Sweet bakery comes from Dublin-based Soul Food and Cuisine de France. The company, which turned over E12.1m (£10.4m) in 2008 and employs 190 people, plans to open another two high street shops this year and has managed to renegotiate an average rent reduction of 15% across 20 of its 32 leases.It also aims to extend its tie-up with Spar, opening five more barista-led franchise operations to make a total of 25 and adding a further 20 self-serve bean-to-cup machines to Spar stores by the year-end. Around 70 Spar stores already have the machines.last_img read more

News story: Regulatory alert issued to charitable think tanks

first_img when working with politicians, a process to ensure the charity remains independent and will not be associated in the public’s mind with a particular political party? Some charities seek to disclaim responsibility for political opinions expressed by reports by claiming that the opinions published are not those of the charity but are of the individual authors of the report. If the authors are employees of the charity then the views expressed will be considered to be the views of the charity.Special care must be taken if any researchers employed by the charity are well known for their political persuasion. The trustees will need to be convinced on reasonable grounds that the researchers will conduct the research objectively and honestly.They must also be mindful of public perception that the research has not been conducted from a neutral position damaging the charity’s reputation. It is one of the trustees’ duties to make sure that the charity’s publications do not become used as political vehicles.Our adviceThe trustees should familiarise themselves with the CC9 guidance on campaigning and political activity. Any campaigning or political activity carried out by the charity must accord with CC9 and be in pursuit of solely their educational purposes.The charity must guard its independence and ensure it is not associated with a particular political party.The trustees must not allow their own political allegiances to dictate the choice of research topic or event and so on.The charity must be open and transparent about any engagement it has with politicians.NotesThe Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has issued this alert to charitable think tanks as regulatory advice under section 15(2) of the Charities Act 2011. Our adviceOperating effective control over the charity’s activities is a vital part of your compliance with your legal duties. Trustees must have appropriate and proportionate oversight of all the charities activities to ensure that those activities are compliant with the law and the charity’s governing document.Protecting the charity’s reputationThe trustees should have effective and appropriate systems in place to identify and manage the key reputational risks the charity may face from its work. These are likely to vary according to the nature of the activity. The charity’s reputation is a key asset of the charity, they must avoid exposing it to undue risk.Some of the risk areas that we have particularly identified from our casework with think tanks are set out below.What the trustees need to think about, does the charity have: At events, several people with a range of views on a topic each address the audience. At events, the audience is only addressed by people with the same views on a topic. appropriate policies and procedures in place, including a social media policy, so that staff are aware of what is and is not acceptable? The researchers are not linked to a particular view or opinion. The researchers are linked to a particular view or opinion which suggests bias. The purpose is to educate the public. It is balanced and neutral and allows the individual to form their own view. The purpose is to achieve a change in the law or policy which would not advance the charity’s educational purposes. It is not neutral and presents the individual with biased and selective information in support of a preconceived point of view. Press office Email [email protected] Think tanks have an important role in society helping to educate the public. Society is richer when it is challenged with new ways of thinking and when debate is stimulated. However, think tanks which are charitable must operate and behave as charities.Charitable status is important and means something in the eyes of the public. It allows certain freedoms and benefits, including tax reliefs. But it also places important limits on charities to ensure that they are operating in furtherance of their purposes, and for the public benefit.We want charity to thrive and to inspire trust. For it to do so we must ensure that trustees of charitable think tanks are clear on their legal duties and are operating in line with them.The advice was issued to charitable think tanks today (7 December 2018) to remind trustees of those legal duties.Our Chief Executive Officer, Helen Stephenson CBE, also issued a letter to charitable think tanks (PDF, 195KB, 1 page) alongside the advice below.Understanding the charity’s objectsIn general terms the object of most think tanks is to advance education for the public benefit. Therefore any research published or other activity undertaken must: Our adviceThe trustees must ensure that the charity’s outputs (research reports, articles, seminars and so on) are balanced and neutral, and that there are robust processes and procedures in place that can provide assurance on how the charity ensures this is the case.Having control of your charityThe trustees are ultimately responsible for the charity’s activities, even if the work has been delegated to staff. This includes: are there suitable controls and reporting arrangements in place to ensure you have oversight of all matters delegated to staff, including the choice of research topics? Press mobile – out of hours only 07785 748787 when working with funders, a process to ensure the charity remains independent and that sources of funding will not compromise the charity’s independence in the public’s mind and that any activities are seen to be in the charity’s best interests, rather than that of any funder is there a process for you to sign-off reports that are likely to be controversial or generate significant publicity (together with the communication and launch plan) to ensure that they comply with legal and regulatory requirements? do you periodically review what the charity is achieving, and how effective the charity’s activities are?center_img the selection of research topics, articles for publication and topics for seminars or conferences the promotion of published research through launch events and promotional material, such as press releases the charity’s website and use of social media The trustees need to have appropriate processes and procedures in place to ensure they are adequately informed and are fully in control of the charity.From our casework with think tanks, the trustees need particularly to think about the following: have sufficient value in educational terms further the charity’s purposes be available (either directly or indirectly) to the public, or a sufficient section of the public present the public with information that permits them to form their own opinions be educational in the way understood by charity law clear guidelines on appropriate sources of funding and processes for carrying out proper due diligence on individuals and organisations that give money to the charity? It does not promote a specific policy unless that policy furthers the education purposes of the charity. It is designed to promote a specific policy and is really seeking to achieve a political outcome and risks being used as a political vehicle. a process to identify and assess risks in respect of significant outputs, such as the publication of research or the holding of a high profile event? Is consideration given to how it will be perceived by other people, including the general public? rules and boundaries within which the CEO and staff must work, including when representing or speaking on behalf of the charity? do you have a full grasp of the activities being carried out by the charity, including its use of social media? Our adviceTrustees must manage their charity’s resources responsibly, including protecting and safeguarding its reputation. This risk can often be higher for charities operating on high profile, emotive subjects – trustees must take particular care to ensure they can demonstrate their independence.Avoiding unacceptable political activityCampaigning and political activity (but not party political activity) can be carried out in furtherance of the charitable objects and in line with our guidance on campaigning and political activity (CC9).All such activity must further or support the charity’s objects and must not be party political. Think tanks are generally established for educational purposes in which case any campaigning or political activity would have to further those educational purposes.The charity must be politically neutral. It must be careful not to support, or appear to support, a political party. Particular care must be taken when inviting politicians to events or to take part in debates and the perception this may give to the public.If the charity consistently works only with one political party, this will call into question whether it is politically neutral. The trustees should be alert to the risk that a political party or pressure group could exploit the charity for its own benefit.Any research or activity would not be permissible if: its purpose is to change the law or change policy, rather than educate its purpose is (in essence) political, party political or propagandist its purpose is to seek a change to the law or the policy of government or other public body (see CC9 guidance) and it does not further or support the charity’s objects What is acceptable What is not acceptable It is balanced and presents and explores both sides and a range of options. It is clear what process and criteria were used to achieve this. It is not balanced and only explores one side of the argument. Education does not have to be entirely neutral; it can start from a generally accepted position that something is beneficial. A charity can therefore promote uncontroversial views and perspectives.Outputs in furtherance of the objects (research, web articles, seminars and so on) The arguments and conclusions are based on an objective analysis of evidence/data. The arguments and conclusions are based on opinion and supposition.last_img read more

Innovative Bites announces new premises

first_imgAmerican snack and confectionery supplier Innovative Bites has announced that it will move into new premises in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.The 103,000sq ft site boasts 10 loading bays and is 2.5 times larger than the firm’s previous premises in Southall, London. The move has come on the back of an expansion plan, which included the acquisition of one of the UK’s oldest sweet businesses, Bonds of London, in April 2016.The business has seen a continued growth in demand for its confectionery products, including Twinkies, Mega Marshmallows and WarHeads. This has resulted in increased listings across multiples and independents, which made the move necessary.Vishal Madhu, director of Innovative Bites, said: “Moving into our new Dunstable premises is a strategic move that has been on the cards for some time. We have seen an increasing demand for American confectionery here in the UK, which has meant we simply outgrew our previous site.He added: “The move will allow us to streamline our operation and operate more efficiently in a larger purpose-built warehouse. The additional space and facilities will also allow us to improve our offering to our customers, not only of American lines but also British lines from our business, Bonds of London.”In March, Innovative Bites signed a deal to launch limited-edition Ghostbusters Twinkies, called Key Lime Slime.last_img read more

Agricultural Economics

first_imgUniversity of Georgia economist Jeffrey Dorfman was recently named a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the top professional association for agricultural and natural resource economists. Dorfman’s contributions in econometrics include advances in modeling and forecasting, and popularizing Bayesian econometrics within agricultural and applied economics. Dorfman started his career in academics just as computers were becoming more commonplace in university research labs. He was one of the first economists to use new numerical integration methods to attack the complex and pain-staking math needed to apply Bayesian probability principles to economics. “Dr. Dorfman is a top-notch economist and extremely well-respected in our profession,”” said Octavio Ramirez, director of the CAES Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. “His initiation as AAEA Fellow at such an early stage of his career is a great honor for him, our department and the University of Georgia.” He is the first professor in the 85-year history of the UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics to receive the honor, which is the highest recognition bestowed by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. “It’s a big honor, and I am very pleased to get it,” he said. Dorfman joined the faculty of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 1989. Since then he’s built a reputation across Georgia by commenting on local government finance, land use and by providing frequent training sessions for the state’s local government officials on these issues. In addition to his research and outreach, Dorfman has taught numerous courses microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and agricultural marketing. Dorfman will accept his award in Washington D.C. at the joint meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society in August. Dorfman has served the association as co-editor and associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, as chair of the Econometrics Section, and member and chair of numerous AAEA committees. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from U.C., Davis. He is also a founding member of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.The Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is an international non-profit association serving the professional interests of members working in agricultural and broadly related fields of applied economics.last_img read more