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Governance

Ethical framework

Open Briefing is:

  • a signatory of the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief;
  • bound by the Code of Conduct for Members of the International NGO Safety and Security Association;
  • a member or associate member of the Humanitarian Practice Network, the International NGO Safety & Security Association (INSSA), British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND); the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) and the UK Cyber Security Forum;
  • a certified member of Social Enterprise UK;
  • a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, and has been awarded a bronze award by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS);
  • a member of the UK government’s Disability Confident scheme, and has been awarded a Level 1 certificate; and
  • a signatory of the Charter for employers who are positive about mental health.

For more information, please see our our ethical, environmental and equal opportunities policies.

Charitable purpose

Open Briefing is registered as a company limited by guarantee (No. 07649656) and is run as a social enterprise. The non-profit nature of our organisation is set out in our Articles of Association, which are available on request. Of particular importance are the following two articles:

Non-profit clause. Article 3 states that ‘The income and property of the Company shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Company as declared above. The directors undertake to ensure no profit from the company is paid or transferred directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise to the members of the company.’

Asset lock. Article 5 states that ‘If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Company there remains… any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid or distributed among the Members of the Company, but shall be transferred either to some other institution… having objects similar to the objects of the Company, or to some institution… the objects of which are the promotion of charity…’

Open Briefing’s mission is to protect and inform all those striving for social and environmental justice, particularly those working in or on fragile and conflict-affected states or under repressive regimes. Article 1.1 of our Articles of Association further states that the object of the organisation is:

To undertake research and advocacy on defence, security and foreign policy issues.

As such, our activities fulfil the public benefit criteria set out by the Charity Commission and align with several of the charitable purposes set out in the Charities Act 2011, with the closest match being:

The advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity.

Legal advice sought by the Marmot Charitable Trust in 2011 further confirmed that our activities can be considered charitable in nature.

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Funders

Some of our most-important stakeholders are our funders and supporters, who provide us with the financial resources and moral support necessary to undertake our innovative work. Our current funders are:

  • Oak Foundation
  • Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation
  • Marmot Charitable Trust
  • Network for Social Change
  • Philamonic Trust
  • Remote Control Project

Management

Open Briefing is managed by our founder and executive director, Chris Abbott. Chris is supported in his work by an expert advisory board.

Open Briefing is committed to full disclosure, transparency and accountability. All our project proposals and budgets and internal evaluations are published online in full for anyone to hold us to account with. Our strategic plan, in particular, contains more information about the management and funding of the organisation and our plans for the future.