Leaked Documents Reveal Greenpeace in 'Financial Disarray'

Greenpeace is in disarray over the handling of its £58m budget and has been for years, according to leaked documents seen by the Guardian. The documents show that not only is its finance department in chaos, its income has also been substantially lower than projected and there has been a lack of transparency and accountability over its financial decisions.

These revelations come after it was revealed that a staffer at the environmentalist campaign group lost £3m after a staffer placed a bad bet on the foreign currency exchange market. The staffer was later fired, and the group apologised to donors.

Minutes of a board meeting are particularly revealing:

"The board takes this [the £3m loss] very seriously and is deeply concerned that there should be such financial loss at a time of transition – when reserves are stretched and income is substantially lower than projected, and it is particularly troubled by how it happened, ie the lack of strong, coherent processes and controls that prevent the possibility that contracts can be entered into without due authorisation."

The Guardian also reports that one of the group’s most senior executives, Pascal Husting, regularly flies between his work in Amsterdam and home in Luxembourg, despite the large carbon footprint this will leave.

The group is now expected to report of £5.4m deficit for 2013, including the £3m lost in the currency speculation.

The leaked documents also reveal that Executive Director Kumi Naidoo thinks internal communications within the group are a “huge problem”, and that staff have “good reason” to be upset about a wide range of problems.

Staff are also concerned about being shifted to lower wages as they are moved from Amsterdam during a restructuring.

The group also did not campaign to have one of its three ships released by the Russians because it knew it would have been a “wasted effort”.

Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor, which seeks to make non-governmental organisations, such as Greenpeace, more accountable told the Guardian: “The extent of it [the financial problems] was not something I expected [at Greenpeace].

“But it’s part of the fact that NGOs keep things very much within the organisation, there’s no culture of accountability. They call on governments to be accountable but they lack this in so many ways, so in that sense it’s not a surprise.”


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