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The Daily Mirror has accused David Camp, board member of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) of having a potential conflict of interest.
In the UK, the term ‘gangmaster’ refers to a staffing company that supplies temporary workers to the agricultural, horticultural and shellfish industries. Since 2006, these providers are required to be licensed. The GLA is a government agency set up to protect workers from exploitation and administer the licensing regime. Mr Camp is one of nineteen board members and represents the interests of gangmasters on the board.
As well as being a GLA board member, Mr Camp is also the director of trade body, the Association of Labour Providers (ALP), and runs a consultancy firm, allianceHR.
The ALP was established in February 2004 as the specialist trade association for organisations that provide temporary, contract and seasonal workers within the food, agricultural and other GLA regulated sectors.
allianceHR is described as the UK leading consultancy supporting organisations opetrating under GLA licensing and its services include GLA compliance, GLA standards audits, labour user consultancy, labour provider partnership audits, outsourced HR support, and bespoke document preparation.
Following a Freedom of Information Act request, the Daily Mirror claim that over half of Mr Camp's clients have faced inspection by the GLA after coming under suspicion of breaching their licence, including “gangmasters accused of exploitation, tax dodging and a string of firms which have gone bust owing the taxpayer millions of pounds”.
Until late last year, there was no code of conduct for GLA board members. However, since October they have been told to "ensure no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between your public duties and your private interests, financial or otherwise". The code states: "As a minimum, these will require you to declare publicly any private interests which may, or may be perceived to, conflict with your public duties."