October 2, 2006
LOS ANGELES–The Board of Trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust said it was pleased that the California Attorney General’s report has been issued and reiterated the Board’s commitment to strengthened governance at the Getty Trust.
“This has been a difficult period for the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Board has recognized the need for strengthened oversight, and has taken actions to make the Getty a leader in governance,” said Louise Bryson, Chair of the Getty's Board of Trustees.
The Attorney General’s report acknowledges the extensive work done by the Getty this year to remedy problems that previously existed. While the Attorney General found no abuse in connection with the Getty’s sale of a parcel of property, its grant-making or the compensation of the former CEO, it criticized prior Getty practice with regard to gifts to Trustees, personal use of staff members and certain travel policies. In April of this year the Getty instituted policies and procedures to guard against those past practices.
“The issues raised in the Attorney General’s report that needed to be addressed have been dealt with. The changes the Trustees have enacted provide management with a strong road map to guide against problems going forward,” said Ms. Bryson.
The report also cited the former CEO’s agreement to forego severance and repay the Getty $250,000 as a significant remedy to correct past issues.
Based on its own investigation of issues that surfaced at the Getty Trust, and in cooperation with the Attorney General’s office and the Council on Foundations, the J. Paul Getty Trust Board in April approved and has implemented numerous steps to improve governance and oversight.
Specifically, the Board now requires the following:
- Formalized Board training and annual self-assessment to improve oversight;
- Hiring an independent contractor to allow Getty employees to anonymously alert management to workplace complaints;
- Strengthened policies and procedures to eliminate the inappropriate use of staff for personal matters;
- More thorough procedures for the annual review of the CEO, and the requirement that the hiring of all the CEO’s direct reports be reviewed in advance by the Board of Trustees;
- All grants must now be processed by the Getty Foundation, and those outside of the Getty’s established categories and procedures, and all those over $500,000, now must be approved by the Board;
- No reimbursement of travel for employees’ spouses and stricter rules regarding other business travel expenses;
- No gifts to trustees;
- The purchase or sale of any Getty property must be approved in advance, with transactions handled by an independent agent; and
- A comprehensive and transparent governance website, which includes Board members’ backgrounds, committees and their charters, and extensive financial disclosure, including the Trust’s tax return and disclosure of executive compensation.
In addition to its findings, the Attorney General’s report also calls for certain activities of the J. Paul Getty Trust to be monitored through April 2008 to ensure compliance with newly adopted policies and procedures. The Board has agreed to the appointment of an independent monitor and will cooperate fully with him and the Attorney General’s office as part of its ongoing effort to achieve excellence in governance and oversight.
Deborah Marrow, Interim President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust said, “Getty management will continue to implement these strong policies and procedures to insure the Getty adheres to the highest standards for non-profit governance.”
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Getty Communications Department
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