Charities Regulatory Authority
2014 began with extensive public spotlight on a number of charities and their governance issues. While we would not have wished these controversies to have arisen, they have nevertheless had the positive effect of stimulating the Government into finding some resources to bring the Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA), legislated for in 2009, into being. The Code Working Group has long supported the establishment of the CRA for the purpose of overseeing the charity sector, and we look forward to developing a close and mutually supportive working relationship with the authority in the future.
Whatever progress on enhancing governance the CRA makes with the approximately 9,000 registered charities, there will still be a need to have a governance standard which the tens of thousands of non-charity not-for-profit organisations aspire to.
During 2014 Working Group representatives spoke at 22 information workshops. We would like to sincerely thank those local individuals and organisations who took on the task of promoting and hosting those information sessions, enabling us to engage with groups in Connemara, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Tipperary, Wexford and Wickow.
We are always interested in delivering Governance Code presentations to local or national networks - please contact Margaret Agnew: email@example.com to learn more.
To add further to our capacity to make presentations and support groups on the journey, we recently entered into an agreement with one of the Working Groups members, Volunteer Ireland, to train staff in local Volunteer Centres. This will enable the Centres to represent the Working Group at local information sessions and to create support networks for local organisations on the journey. This process will be rolled-out on a phased basis during 2015.
Reviewing the Code
When the Code was being drafted prior to its launch in 2012 it was agreed that there would be a review of its content and processes in 2015, to learn from the first implementation phase and make whatever changes might improve the Code and organisations use of it. The Terms of Reference for the Review have now been agreed by the Working Group together with the three additional original members of the Drafting Group. The findings from this review process will will be posted on our website when completed.
We would very much appreciate it if those who have engaged with the Code over the past 30 months would share with us their feedback of their experience of the Code, especially with suggestions for where the process and content could be improved so that version ’15 can be the most fit-for-purpose possible. Find out more here.
Finally, the Governance Code Working Group wishes all volunteers and staff in community, voluntary and charity organisations throughout Ireland a successful 2015.
Diarmaid Ó CorrbuíChairperson, Governance Code Working Group