February Newsletter 2014
Issued on February 20 2014
On 17 January, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD, announced the upcoming establishment of a Charities Regulatory Authority. Mr Shatter confirmed that an interim chief executive of the new body is to be appointed in February, with the installation of a complete Authority coming before Easter. Funding for the establishment of the Regulator has been approved by the Minister for Public Expenditure, Brendan Howlin TD.
This announcement is most welcome and long overdue. We at the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) have been calling for the appointment of a regulator and for better governance within charities for well over twenty years. We have consistently engaged with the Department and the sector on this issue, and were heavily involved with the development, promotion and adoption of the Governance Code – 15% of the organisations signed up to the Code are, in fact, our members.
DFI has, for the last ten years, been raising and improving governance practices among our member organisations, offering governance supports such as the Organisational Healthcheck and the PQASSO quality assurance system. We emphasise the importance of monitoring and evaluation to allow organisations to measure their value and effectiveness. The public needs to have confidence in the charities sector, and the new Regulator will take action in protecting the sector and those who support it from isolated incidents of misconduct.
The charity and disability sectors have played and will continue to play a pivotal role in the provision of vitally important services in all parts of this country; in putting the governance of the sector on a statutory footing, regulation will benefit all involved. We look forward to working with and supporting the Regulator in increasing transparency and trust in the disability sector in Ireland.
John Dolan, Chief Executive