Following a meeting of the Dáil Committee on Public Accounts yesterday the Red Cross welcomes the opportunity to present the extensive work being undertaken to introduce new corporate governance and financial procedures.
Donal Forde, Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross said “It is our understanding that the Irish Red Cross will be invited to respond to complaints received by the Public Accounts Committee. We would welcome the opportunity to address these complaints, especially where they are factually inaccurate.” Mr Forde continued “As highlighted by Mr Howard, new corporate governance controls have been put in place. These new controls, along with extensive improvements to financial controls at the society, address the concerns raised at yesterday’s meeting. “
These improved corporate governance practices within the Irish Red Cross include a Statement of Directors’ Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities, a Code of Conduct for Directors and Management, a Strategic Planning Framework, the establishment of an independent Audit Committee with external participation, performance Evaluation for Senior Management and plans for Board Evaluation as well as analysis and reporting of non-compliant branch financial returns.
The allegation that ‘millions’ of euro in overseas appeals had been retained is groundless. The Irish Red Cross has published its internal enquiry into the 162k held between 2005 and 2008 in a local branch bank account. No money was retained or misappropriated in any way. The Irish Red Cross deeply regrets the financial oversight that meant the appeal money was added to the appeal total three years late. All monies were committed to the programmes benefitting the disaster affected communities of SE Asia. You can read the full report of the internal enquiry here.
With regard to long serving board members, a new constitution drafted by the Irish Red Cross, currently sits with the Attorney General, and is expected to be approved by the end of 2011. Introduced as part of the new constitution, is a mandatory three year break for Executive Members if they have been elected for two consecutive terms. This draft constitution meets best practice guidelines in the sector and has received approval from the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies.
In June of this year the Irish Red Cross become one of the first adopters of the Statement of Guiding Principles of Fundraising. The society is committed to providing honest, open and transparent disclosure when fundraising from the public. Read our donor charter here.