You may be aware that last night's (16 January 2017) Claire Byrne Live show on RTÉ One broadcast an investigative piece on poor governance and financial management in an animal welfare charity. The Wheel featured in the piece making some general observations from the perspective of good governance principles.
The good news is that prior to the broadcast the Charity Regulator issued a statement noting that "concerns were raised in relation to...[charity name]...and following our initial assessment...of a number of issues regarding the governance and financial management of the charity...we formed the view that this is an offence under the charities act 2009".
The Charity Regulator has also announced that it has instructed "the charity trustees to take immediate steps to ensure that proper books of account are maintained and that procedures are introduced which will facilitate them in providing the relevant scrutiny and oversight of the charity's financial management".
The Wheel greatly welcomes this course of action by the Charity Regulator. We would also like to draw your attention to the very positive fact that we now have an empowered regulator in place to take early action when such incidents arise in the charity sector. We believe that this kind of action will make a big contribution to restoring trust and confidence in the sector - hopefully preventing stories such as this one from running on and on and becoming focuses for unfair generalisations about governance practice in the sector.
We will continue to keep our members informed of further developments should they arise.