A new voluntary corporate governance code for community, voluntary and charity (CVC) organisations in Ireland has been introduced. The new code was developed on a voluntary basis over the course of the last year by a working group established by various CVC groups and was published in February 2012.
The code is based around five main pillars from which flow a number of guiding principles and standards. The five key aspects are leading the organisation, exercising control over the organisation, being transparent and accountable, working effectively, and behaving with integrity. The code also helpfully outlines three different types of CVC organisation - depending on the size of the group, whether it has employees, if so how many etc. - and sets out different guideline actions depending on the organisation type. Like other corporate governance codes, it is intended that organisations will comply with it on a “comply or explain” basis.
CVC groups across Ireland are being encouraged to consider adopting the new code and to contact the draftsmen if they intend to do so.
This is the first code of its kind in this sector in Ireland. Other codes in a similar vein include the Corporate Governance Association of Ireland’s Code of Good Governance for Development NGOs published in 2008 in conjunction with Dochas, and the Department of Finance’s Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. Publications of interest elsewhere include the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector published in 2010 in the UK.
For a link to the code, along with a range of checklists and resources to help organisations comply, and for more background on the code’s development, please see: http://governancecode.ie/index.php