The Institute of Directors in Ireland (IOD) has published a report outlining the results of in-depth research it carried out in January 2014 with a number of its members with boardroom experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector.

The aim of the report was to gauge the views of those involved in the sector and to measure their opinions on both how the sector is governed generally and the operation of their board, specifically.

On the issue of governance generally, the following were among the key findings:

  • 83% of respondents believe that there should be a mandatory code of governance for organisations in the charity / not-for-profit sector in Ireland; 
  • 42% of respondents rated the governance of the sector as "average", while 33% rated the governance as "poor" and just 9% rated it as "good";
  • 79% of respondents feel that there should be a more formal and transparent process of appointment to boards in the sector;
  • 56% of respondents believe that the establishment of the Charities Regulatory Authority will help to restore public confidence in the governance of the sector; and 
  • 80% of respondents believe that independent external benchmarking should be used to determine the appropriate salary levels of chief executives in the sector.

The report highlighted the fact that a relatively high number of organisations are voluntarily publishing their audited accounts and that there is a high level of compliance with the Governance Code for Community and Voluntary Organisations in Ireland.

The delay in the commencement of the Charities Act 2009 was expressed as being a concern for the sector, with some respondents indicating that it is critical for the integrity of the sector that it be implemented as soon as possible.

Public disclosure of accounts, board training and rotation of board members were among the measures that respondents believe might improve governance standards in the sector.