Festina Lente has completed the compliance checklist process as determined by the Charities Regulator and complies with the principles and practices of the Governance Code for Community Voluntary and Charity organisation’s in Ireland. This process was completed in 2019.
Corporate Governance refers to the rules, processes or laws by which the business is operated, regulated and controlled. These rules need to be applied transparently and consistently throughout all of the organisations operations and in full compliance with the regulations determined by the Charities Regulator.
Compliance is the responsibility of each and every staff member from the Board of Directors down. Implementing and complying with good practice codes such as the Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charity sector, ‘good governance’ is a continuing journey where you constantly aim to apply best practice principles and check regularly on how you are doing.
Good governance is not a once-off tick box exercise. To be truly effective it has to be instilled as an approach, an automatic way of thinking from the Board to the most junior member of staff. It is about doing the right thing at the right time in the right way at all times.
It requires leadership, accountability, transparency, honesty and fairness. Good corporate governance enhances the reputation of the organisation and makes it more attractive to service users, staff, suppliers, donors and investors. It helps to prevent corporate scandals, fraud, and potential civil and criminal liability of the organisation. It ensures that the charity carries out its charitable purpose in an open, honest and transparent way and provides a set of guidelines to prevent any deviation from its founding principles.
Good governance matters not only because it promotes compliance with the law but also because it has a strong bearing on the organisation’s effectiveness in achieving its mission. Good governance is at the heart of any organisation.
There are five basic principles of the Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland (www.governancecode.ie):
- Leading the Organisation
- Exercising Control over the Organisation
- Being Transparent and Accountable
- Working effectively
- Behaving with Integrity
We have reviewed and accepted all of the above principles at Board and Management level. It is the duty and responsibility of the Board and the Executive to ensure that the operation and adoption of the above principles is undertaken across the organisation.
The checklist will be revisited as a Board meeting agenda item quarterly as well as being an item on the Executives monthly management agenda. At our financial end of year (31.12) we will annually state our ongoing compliance.
Well-defined and enforced corporate governance provides a structure that ensures that Festina Lente and all of its employees adhere to industry ethical standards and best practice, and in full compliance with the law. Structures and systems put in place should retain the flexibility to adapt to environmental changes and risks whilst ensuring that the organisation’s rules ensure that resources are deployed and reported on correctly.
In addition to the Governance code, Festina Lente has also subscribed to the ‘Triple Lock’ standards as set out by the Charities Institute of Ireland. This includes corporate governance but also transparent reporting (financial and otherwise) and excellence in fundraising standards.
Festina Lente prepares financial statements in full compliance with Charity SORP (Standard of Reporting Practice under FRS102 Accounting regulation) and publishes them on our website.
We have formally adopted the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising. See www.charitiesinstituteireland.ie
Finally, as part of our Service Level Agreements with Government bodies we complete and submit monthly claims and report annually on objectives set. We are also subject to on-site visits and assessments from our funding agencies. We at Festina Lente welcome these meetings as it ensures that our systems are fully compliant and maintain excellence in service delivery for our clients and funders alike.
We apply the same principles of transparency and regular reporting to other donations and grants received.
If you require any further information about corporate governance please email: firstname.lastname@example.org