Dáil debates

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) - Priority Questions

State Bodies Code of Conduct

4:20 pm

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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All bodies under the aegis of my Department are subject to the revised code of practice for the governance of State bodies which came into effect in September 2016.

The code, which is published on the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's website, sets out the respective roles of parent Departments, boards and chairs of individual bodies, and includes details of the oversight and performance delivery agreements to be entered into by both parties.

The implementation of the oversight and performance delivery agreements by individual bodies is monitored by officials of my Department who meet the individual bodies on a regular basis to review progress on performance objectives and governance matters.

All recipients of State funding, either directly from my Department or through an intermediary funding body, are also subject to the provisions of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circular 13/2014, Management of and Accountability for Grants from Exchequer Funds, which outlines the public financial management principles, procedures and additional reporting requirements to be followed in the management of grant funding provided from public money.

In addition to the above, last week I announced a series of measures designed to support bodies in meeting their governance obligations. These include arranging training for board members and senior management staff of bodies directly reporting to my Department in the area of governance in general and on issues relating to bullying and harassment in the workplace - my Department is also working on a collaborative basis with the Arts Council to make similar training available to other cultural organisations and arts centres around the country at a series of regional information days; highlighting again to bodies reporting to the Department the nature of their legal obligations, by immediately writing to them to seek assurances of compliance with obligations under employment legislation - the Employment Equality Acts, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, and the Employment Equality Act 1998 (Code of Practice (Harassment) Order 2012; and accelerating a planned review----

Additional information not given on the floor of the House

A further measure announced is the acceleration of a planned review of compliance by bodies reporting to the Department with the requirements of the code of practice for the governance of State bodies.

I am confident these support measures will contribute to the further enhancement of existing governance structures in bodies in receipt of State funding.