The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation has completed the compliance checklist process 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 January 2017 and we are now deemed ‘Compliant’ on the Governance Code website. (www.governancecode.ie)
Corporate Governance is simply transparency and compliance with the Charity Commission regulations. Corporate governance is a term that refers broadly to the rules, processes, or laws by which businesses are operated, regulated, and controlled. Governance of an organisation is an ongoing endeavour and the basic principles need to be adhered to on an ongoing basis and is the overall responsibility of each and every staff member from the Board of Directors/Trustees 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 good practice principles and check regularly on how you are doing. It is not a tick box exercise or about producing big binders of policies and controls that nobody pays attention to. It is about leadership, compliance, accountability, transparency, effectiveness, honesty and fairness. It is about seeking to do the right thing in the right way at all times.
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.
It is about being transparent, open and encouraging trust. The annual report and financial statements represent a real opportunity for charities to communicate and demonstrate transparency and their adherence to good governance more effectively and in doing so build greater trust.
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 annually as well as a management item annually and we are required need to resubmit our public statement of compliance every three years.
A well-defined and enforced corporate governance provides a structure that, at least in theory, works for the benefit of everyone concerned by ensuring that Jack and Jill adheres to accepted ethical standards and best practices as well as to formal laws. Good corporate governance helps to prevent corporate scandals, fraud, and potential civil and criminal liability of the organisation. A good corporate governance image enhances the reputation of the organisation and makes it more attractive to donors, investors, suppliers and staff.
Corporate governance is about the methods and processes we put in place to provide for the proper guidance and oversight of the organisation. It is the systems that set out what we want the board and management of the organisation to do, the rules or policies they need to adhere to and how they need to account for the deployment and use of the organisation’s resources. It is about how the organisation is directed and controlled. How decisions are made and how the organisation reports on the impact of those decisions. It is critical to the effectiveness of the organisation and those involved in it. Good corporate governance has to be at the heart of the organisation, constantly reviewed, evaluated and improved.
In addition to the Governance code, Jack & Jill 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), good fundraising standards.
We prepare a Trustees Annual Report (Mazars) and financial statements in full compliance with Charity SORP (Standard of Reporting Practice under FRS102 Accounting regulation) and make them easily available to the public on our website.
We have formally adopted and are publicly signed up to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising.