Once again, the good name of the community, charity and voluntary sector in Ireland has been damaged by the dishonourable and corrupt actions of a few people. The governance failures and breaches of trust uncovered in Console’s affairs have cast a shadow over many ethical and committed people and organisations. In these circumstances it is necessary to reassure our members and supporters about ElectricAid’s governance, processes, and integrity.
Over the last few years, ElectricAid has put a lot of effort into our management and governance. We have signed up to the Five Principles of the Governance Code for Charities. These are:
- Leading our organisation
- Exercising control over our organisation
- Being transparent and accountable
- Working effectively
- Behaving with integrity.
We take these principles seriously – and live up to them. Our application, evaluation, funding and project auditing processes are treated with the utmost transparency and integrity. Our payments are governed by a strict approval process with multiple signatories required for cheques and EFTs. As a result of the generosity of ESB, we pay no salaries or expenses. Neither do we pay salary, expenses or overheads for applicant organisations. All of our funding goes direct to grassroots projects. Integrity, transparency and accountability are core values for ElectricAid. No Committee member is reimbursed for work done. Our accounts are independently audited, published on ESBnet and on www.electricaid.ie, and lodged with the Revenue Commissioners and with the Charities Regulatory Authority. Financial and governance details on ElectricAid are published on www.charitiesregulatoryauthority.ie. The minutes and outputs of all meetings are posted on our site. As my predecessor John Kelly noted in similar circumstances in 2013, members have a standing invitation to attend any of our meetings. We are a member-owned and driven organisation, doing our business in the open, and proud to do so. We are open for business – and open for any scrutiny. Please be assured that the unacceptable actions of a few individuals have no place in the vast majority of charities – and absolutely no place in ElectricAid. Members have invested us with the trust of managing and growing this world-leading initiative; we have honoured this trust, and will continue to do so.
Tina Pittock, Chair, ElectricAid