Country Idealist Profiles

Ireland – Good Practice Standards for the Community & Voluntary Sector

The following are a set of principles which the Government suggests should be seen as basic commitments informing the relationship between the State and the sector.  These set of principles emerged from a wide‑spread consultation process leading up to the publication of the Government `White Paper on a Framework for Supporting Voluntary Activity and for Developing the Relationship between the State and the Community and Voluntary Sector´, 2000 .  

  • There should be openness, accountability and transparency in the work of the sector, while having regard to necessary confidentiality in the relationship with clients and statutory agencies;
  • Groups in receipt of statutory funding should publish annual reports and accounts, which will include details of  the number of members, branches and meetings of the organisation and remuneration of the CEO and other key management staff;
  • Organisations should maintain high standards of governance and accountability and commit themselves to adhere to relevant legal obligations and standards;
  • Services and programmes should be informed by the principle of respect for the individual’s dignity, privacy and confidentiality. They should also be informed by the right of users to quality services which are accessible to them, such as people with disability or women with children;
  • Where relevant, customers and people who avail of services should have an input into the planning, delivery and management of services;
  • Customer service charters should be published by service providers.  Where relevant, these should be produced on a partnership basis between voluntary service providers and relevant statutory agencies;
  • There should be equality of treatment for men and women and non‑discrimination in relation to groups who are marginalised;
  • There should be co‑operation between Community and Voluntary organisations within particular Sectors and where appropriate across Sectors in relation to policy development and programme and service delivery;
  • Community and Voluntary organisations should consider registering as companies limited by guarantee.   For this purpose, the Companies Registration Office will provide guidelines for registration for Community and Voluntary organisations;
  • Monitoring and evaluation should be carried out regularly in order to ensure effectiveness and value for money.   Reports should be made available to the funders on the extent to which the programme or project is achieving its objectives and the difficulties, if any, which are experienced.  The report should also outline the adequacy of supports available to the programme or the project, and the lessons learned which have implications for policy development and service or programme delivery and implementation;
  • Insofar as financial arrangements are concerned, voluntary organisations should adopt similar purchasing and tendering principles to those applied by statutory organisations, including competitive tendering for supply of goods and services as appropriate.

http://www.pobail.ie/en/CommunityVoluntarySupports/WhitePaperonCommunityandVoluntaryActivity/file,2200,en.doc

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