Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ceisteanna (68)

Marc MacSharry


68. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether it will be appropriate for an organisation (details supplied) to alter its governance structure following an internal review of governance in advance of the completion of other external reviews into the organisation, including that being conducted by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. [29574/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I welcome the recent publication of the Report of the Governance Review Group, which was established by the Football Association of Ireland and Sport Ireland to develop reform proposals for the FAI.  I would like to recall that this Group had five members, three of whom were independent corporate governance experts appointed by Sport Ireland, including the Chair, Aidan Horan. The purpose of the Group was to review the existing governance arrangements within the FAI and to propose a governance framework which would support the Board and the organisation in achieving and observing good governance practice.

It is clear from their report that the Group conducted a very comprehensive review of governance practices and procedures in the Association.  This is a necessary first step for the FAI to rebuild public confidence in the association.

It has become increasingly evident over the last few months that the standards of corporate governance and financial management within the FAI currently were unacceptable.  The Review Group has presented a detailed set of proposals covering a wide range of issues including the association's Board, commercial partnerships as well as audit and risk management.  These proposals have been endorsed by Sport Ireland.  The proposals will now be considered by the FAI membership at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 20 July and at the Annual General Meeting on 27 July.  I hope that the members will seize this opportunity to adopt many of the proposals in this review.  

I am aware that there are a number of other reviews and investigations ongoing into specific matters at the FAI, including an investigation by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.  Any determinations or recommendations made by the ODCE on foot of its investigation should, of course, be abided by.  I have no information on when the ODCE's investigation or any of the other reviews commissioned by the FAI will be completed.

I know that there is a long and steep road ahead for the Association in terms of the transition that must be achieved for the good of the Association, its members and Irish football and I would encourage all of those who are responsible for enabling the transition to support and lead all necessary reforms.