‘Correspondence to DFI Members on Accountability and Transparency’

To: DFI Member organisations

10th Dec 2013

To: DFI Member organisations

‘Correspondence to DFI Members on Accountability and Transparency’

DFI is very aware and concerned about the governance issues arising from the “top ups” or what might otherwise be identified as accountability and transparency processes in organisations which are essentially about public benefit and service.

The issue of “top ups” has proven itself to be a moment when the voluntary disability sector realised, as never before, that it has to be truly accountable to the public and more particularly to the people served by the organisations and those who support and fundraise for them.

We are public benefit organisations and Boards of Directors have a heavy responsibility to make informed judgements and to be accountable and transparent.

Our immediate concern is to ensure that there is not a negative effect on the work of our members or on their fundraising in order to provide badly needed services and supports for people with disabilities.

The focus over the past number of weeks on "top ups" has deflected attention from the serious funding issues that face health and other public services that are required by disabled people and their families.  This at a time when we are likely to see very severe cuts across health services for the year to come.

DFI has been strongly engaged in the area of governance and quality for many years and remains committed to working with our members to strengthen their capacity in these areas.  DFI has a range of programmes in relation to governance and corporate services and can otherwise advise and support you.  Please feel free to contact us.

There is much to be learnt from the current public exposure.  I would strongly suggest that each member organisation, at Board level, takes time to consider the implications for their own organisation.  Your Board’s consideration should have particular regard to issues of accountability to those you serve and other key stakeholders, the reputation of your organisation and its sustainability in order to effectively serve people with disabilities.

Each of us has a responsibility to our own organisation and those we are pledged to serve and also to the wider disability movement and the public in general. I would be obliged to you for forwarding this letter to the Chairperson of the organisation and your Company Secretary.

Yours sincerely

John Dolan

Chief Executive Officer 

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