There have been a number of very serious controversies relating to the charity/voluntary sector in recent times. Many voluntary organisations have issued detailed statements following these controversies. We feel that it is appropriate for the CAA to confirm to service users, their families, staff and supporters that we adhere to the highest possible standards of governance, compliance and ethics.

The Cork Association for Autism has always worked very hard to ensure that we adhere to the highest possible standards of governance and will continue to do so. To be clear the CAA, its board of directors and staff are fully compliant with all the current rules and regulations applied to the charity sector. More importantly we hold ourselves to an even higher standard, a basic standard of doing right in what we do and how we do it.

To that end let me reiterate the following:

1. The board of directors is made up of individuals who offer their time on a completely voluntary basis. No board member is paid for their time, no expenses or other form of payment is given to directors.

2. Our board is representative of our services with representatives from day service, respite and home support, residential together with the aspect (outreach) service.

3. In compliance with best practice, our board is made up of four independent directors. These directors have no connection to service. Our finance subcommittee is chaired by one of these independent directors, a qualified accountant. Other independent directors bring human resource, legal and corporate governance expertise to the board table.

4. All members of the Board of the CAA are required to step down after defined periods of service.

5. No director on the board is employed by the CAA.

6. No members of the board are related to one another.

7. No member of a director’s family is employed by the CAA.

8. All Directors of the CAA are registered with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) and the Charities Registration Office.

9. Each year the accounts of the organisation are audited by an independent firm of auditors, James Dillane and Company. This firm has extensive experience auditing charitable organisations. The preparation, review and reporting of our accounts adhere to the highest possible accounting standards. Additionally, the specific requirements of charities are also complied with fully.

10. The audited accounts of the organisation are lodged with the CRO annually.

11. The organisation holds just one credit card which is used only by accounts staff and receipts are required for all transactions.

12. The organisation is fully in compliance with all reporting and filing obligations.

13. All of the operations of the Cork Association for Autism are undertaken by one legal entity, the Cork Association for Autism Limited. There are no subsidiaries or related entities in existence.

14. The CAA is subject to review on an ongoing basis by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). Our Crobally campus passed its inspection last year and our Greenville campus is currently in the process of completing its inspection process.

I hope these clarifications provide some degree of comfort to those of you who support the CAA.

The CAA will always strive to ensure that we adhere to the very best ethical standards. We will continue to deliver on our legal, governance and compliance obligations in everything we do. We will not forget our primary obligation to improve the lives and opportunities of those we have the privilege of supporting with the fundamental principles of equity and fairness applied at all times.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support.

Brian Healy – Chairman
David Power – Secretary
David Hyland Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee

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