All bodies in receipt of Irish Sports Council funding are expected to operate in a democratic and transparent manner and display all elements of good corporate governance. Effective governance places greater demands upon directors and executives, but it does so with the aim of improving the operations of the organization as a whole, helping it obtain its goals and meet the needs of stakeholders
The term governance, describes the process of running your sports organisation, making decisions and ensuring that it is properly accountable; whereas management is concerned with organising the day-to-day activities of the organisation. To be an effective and accountable organisation, you need to ensure that you have good governance arrangements in place.
The Irish Sports Council's strategic objectives include the development of National Governing Bodies (NGBs). Developing good governance practices in NGBs is a key part of that process. The basic principles of Governance in a voluntary or public service context include Accountability, Openness and Integrity and these values should underpin all activities of the NGB (See The 7 Nolan Principle of Public Lifes). Other key elements in the governance process involve an appropriate set of communications between an NGB's management, its Board, its members and other stakeholders.
The `Internal Control System' includes all the policies, procedures processes and checks (internal controls) adopted by the NGB to assist in achieving their objective of ensuring, as far as practicable, the orderly and efficient conduct of the Governing Body's activities. This includes adherence to internal policies, the safeguarding of assets, the prevention and detection of fraud and error, the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records and the timely preparation of reliable financial information. (see Code of Practice for State Sponsored Bodies ) Furthermore, NGBs have a responsibility to ensure compliance with statutory and governing document requirements such as relevant Companies Registration Office (CRO) forms and compliance with the terms of the Memorandum & Articles of Association / Constitution. The CEO, Chairperson and all Board members have a responsibility for ensuring that an adequate and appropriate internal control system operates within the NGB.
The `Control Environment' means the overall attitude, awareness and actions of the Board, management and staff regarding internal controls and their importance in the company. The control environment encompasses the management style and organisation culture and values shared by all. It provides the background against which the various other controls are operated. Factors reflected in the control environment include the philosophy and operating style of the President and/or Chairperson, Board and any other staff and the structure and methods of assigning authority and responsibility which should be clearly defined in a scheme of delegation.
Governance Principles (Source: The Australian Sports Commission)
Governing Sport - The Role of the Board (Australian Sports Commission)