Charity Sector Must Deliver Value for Money, Minister Warns

Phil Hogan TD, Minister the Environment  has warned that the Government cannot continue to support community and voluntary organisations that fail to demonstrate value for money.

Speaking at The Wheel's Annual Conference, Innovating for Good, last Thursday, Mr Hogan said he would do what he could to protect the sector from cuts but insisted no area was immune. He delivered his first major address to the community and voluntary sector at a conference in Croke Park.

“The Government will continue to assist organisations to discharge their governance duties but it cannot continue to support organisations which fail to demonstrate good governance or who fail to demonstrate value for money,” Mr Hogan said.

He said all of the social partners, including the social and voluntary sectors, had a role to play in restoring Ireland’s competitiveness. Mr Hogan said he had been very pleased to note the work already done to bring about greater co-ordination within the sector by conference organisers The Wheel, the national support and representative body for community, voluntary and charitable organisations.

“As you will appreciate, ongoing funding for my department’s programmes is being considered in the context of the comprehensive spending review process. I will do whatever I can to make sure that we can limit the impact on the community and voluntary sector, but no area is immune to cost-cutting measures.” He said he was aware of the many challenges faced by the sector, and of the “burden” voluntary board members must shoulder and the high level of administration their responsibilities could bring.

“We have learned over the past number of years that simply funnelling money into any area does not automatically deliver better services.” It could sometimes be detrimental, he said.

The event was chaired by Irish Times assistant editor Fintan O’Toole, who said: “When push comes to shove in our society the real pressure is put on the people who can least afford to take it.”

(Source: Irish Times)