The Charities Regulator has published an inspectors’ report into Irish Wildbird Conservancy CLG T/A BirdWatch Ireland. The report follows a statutory investigation into the charity arising from concerns raised with the Charities Regulator. The findings include insufficient action by the charity’s board of trustees to ensure adequate financial controls and procedures were in place, and the use of restricted funds for purposes outside their designated projects.
The report sets out a summary of factual findings which include the following:
- Insufficient action taken by the board of BirdWatch to ensure adequate financial controls and procedures were in place and adhered to within BirdWatch;
- An inappropriate structure in BirdWatch for financial governance and oversight, where the person in the CEO role had most of the approval authority and responsibility for internal control;
- A lack of sufficient oversight of funding arrangements, contracts and budgets for projects and a lack of compliance with the terms of funding agreements, resulting in cash from restricted funds being spent outside of their designated projects;
- Evidence of the lack of provision of timely and accurate financial information to the board.
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