Charities Regulator says 'key lessons' should be learned from investigation into GLEN

John Farrelly says lack of oversight "can have a really bad effect on an otherwise vibrant charity"

Charities Regulator says 'key lessons' should be learned from investigation into GLEN

staff. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

There are 'key lessons' to be learned from an investigation into the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), according to the Charities Regulator.

GLEN is currently in the process of being wound down, a move which came following a review last year.

Inspectors for the Charities Regulator have now completed their report into the charity's affairs.

They say almost €11,000 was paid out of GLEN's funds to support the unsuccessful Seanad campaign of a co-founder and former co-chair of the charity, Kieran Rose.

The funds were later repaid. 

According to the report, there was also a culture within the organisation where "high levels of trust" were placed in staff member without the necessary oversight of financial dealings.

It also says company credit cards were 'regularly' used for personal spending, with the money subsequently repaid.

The report also found that more than €50,000 in credit card transactions were not backed up by receipts or invoices.

John Farrelly, CEO of the Charities Regulator, is encouraging other organisations to learn lessons from the report.

He said: "The lack of robust governance and oversight can have a really bad effect on an otherwise vibrant charity.

"Make sure that your charities are well-informed and engaged - you need robust governance to ensure that your charity remains vibrant."