GOAL appoints new general manager following bribery allegations

The NGO's US offices closed last week

GOAL appoints new general manager following bribery allegations

Photo: RollingNews.ie

International aid charity GOAL has appointed Celine Fitzgerald as its new general manager.

She comes into the role following former chief executive Barry Andrews's resignation, amid continued fallout from allegations of bribery and bid rigging against the charity.

Ms Fitzgerald, who has taken up the appointment on an interim basis, currently sits as a non-executive director on the boards of VHI and Ervia, Irish Water's parent company. 

She is a former chief executive officer at outsourcing business Rigney Dolphin and managing director of her own consulting business, Integro Consulting.

"Given the changes and additions we are making at management level within the organisation in the coming weeks, it is important that we appoint someone with experience and competence in the field of change management to oversee this period," Anne O'Leary, chairperson of GOAL, said.

“The next 12 months will be a critical period for GOAL as we seek to regain and consolidate the trust of our donors and the general public, while continuing with the implementation of our aid programmes across the world.” 

Last week, it was announced that the NGO would be shutting its US offices following a failure to meet its self-sustainability deadline.

The resignation and closure comes as the charity faces a US inquiry into its operations in Syria. It has been accused of bribery on the Turkey-Syria border.

In August, the Department of Foreign Affairs withheld around €3m in funding from the Irish NGO on foot of a US government investigation into its Syrian aid programme.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is conducting the probe into cross-border aid programs.

Following his resignation, Mr Andrews said: "It has become clear to me that Goal requires a fresh start in terms of leadership. To that end, I informed Goal's board of directors last August of my intention to step down as CEO as soon as a suitable replacement could be identified."