Institutes of Technology become first higher level education bodies to adopt Code of Governance
The first Code of Governance for higher level education bodies under the 2016 State Guidelines was launched on Thursday, 25 January, 2018, by the Institutes of Technology representative body, the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA). The Code sets out best practice in governance across areas such as business and financial reporting roles and responsibilities, ethics, risk management, relationships with the HEA, department, Minister and the Oireachtas, remuneration and superannuation and internal audit.
THEA is the first organisation to adopt the Code of Practice for Governance of State Bodies launched by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe in 2016, for implementation by a higher education sector and this code will become a model for implementation across the sector as a whole.
Dr Joseph Ryan, CEO THEA, says: “I am delighted that the Institutes of Technology are leading the way in placing such a weight of importance on best practice in governance. Institutes of Technology play a pivotal role in society and in national economic and social development. Given their importance and their reliance on public as well as private funding, good governance is particularly important for us. The delicate balance between accountability and autonomy is enshrined in the Institute of Technology Act 2006 and this new Code of Governance celebrates that balance, while setting out systems and procedures that enable our institutes to discharge their responsibilities with transparency and accountability. We look forward to implementing the Code across all Institutes of Technology, while working towards the establishment of the first Technological Universities.”
Since January 2017 THEA has been working with internal auditors, PwC to draft the Code. Input was provided by the Higher Education Authority and overseen by a steering group drawn from the Institutes. The Code will be adopted by the Governing Bodies of all Institutes of Technology and by the new Technological Universities. A balance has been struck in the Code between the need for strong accountability and the requirement to support the Institutes of Technology under the legal framework and the environment within which they operate.
Dr Graham Love, CEO Higher Education Authority, says: “This is an excellent piece of work and the HEA made a valuable contribution at various stages of this project. The resulting Code of Governance is currently being utilised as a model for the entire higher education sector. The HEA welcomes the inclusive consultation process throughout the process and look forward to contributing to the implementation process.”
Ger O’Mahoney PwC Partner, says: "Engaging with THEA and the HEA in the development of this Code of Governance from its inception has given our team here in PwC the opportunity to support the building blocks of good governance, aligned to the new State Code of Practice, in the Institutes of Technology. The hard work put in by all parties will pay dividends for many years to come. This is the type of value we are delighted and proud to bring to all of our clients.”
The Code is intended to be a living document and will evolve with best practice. It is effective since 1 January 2018 and is available on the Higher Education Authority website www.hea.ie.