Ireland’s technological higher education sector is to the forefront in promoting excellent standards of Corporate Governance within higher education in this country. Work on this within THEA continues through the group of Secretary/Financial Controllers and the Internal Audit Steering Group.
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.
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. A balance has been struck in the Code between the need for strong accountability and the requirement to support the sector under the legal framework and the environment within which they operate.
The Code is a living document and will be updated over time in line with developments in best practice in Governance.
Institutes are now moving to adopt the Code of Governance and work is continuing on the development of guidance documentation and complementary templates.
THEA also supports the Institutes in the expansion of shared services, representing the sector on the Higher Education Programme Reform Board, which leads the development of new shared services within the sector.
An important element of work in 2018 is the development of common policies among the Technological Sector Institutions in relation to GDPR. THEA is working closely with the Institutes with a view to developing a set of common policies, which will be published once completed.