Saturday 19 October 2019

Charity used funds for alcohol at party


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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

An organisation providing support for people with disabilities has been criticised by HSE auditors for using funds to buy alcohol for Christmas parties.

The audit of Cheshire Ireland showed €66 was spent on alcohol in December 2017 and €121.44 in the previous month in a supermarket.

The auditors were told this was for service users' Christmas parties, but auditors said it should not have come out of operational funds.

The auditors carried out an audit of the charity in 2017 and made 99 recommendations.

Its latest update revealed how many were implemented. It found 17 were still outstanding, although the organisation no longer uses its funds for alcohol purchases.

Among the recommendations not implemented was the start of a policy to follow up on the outstanding debt of service users.

Another recommendation "currently in progress" was a declaration from the board of trustees that they signed up to the ethics in public office regulations.

Cheshire Ireland confirmed it was in agreement with the contents of the audit report and also the findings, recommendations and the implementation of the recommendations.

A separate HSE audit follow-up report looked at concerns raised about the Catholic Institute for Deaf People in an earlier examination.

Seven of the 75 audit recommendations in the 2016 report had yet to be implemented.

The report highlighted how the organisation gave a staff loan of €3,000 in October 2017. The auditors were told this was given in a specific and limited set of circumstances.

The HSE auditors pointed out that loans should not be given to employees.

All of the recommendations have been agreed by the organisation.

It confirmed its agreement with the contents of the report, in particular the implementation of the recommendations.

Irish Independent

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