Sunday 21 October 2018

Olympic Council of Ireland proposing to limit length of time executive committee members can serve in office

Olympic Council of Ireland president Sarah Keane
Olympic Council of Ireland president Sarah Keane
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) is proposing a limit on the length of time that executive committee members can serve in office.

Later this evening, the OCI will hold an extraordinary general meeting to agree changes to its constitution that will impose term limits on its directors among other changes aimed at enhancing governance of the organisation.

Under the proposals, the general rule going forward is that an executive committee member will have a four year term of office. They will be permitted to serve two four year terms up to a maximum of eight years. The body will also launch its new seven year Strategic Plan focusing on 2018 to 2024.

Sarah Keane, OCI President, told a media briefing today in Dublin that the body is focused on the 2018 Winter Games, which will be held in South Korea .

"We will commence in the New Year to consider our ticketing arrangements for Toyko 2020 and we intend at this juncture to engage another authorised ticket re-seller. However, right now we are focused on PyeongChang in terms of ticketing arrangements and obviously in terms of supporting the athletes.

Meanwhile, Ms Keane said that the body has met on numerous occasions with the Department of Sport and Tourism this year in relation to the future of the OCI.

"The 2016 funding payment has been confirmed. It hasn't yet hit our bank account. We expect that to happen shortly. But we have not received any confirmation of funding for 2017, despite the fact that we are into December 2017, but we do expect to meet with the Department in the coming weeks prior to the end of the year, and we are hopeful that our funding for 2017 will be restored.

"It is funding that we are expecting and that we have budgeted to receive in 2017. Having said that, we do expect to run to a significant deficit in 2017 as well, but we will look at that again for next year.

"We are receiving strong support from Sport Ireland in relation to our journey, as a new board and the organisation generally, and we have been asked to appear before the Sport Ireland board in the next couple of weeks.

"We are happy then that they will also support the restoration of the funding for the organisation.

"I don't think we want to be in this position in a couple of years whereby we are looking for funding from either Government or Sport Ireland. We want to be putting money in, but I also think that's particularly relevant because at the moment, almost all of Irish sport is dependent on funding from the Government."

Meanwhile, under the proposed changes,  being considered tonight at the next OCI elections in 2020, anyone who has not served 12 years or more shall be eligible for re-election in 2020. Anyone over 12 years on the existing executive committee will not be eligible.

Members will however, be asked to consider an exception to the strict eight year rule, which could affect people who were perhaps elected very young in their lives or others who have still more to offer at a later stage in life.

Members will be asked to decide if they would be happy to allow someone to come back for one final four year term subject to them having stepped off for at least four years, and subject to never going over 12 years maximum.

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