Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies
The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, published by the Department of Finance (2001) stated that its objective was to provide a corporate governance best practice framework. State bodies, including the subsidiaries of such bodies, are required in the conduct of their operations to adopt this Code of Practice and to confirm to the relevant Minister that this has been done.
Corporate governance is defined as the system by which organisations are directed and controlled. This includes strategic management, performance, regulatory framework, disclosure, transparency and business ethics - underpinned by accountability and protection of stakeholders' rights and interests. The Code of Practice sets out a corporate governance best practice framework for implementation in State bodies.
The Code of Practice makes provision for all aspects of the Corporate Governance Framework, including:
- codes of conduct
- internal audit
- procurement and importance of procurement function
- tax clearance procedures, and tax compliance
- disposal of assets and access by third parties
- establishment of subsidiaries and acquisitions by state bodies
- investment appraisal
- remuneration and directors' fees
- reports and accounts of state bodies
- reporting additional to annual report and accounts
- strategic and corporate planning.
The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2009) may be downloaded here.
Subsequent to the publication of the Code of Practice the Mullarkey Report, Report of the Working group on the Accountability of Secretaries General and Accounting officers (2002), set down rules of good governance for Secretaries General and other accounting officers.
The public sector guidelines have the stated intention to promote best practice in corporate governance. The guidelines can be seen as an interpretation of the basic principles of openness, integrity and accountability. At a more detailed level, the guidelines from the Financial Reporting Council contained in The Combined Code on Corporate Governance provide a valuable insight into a widely accepted statement on the implementation of good corporate governance.