Corporate governance refers to the processes in place to ensure that Board members have the ability to effectively assess management and corporate performance. The design and management of these processes must take into account the legislation pertinent to the organisation, guidelines issued by the Department of Finance and other relevant policy guidance.
Every person appointed as a company director should, on or before appointment, become familiar with the legal responsibilities and obligations attaching to the position. Specific responsibilities are imposed on Board members of companies, which have been established under the Companies Acts.
The most important guidelines are set down in the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (Department of Finance) and the Mullarkey Report on the accountability of Secretaries General and other accounting officers. The Code of Practice states that State Bodies
should operate to the highest standards appilcable in the business world. State bodies are required to adopt the Department of Finance Code of Practice unless there are areas where there is a conflict with the relevant foundation legislation or a waiver has been agreed in respect of areas which are identified as inappropriate.