This Forum event on Department – Arms-Length Body Relationships reflected on matters of performance, governance, assurance and relationships between not only Departments and aegis bodies, but also with other funded entities (sometimes via conduit bodies), and relationships between agencies and funded bodies and between local authorities and a range of public bodies. Indeed, a common theme across all three guest presentations was the dependence all public bodies have on other entities to deliver towards common goals.
The event considered a range of formal and informal mechanisms used to achieve these common goals, and the importance of the latter in the form of relationship building, trust and good communication. Dr. Fergal Lynch, Secretary General of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, talked about his role as Accounting Officer and the approach he and his Department takes in terms of bodies under its remit, but also the differing approaches in terms of those bodies with clear statutory roles and reporting requirements and those without. Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council, provided an insightful account of the local authority’s myriad of relationships with, and dependence on, other Departments and bodies to deliver for the local area and the important role non-statutory fora can play in this regard (e.g. Louth Economic Forum). Finally, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, spoke to the Forum on the relationship his agency has with its parent Department and likewise its oversight and supportive role in terms of national governing bodies for sport and local sports partnerships. He spoke of the value of relationship building and trust.
Please click below to access the presentation slides: