A fundamental good governance obligation is the concept of checks and balances and the separation of powers, and that is supported by having clarity of roles and responsibilities so that there is no role confusion between those who occupy governance and leadership positions in an organisation, whether at Council, Board, Committee or Management level.
PwC's assessment is that the governance arrangements and legal structure in place are adequate and would mirror that of similar organisations, however more clarity is required in certain areas. For comparison purposes, PwC interviewed Presidents, Past-Presidents and Officers of a number of membership organisations. The interviews were undertaken in confidence to enable the interviewees to be candid and open about the governance structure and practices of their organisations. The organisations were all membership bodies from a cross section of professions, with membership numbers ranging from between 5,000 to 30,000 approximately. During the interviews, PwC obtained the views of the interviewees on what worked well in their organisations in terms of governance and discussed the challenges faced and how these were addressed.
In addition to the interviews undertaken with the membership organisations, PwC undertook a desktop review of the governance arrangements of a range of comparator bodies and compared their structures and governance arrangements against those of Engineers Ireland. Between five and ten membership bodies were reviewed over the course of the assignment.
PwC made 12 overarching recommendations which were unanimously supported by Council. These include: clarifying matters reserved for Council and matters delegated to the Executive Board, prioritising discussion on strategic planning, policy and membership matters at Council meetings, documenting the role of the President and Director General, updating Terms of Reference, tenure and reporting arrangements for all Committees and Boards, providing induction training to help Council members and the Executive Board understand their role and function.