The Rehab Group is to consider changing its name following the damage to the brand inflicted by controversies surrounding pay and pension arrangements of former senior executives which has resulted in a €1m reduction in donations.
A new chief executive has been appointed to the charity to replace Angela Kerins, who stepped down in April amid public clashes with the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee which was trying to probe aspects of her remuneration.
Hospice boss Mo Flynn will take up the position on January 1 on a salary of €140,000 a year — significantly lower than the €240,000 paid to her predecessor.
Ms Flynn is currently chief executive of Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services in Harold’s Cross in Dublin, a post she has held for eight years.
According to a statement from Rehab, she previously held a range of senior management posts in health and community services in Ireland, Britain, and Australia, and was the HSE national manager for older people.
Following her appointment, management met with staff representatives from the training and education section of the charity group yesterday to discuss ways of regenerating the organisation which has suffered a battering to its reputation.
A company spokeswoman said that “a number of initiatives are in progress to ensure that employees are consulted and involved in developments within the organisation”.
She said the board will review many aspects of the organisation, including the name.
A source in the company said that the Rehab name “has been discussed many times over the years”, well before recent controversies.
“The word has many different connotations and there are different perceptions of what it means,” the source said.
“A name change is not off the agenda but it is not immediately on the agenda either. It is one of the things they will consider when the new chief executive starts.”
Ms Kerins and her predecessor, Frank Flannery, have clashed with the PAC over its attempts to question them about €400,000 in lobbying and consultancy fees paid by Rehab to Mr Flannery after his resignation as chief executive, and approved by Ms Kerins.
Rehab chairman Seán Egan said funding for the group has fallen off by around 14% — or €1m — following the recent controversies. He said Ms Flynn is an “exceptional leader for an exceptional organisation”.
“The board and I are committed to working with Mo and all our people in Rehab to deliver quality services, built around the needs of each individual, and the innovation that Rehab is known for,” he said.
“We will support this with governance structures that are robust and a culture of transparency which ensures the accountability that the people who use our services, our funders and the public deserve.”
A new website has been launched to help the public judge charities before they donate money or volunteer their time.
Goodcharity.ie was developed by a team of volunteers from Dóchas, Fundraising Ireland, Total Fundraising, The Wheel, and Whitebarn Consulting.
The website answers a number of common questions about charities, including:
- Why are there so many charities in Ireland?
- Why do many charities pay workers?
- What should a charity spend on overheads and administration?
- Where do I find information about the finances of a specific charity?
Fundraising Ireland chief executive Anne Hanniffy said the site addresses many of the public’s concerns with regards to how charities are managed and provides donors with some insight into how their funds are spent.
“This is a very positive step to enhancing public trust and confidence in fundraising. The more transparent and open we can be as a sector, the more willing the public will be to donate,” she said.
Goodcharity.ie will be updated to take account of any relevant developments in the charity sector.
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