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Scouting Ireland: Terms of Reference

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has engaged Jillian van Turnhout as an independent expert to examine and assess the steps being taken by Scouting Ireland to address recently identified governance and related issues within the organisation.  The independent expert will examine whether the steps that have been/are being taken provide sufficient assurance to the Minister in relation to the State’s future funding of Scouting Ireland.  The independent expert will: 

•    Meet with officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to discuss and clarify key governance issues; to agree a proposed methodology; and to finalise the process.
•    Review the constitutional reform proposals drafted for approval by the National Management Committee (Board) and/or the membership of Scouting Ireland at its forthcoming National Councils;
•    Review the compliance of the constitutional reform proposals with relevant legislation, including the Charities Act 2009, the Companies Act 2014 and the Children First Act 2015;
•    Consider the adequacy of Scouting Ireland’s reform proposals to address potential deficiencies in governance structures;
•    Review progress and prioritisation of actions by Scouting Ireland as set out by the organisation.  This will include seeking evidence of actions already progressed or in progress.
•    Meet with key staff and members of the Board, including members who have stepped aside, to seek their insights and understanding of proposed procedures and policies outlined in the constitutional reform proposals;
•    Prepare a report for the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs that provides a clear assessment of the adequacy of proposed governance reforms and which provides evidence of any progress already made to address governance deficiencies. 

The independent expert’s report will focus on whether the actions taken or committed to by Scouting Ireland provide the Minister with sufficient assurance in relation to the operation and governance of the organisation. These Terms of Reference do not cover any individual complaints against, or legal cases concerning the work of the organisation. If during her review, Ms van Turnhout is alerted to any breach of legislation she will immediately advise the Department to facilitate it to report the matter to the appropriate authority.