Speaking at the Annual Conference of The Wheel, the representative body for the community and voluntary sector, Ms. Flynn, who took over the Rehab Group last year in the wake of a controversy around its governance, said Rehab is “determined to have the highest possible standards of governance, so that the public who donate to us and the taxpayers whose funds we are receiving, can have trust in those funds being spent properly and that our behaviour meets the standards which they would expect us to meet”.
She said the voice of the sector has not been strong enough in the past number of years, at a time when funds have been cut for services for vulnerable people in the community. “It is important that we restore our voice, on behalf of the people we serve”, she said. When we go into Government Buildings to meet a Minister, or to the HSE to argue for funds, or to the Department of Social Protection to make a case for our people, we must be able to speak with a strong clear voice. We can’t do that if our standing has been undermined by our own failure to operate to the highest possible standards”.
Ms Flynn also warned that commissioning of services by public authorities now means that the sector is having to compete with private sector providers.
“We should welcome and embrace regulation because meeting the standards required by the regulators makes us better able to compete with private providers. Regulation, at the end of the day, will make life easier for all of us.”