Burke supports amnesty for disclosures to boost transparency in charity sector

Deputy Peter Burke this week has echoed calls from colleagues in the Fine Gael party suggesting the possible introduction of an amnesty to incentivise charity workers to reveal information where allegations of improper conduct arise.

Deputy Burke made the call in the wake of revelations regarding Console that have come to light in the past number of days.

“To see the use of public money and hard-won donations from the trusting public is absolutely vile and I believe that this total abuse and selfishness will have a detrimental effect on the entire charity sector, which is hugely disappointing,” the Fine Gael Deputy said. “There have been abuses in the last number of years with regards excessive salaries and expenses, but I believe the reports in relation to credit card spending at Console will cause even more damage, the abuse is almost unbelievable.”

Deputy Burke extended his sympathy to Console workers and all hard-working volunteers and employees of charities nationwide who now are facing tougher jobs as a result of the actions of a small few.

“It is in the interests of these very organisations that we do everything to ensure that these revelations and scandals are a thing of the past,” he said. “The public must have 100 per cent confidence in the organisations to which they donate their hard-earned money.

“I am echoing calls from my party colleagues to ask the Minister for Health to consider introducing an amnesty period during which charities who receive HSE funding would be incentivised to disclose information where allegations of malpractice arise. This would offer all charities to present their accounts in order to outline the true position of their organisation, going back an appropriate period of time.

“We need a comprehensive governmental approach to deal with the monumental mess caused by a small number of individuals in the charity sector. We have a fantastic record in this country with regards being generous and giving to worthy causes and we need to stamp out these abuses so that vulnerable service users do not suffer.”

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