What happened to the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority?
In June 2020, the Acting Chair and six Non-Executive Board Members of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) resigned with immediate effect. With the two other Board Members having resigned the previous week to take up other posts, this left the RQIA without a Board and without any Board Members.
In their letters of resignation to the Minister, the ex-Board Members of the RQIA set out their reasons for stepping down. These reasons included the following:
∙ Concern at the lack of effort made by the Department to consult or engage with the Board prior to making key decisions affecting the core purpose and statutory remit of the RQIA
∙ Particular concern over the decision by the Department at the end of March to (1) redeploy the RQIA Chief Executive to the Public Health Agency and (2) appoint (and extend the appointment of) an RQIA Interim Chief Executive without any communication with or involvement of the Board
∙ By excluding the Board from involvement in any of these key decisions, the belief that the role of the Board had been diluted and compromised
∙ Dismay at the failure of the Department to communicate even at a basic level with the Board and finding out about decisions and directions after the event
∙ The actions of Departmental officials in seeking to ‘remove’ the Acting Chair in June
The Independant Review published by the Department of Health can be found here.
Some Key Learning Points – If you’re on a Board (whether in the private, public or voluntary sector), ensure there is:
- Clarity of roles, responsibilities and relationships, including lines of delegation and accountability
- Trust among all key stakeholders, and sufficient communication to maintain and further develop that trust
- Annual review, and updating as necessary, of key documents relating to governance