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None of the recommendations of an independent governance review of the NAGP, completed last year, had been implemented when its president and entire national council resigned recently, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned.
The governance report recommended in mid-November that a new board and several committees be established “asap”.
It suggested the development of new “corporate documentation” by mid-February and advised “new style AGM procedures” to implement governance changes be in place before the end of April.
However, it is understood none of the recommendations have been introduced despite attempts by council members to do so.
The Association has not commented on serious governance concerns raised by former President Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail and the national council, all 11 of whom resigned recently, citing governance issues.
CEO Mr Chris Goodey told MI: “Because of the sensitivities in relation to putting together a rescue package I will be unable to comment until the package is complete.”
In a tweet, the NAGP said the board and CEO were creating a “rescue package” to ensure the Association’s “continued viability and survival”.
The independent review advised the role of chairman, currently held by NAGP Director Dr Andrew Jordan, be removed and subsumed into the role of president.
The role of the national council was advisory only and the report recommended giving more power to the council and making any sitting president a “director”.
The Association has three directors – Dr Jordan, Dr Jim Stacey, and Dr Chris O’Rourke. The review recommended that the AGM elect a board of directors “to serve for a 12-month period” and a maximum three terms without a break.
The report recommended a further “business and efficiency review” of the Association’s office in Kilkenny, financial accounting and reporting practices and “head office requirements and shortcomings”.
While acknowledging it would take several years to execute all recommendations, the report suggested a timeline for implementation up to the end of April 2019.
Last year, six council members withdrew from the NAGP council, including former Vice President, GP Dr Yvonne Williams, who raised concerns regarding financial issues and potential conflicts of interest within the Association.
NAGP member Dr Nick Flynn said the Association had criticised “lack of information” on proposed new GP contract add-ons, but “here we have mass resignations from council without any meaningful explanation beyond vague ‘governance concerns’”.