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Registration Number 26293
Directors’ Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 December 2010
KSi Faulkner Orr
Directors and Other Information
Margaret Mc Dowell (Chairperson)
Mary Cahill (Resigned 06.07.2010)
Prof. Colm O’Brien
Tony Ward (Resigned 29.01.2010)
Secretary: Des Kenny
Company Number: 26293
Charity Number: CHY 4626
Registered Office: Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.
Auditors: KSi Faulkner Orr, Registered Auditors, KSi House, 10 Whitefriars, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.
Bankers: Ulster Bank, College Green, Dublin 2.
Solicitors: McCann Fitzgerald, Riverside One, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2.
The board of directors presents its annual report with audited financial statements of the organisation for the year ended 31 December 2010. The accounts of the organisation and the related notes which form part of the accounts are included on pages nine to 25 and have been prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2009.
Principal activities and review of the organisation
NCBI’s five-year strategic plan “Putting People First” states that its vision is “for people who are blind or vision impaired to have the same opportunities, rights and choices as others to fully participate in society”.
In pursuit of this vision NCBI provides information and advice, counseling and allied emotional support, family therapy, rehabilitation services and independent living supports to people who are blind or vision impaired throughout the country. These supports and services are delivered locally in line with the community care areas of the Health Services Executive. NCBI also offers employment training and work placement support and, in addition to all the foregoing, provides adaptive equipment and technology advice and training as well as consultancy services through the Centre for Inclusive Technology. NCBI is an information resource to people who are blind or vision impaired and their families and friends, as well as to education and health professionals and the general public.
NCBI also provides a low vision service throughout the country where people can be assessed and supported in finding magnification and other technology solutions that can assist them in living independently. NCBI’s library provides a large amount of reading materials including Braille and large print books and articles, talking books, taped magazines as well as information in digital and other accessible formats. NCBI also maintains the database of blind people in Ireland.
Review of operations
The challenging financial environment of 2009 continued to be as volatile in 2010. On the financial side the year was marked by further funding cutbacks from the Health Service Executive (HSE), and by a further fall in discretionary income raised through fundraising, public donations and our Mrs. Quins charity shops.
NCBI’s income for the year, excluding the provision of the equipment surplus, declined by €0.21 million from €14.36 million to €14.16 million (-1%).
The main source of NCBI funding continues to be the HSE. Under severe funding pressures of its own, it applied cuts in its financial support to all voluntary sector agencies, including NCBI during 2010. Cuts of between 6% and 8% from the local health offices of the HSE, had the effect of reducing funding significantly from €7.47 million to €6.97 million – a decrease of €0.50 million (7%). This reduction was split between pay and non pay elements. The pay element took the form of a reduction in the consolidated pay scales for staff while the much smaller non pay element of the reduction was met by further cuts in operating expenditure across the organisation.
It is worth noting again that these cuts took place at a time of NCBI continuing to work with ever-increasing numbers of people accessing NCBI’s services. This can be done only through the adoption by NCBI staff of different and more flexible working arrangements.
The significant fall off in sales at Mrs. Quins Charity shops which started at the tail end of 2008 continued unabated in 2010. The poor general trading conditions were exacerbated by a major fall in sales during the two severe periods of bad weather that bookended the year. The scarce supply of saleable donated articles remains a major limiting factor on the growing of income. Sales, overall, fell by over 10% to €4.97 million with some compensating fall in costs also albeit not of a similar scale. 4 shops were closed in 2010 as part of a rationalisation programme.
Cash donations from the general public fell to €0.17 million from €0.22 million. The fall off in donations remained lethargic over the year, and income from donations remains vulnerable to further falls in people’s discretionary income.
The fundraising environment for NCBI, in common with most charitable organisations, remains very difficult. There were a number of modest successes during the year: the two golf events performed better than in 2009, and the direct mail campaign also performed creditably. Overall, the fundraising performance was relatively disappointing.
The surplus on the provision of aids and appliances and low vision aids to service users, and contracted out telephony services to Government departments contributed €0.24 million to NCBI.
During the year NCBI lost a number of telephony contracts, and many Government departments, under budgetary pressures of their own, negotiated discounts on their current tender arrangements with NCBI. Notwithstanding this, the provision of telephony services continues to provide valuable work for people with vision impairments while providing the agency with a modest income stream.
NCBI secured a number of valuable agreements with EU funding bodies for specialist research during the year. Corporate groups such as Novartis also provided valuable funding to NCBI to continue research into the areas of sight loss and raising public awareness about vision related problems in the population at large.
Following the fall in payroll costs in 2009, NCBI’s payroll costs were reduced further from €10.94 million to €10.77 million (-€0.16 million). The bulk of this fall was due to NCBI applying the national reduction in the consolidated pay scales to all graded staff, but NCBI continued to maximise its staffing resources to cover maternity and sick leave. Reductions in travel costs during the year were also achieved. Average staffing levels fell slightly during 2010 due to the closure of a number of the charity shops and some rationalisation in the administration and support areas.
The cost cutting measures introduced during 2008 continued to bear fruit in 2010. Operating expenditure fell by almost €0.15 million to €2.54 million from €2.69 million. Major areas of savings were stationery, printing, insurance and maintenance. While further areas have been identified where some additional savings might be made, there is little scope for much in the way of further cuts.
There were no major capital works during 2010 bar some urgent safety related remedial work to head office in Whitworth Road. The freeze on capital works, without supporting funding, is likely to continue indefinitely.
Risks and Uncertainties
The directors consider that the following are the principal risk factors that could materially and adversely affect the organisation’s future operating results or financial position.
- Withdrawal of support from major funder
The organisation has business policies to limit some of these risks and the Board of Directors regularly review, reassess and proactively limit the associated risks insofar as possible.
Results for the year and state of affairs at year end
The results for the year are set out in the financial statements and related notes on pages nine – 25.
It is proposed that the surplus of €585,194 (2009: deficit €42,552) is transferred to reserves.
The organisation has developed an established place for itself within its market and will continue developments in this area.
Important events since the year end
There have been no important events affecting the company since the year end.
Freedom of Information Act (1997)
NCBI is covered by the provisions of the above act since 22 October 2000.
Directors and their interests
The serving directors of the company are listed on page one and the following retire by rotation and do not offer themselves for re-election:
Prof. Colm O’Brien
The following directors were co-opted onto the Board:
The directors have no financial interest in the organisation.
Directors’ responsibility statement
Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the results of the company for that year. In preparing those financial statements the directors are required to:
- select suitable accounting policies and apply them consistently; – make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; – prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business.
The directors are responsible for keeping proper books of account which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and which enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2009. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.
Books of account
The directors are responsible for ensuring that proper books of account, as outlined in Section 202 of the Companies Act, 1990, are kept by the company. The directors believe that they have complied with this requirement by employing accounting personnel with appropriate expertise and by providing adequate resources to the finance function. The accounting books and records of the company are maintained at the company’s registered office.
The Auditors, KSi Faulkner Orr, have expressed their willingness to continue in office in accordance with Section 160 (2) of the Companies Act, 1963.
On behalf of the board:
Margaret McDowell: Director
Derek Quirk: Director
Date: 3rd May 2011
Independent Auditors’ Report to the Members of The National Council for the Blind of Ireland
We have audited the financial statements of The National Council For The Blind of Ireland for the year ended 31 December 2010 which comprise the income and expenditure account, the balance sheet, the cash flow statement and the related notes. These financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and the accounting policies set out therein.
Respective responsibilities of directors and auditors
As described in the statement of directors’ responsibilities the company’s directors are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland including the accounting standards issued by the Accounting Standards Board and published by Chartered Accountants Ireland.
Our responsibility is to audit the financial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland).
This report is made solely to the company’s members, as a body, in accordance with Section 193 of the Companies Act, 1990. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the company’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditors’ report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company and the company’s members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.
We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland and are properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2009. We also report to you whether in our opinion: proper books of account have been kept by the company; and whether the information given in the Directors’ Report is consistent with the financial statements. In addition, we state whether we have obtained all the information and explanations necessary for the purposes of our audit and whether the company’s balance sheet and its income and expenditure account are in agreement with the books of account.
We also report, to the members if, in our opinion, any information specified by law regarding directors’ remuneration and directors’ transactions is not disclosed and, where practicable, include such information in our report.
We read the directors’ report and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements within it.
Basis of audit opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgements made by the directors in the preparation of the financial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the company’s circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed.
We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.
In our opinion the financial statements: – give a true and fair view, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice in Ireland, of the state of the company’s affairs as at 31 December 2010 and of its results for the year then ended ; and – have been properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2009.
We have obtained all the information and explanations, which we consider necessary for the purposes of our audit. In our opinion proper books of account have been kept by the company. The financial statements are in agreement with the books of account.
In our opinion the information given in the directors’ report is consistent with the financial statements.
KSi Faulkner Orr, KSi House, Registered Auditors, 10 Whitefriars, Aungier Street, Dublin 2.
Date: 3rd May 2011