Justice Ministry says it will not raid every NGO reported by authorities
MOSCOW, July 1 (RAPSI) - The Justice Ministry will not launch a surprise inspection of every non-governmental organization (NGO) that the state authorities report, a ministry official said on Monday. The raids will be based on common sense.
"We must have a solid reason to launch an inspection," said Anna Kotova, chief of the ministry's NGO department.
She said some of the reports would result in planned inspections - the NGOs in question would be added to the list of routine checks planned.
Earlier the government proposed a bill setting out additional reasons for the ministry to conduct surprise inspections on NGOs suspected of violating the law.
According to the explanatory note, grounds for unscheduled inspections of NGOs include failure to rectify infringements by a deadline previously set by an authorized agency, complaints by individuals and legal entities, and information provided by government agencies, local authorities and the media about alleged elements of extremism in the operation of NGOs, and information about violations of legislation by NGOs from federal and local authorities.
Under a 2012 law on NGOs, organizations that receive funding from abroad and engage in political activities are required to register as foreign agents, or face fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,000) for NGOs and up to 300,000 rubles ($10,000) for directors of NGOs.
Inspections of NGOs began in late March 2013 when the Justice Ministry said its goal was to ensure that the organizations' activities corresponded with the objectives of their charters and with Russian legislation.