Government proposes expanding legal basis for surprise NGO inspections
MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI) - The government has proposed new legislation setting out additional reasons for conducting surprise inspections of non-profit organizations, the State Duma said on its website on Wednesday.
Grounds for surprise inspections of NGOs would include the 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.
The aim of the bill, which was drafted by the Justice Ministry and submitted to the Duma - Russia's lower house of parliament - upon the president's instruction, is to allow the ministry to raid NGOs that fail to comply with the requirements.
Under a controversial law approved by President Vladimir Putin last year, NGOs funded from abroad and engaged 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 check that the organizations' activities corresponded with the objectives of their charters and with Russian legislation.