Rules for issuing grants to NGOs to be changed
MOSCOW, February 8 - RAPSI. The Russian authorities plan to change the rules for issuing grants to human rights and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in 2013, the newspaper Izvestia writes.
According to a source on the Russian presidential staff, the procedure must be transparent end to end, from the selection of projects and submission of performance reports to the compilation of "black lists" of mala fide NGOs.
The organizations responsible for distributing grants (grant operators) will likely be changed too, a Kremlin source told Izvestia.
The planned amendments include a new rule on publishing the list of all grant seekers, something which was not done before.
Furthermore, grant recipients will be obliged to provide a detailed report on their annual performance and the concrete results of their projects. NGOs that submit unfaithful statements will be blacklisted and denied funding for a period of several years. A review of the rules for issuing grants was addressed after the Russian government decided to increase state allocations to NGOs in 2013.
A highly controversial law regarding NGOs which receive foreign funding took effect in November last year. It relegates politically active NGOs with foreign sources of funding to a registry of "foreign agents." Once registered, these NGOs face heightened scrutiny. They are required to file regular disclosures with the government and to mark all materials disseminated through major channels as the product of a "foreign agent." The law also requires NGOs to publish a biannual performance report and to carry out an annual financial audit.