PRWB’s Opinion on the requirement of financial reporting of NGO’s set out in the draft amendments to the RA Law on Non-Governmental organizations

On 2014, the Protection of Rights without Border NGO presented an opinion on the RA draft law on “Making Amendment to the RA Law on Non-Governmental Organizations”.

The Organization once again reaffirms its position, that the changes prescribed in the Part 2 of Paragraph 3 of Article 24 of the RA Law on Non-Governmental Organizations contradict the proportionality requirements of the freedom to assemblies and the latter is considered an intervention to the activity of the Organization.

  1. Particularly, the legislative control over the activities of the non-government organizations should be conducted by the state in accordance with the review and the obligations undertaken exclusively by the Convention[1]. That is, it should be proportionate and pursue a legitimate aim.
  2. According to the general principal, the organizations which received public financial support should be accountable for the usage of those means. This means, that the non-governmental organizations should reasonably present reports on their expenditures. Nevertheless, the demand to present such reports should not impose unnecessary burden on the organizations for the submission of the detailed information on the expenditures and activities of the organization[2].
  3. According to the domestic legislation, all the expenditures of the organizations are registered in the databases of the tax body and the financial revenues in the bank databases. That is, the access of those information is already ensured and from the scope of the efficient administration, the state should not impose a demand on the organization to resubmit the same information.
  4. Carrying out an examination in regard to the submission of additional reports on financial and content activities of the Organization is acceptable only in case, when there are sufficient grounds for it. An examination based on suspicion is unacceptable and reasonable justifications should be available[3]. In the outcomes of the policy conducted by the state, unnecessary or inadequate burden should not be imposed by the Organizations regarding the provision of additional information on their activities.

The assessments presented by the Organization are still actual in the context of the current changes and contradict the international standards.

The intervention of the third party to the actual activity of the organizations should be strictly rare and be directed to the elimination of the serious violations.

In regard to the above mentioned, it should be noted, that on October 29 of 2018 a draft law on “Making Amendments to the RA Law on “Non-Government Organizations” was presented by the RA Ministry of Justice. It is envisaged by the amendments to make the conditions and procedures of the public reports presented by the non-governmental organizations strict by the law.

According to the amendments of the draft law presented by the Ministry of Justice, regardless the type of the given organization, all the non-government organizations should present financial reports. As a justification to the amendments, the necessity to ensure public accountability and transparency by the organizations is mentioned.

[1] Case of Koretskyy and others v. Ukraine, Application no. 40269/02, 3 April 2007, կետ 38

[2] Explanatory Report CM/Rec(2007)14, a recommendation on the legal status of the non-governmental organizations within the Council of Europe member states. Paragraph 62, Article 114.

[3] Explanatory Report CM/Rec(2007)14, a recommendation on the legal status of the non-governmental organizations within the Council of Europe member states. Paragraph 68, Article 122.