www.NGOregnet.org is a new gateway to information on interesting developments in NGO regulation around the world. The website is produced by the Charity Commission's International Programme, which is supporting the development of a healthy NGO sector worldwide in partnership with local stakeholders. A vibrant NGO sector has a significant economic and political value to a country. Effective regulation can nurture this by enabling the sector to function in the best possible way. As many countries in every region of the world are reviewing - or plan to review - their NGO legislation and regulation, there is a lot to gain from the international exchange of ideas and experience of effective laws and systems. www.NGOregnet.org aims to facilitate the process. The Charity Commission hopes the website will be a useful resource for governments, NGOs, sector umbrella bodies and funders.
New detailed guidance for the regulation of non-profit organisations has been issued by the OECD's Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body which develops and promotes national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF is seeking to tighten up systems for both the formal and informal financial sectors. The potential vulnerability of the non-profit sector is one area for attention. The new guidance - an Interpretive Note to FATF Special Recommendation 8 - should be read in conjunction with the FATF International Best Practices Paper for Combatting Abuse of Non-Profit Organisations . According to the FATF an effective approach to identifying, preventing and combating terrorist misuse of non-profit organisations involves outreach to the sector, supervision or monitoring, effective investigation and information gathering and effective mechanisms for international co-operation. For more information on the FATF and how its work affects you, visit the FATF website.
The Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (APPC), an informal network of grant-making philanthropic institutions and organisations that support the growth and development of philanthropy in the Asia Pacific region, has developed an Accounting Guide for Non-Profits. Across the Asia Pacific region, it was recognised that small non-profit organisations were increasingly finding it difficult to maintain simple but effective financial management systems that could be audited annually. The absence of a common set of standards has caused a wide range of financial systems to emerge. Maria Aurora Tolentino - Chief Executive of the APPC - welcomed the development of the Guidelines as "a resounding confirmation of the NPO sector’s desire to strengthen ongoing efforts towards financial accountability and continued legitimacy." As Darwin Chen - Chair of the Board of Directors of the APPC - notes, the project "might end up being the forerunner of a global call for increased financial accountability for the non-profit sector, especially if the International Accounting Standards Board agrees to open a project to determine the financial accounting standards for the sector globally."
Please contact the APPC for futher information.
Representatives from seven countries in the East and Horn and Africa and several regional organisations recently came together to discuss challenges and solutions with regard to NGO regulation. Many of the countries are in the process of reviewing their laws, regulations or policies for the NGO sector so the opportunity to share ideas and experiences was extremely valuable. Delegations discussed aspirations for their countries and identified some concrete next steps to move towards their goals. For more information on the East and Horn of Africa event and details of similar initiatives in other regions, please contact the Charity Commission's International Programme.
Several dozen leading lawyers, academics and civil society activists from throughout the Arab world participated in a workshop organised by the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law to consider critical issues relating to the role of laws governing civil society in promoting a stronger civil society in the Middle East. Representatives from twelve countries had the opportunity to discuss a range of topics related to the laws governing civil society and law reform, and to make recommendations for action. Further information on the event.
Recognising the value of building international knowledge of the different NGO laws and regulatory systems which exist across the world, the Charity Commission's International Programme is in the process of collating brief summaries of legal and regulatory systems and contact details for regulators in a wide range of countries for its website www.NGOregnet.org. If you can provide information on the system in your country for the website or a small piece for this e-newsletter, please email us.
There is a vibrant NGO sector in South Africa. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 organisations in operation, mobilising resources worth over 1.9 billion USD. Information on how this important sector is regulated.
This e-newsletter and associated website www.NGOregnet.org are produced by the Charity Commission's International Programme. The Programme is supporting the development of a healthy, accountable and independent NGO sector worldwide by facilitating the exchange of good ideas for NGO regulation nationally, regionally and internationally.