Civil Society plays an increasingly important role in international human and social welfare. The most important prerequisite for the development of the NGO sector is a steady level of trust and engagement from society. This public trust and engagement is based the organization’s level of accountability.
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Our work includes research and advocacy within the field of NGO governance.
Article posted on NGOMonitor.com 16 November 2011
On February 22, 2011, the Knesset passed the NGO Funding Transparency Law, which requires non-profit organizations (amutot) to issue quarterly reports on any foreign government donations in excess of 20,000 NIS. As of November 2011, amutot are still exempt from submitting these reports.
According to NGO Monitor correspondence with the Registrar of Non-Profits (Rasham Amutot), “The Israeli Corporation Authority and MOJ are cooperating these days to implement regulations for the law…and overall, making an online form in order to enable submission of the report…when the process will be completed, the authority will act to enforce it” (October 2011, translated from the original Hebrew).
Only two Israeli NGOs, Ir Amim and the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI), have published quarterly reports on their respective foreign government funding. These reports list funding from the UK to Ir Amim, and Finland (via KIOS) and the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture to PCATI.
Following the adoption of this legislation, the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, and UK have released some funding details in response to NGO Monitor inquiries (via correspondence with embassies in Israel, representative offices in the Palestinian Authority, and ministries of foreign affairs in Europe).
None of the European government funders for Israeli political NGOs has provided transparency regarding budgetary decision making processes. The basis for these decisions, as well as the identity and qualifications of the individuals involved, and the evaluations, if any, remain highly guarded secrets, in violation of basic democratic principles.
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