Calls for restrictions to be lifted on local SONGOs
Under the Russian Federation’s current legal and regulatory framework, NGOs are not entitled to receive State financial support if wage costs for those employed to develop and implement social programmes and projects exceed a certain limit of their total grant allocation.
The Ministry of Economic Development has suggested to regional authorities that they lift restrictions on the amount of money within grants allocated to SONGOs that can be used for employees’ wages. According to the Ministry, current Federation regulations stipulate that SONGOs are not entitled to a grant if the amount of money used to pay staff employed to develop and implement an organisation’s projects exceeds a certain percentage of any allocated grant. The Ministry of Economic Development has now requested the Federation’s leadership to amend the relevant legislation.
A statement published on the Ministry’s website explained that “it is important to point out that often the majority of costs that SONGOs incur in providing services that help resolve important social issues go towards paying full-time specialists to work with different population groups (children, women, the elderly and disabled etc.). At the same time, the cost of purchasing other items such as equipment, offices etc may not require major expenditure, or which NGOs are able to pay for by securing money from other sources”.
The Ministry believes that current practice for limiting compensation for labour costs means that NGO projects are able to formally comply with tender requirements, but which don’t always result in major expenditure from the allocated grant.
Author: Georgy Ivanushkin