Moscow prosecutor’s office to carry out audit of NGOs
The Office of the Federal Prosecutor
General has commissioned the Moscow prosecutor’s office to carry out an audit
audit is to test compliance with the legislation in force. Specialists from the
federal tax service and the ministry of justice will also be involved. The
chief executives of a number of Russian NGOs learnt about this development from
the inter-regional civil rights association, Agora.
the purpose of the audit, the Moscow office has required the Moscow School of
Political Research to produce all documents relating to the activities of the NGO
from 2010 to 2012 including accountancy
records, agreements with donors, and simplified tax returns. The prosecution
staff will ask to see founding charters and information about the founders,
documents disclosing the sources of finance and other property, and also
evidence that all required reports have been received from the NGOs on time by
the ministry of justice. The representative of the law are also interested in
documents relating to expenditure and the utilisation of other property
received for an organisation’s purposes. In its message, Agora stated that the
prosecutors very much wanted to know which organisations or individuals
supplied finance, the ‘national adherence’ of these organisations, and for what
purposes resources were expended. Furthermore, the prosecutors will require
information on the total sums of money received by an organisation for 2010,
2011 and two months of 2012.
see these audits as a political requisition made on independent and effective
Russian NGOs’, observed Agora advocate and legal analyst, Ramil Akhmetgaliev.
He regards the commission as illegal per se. ‘The prosecutor’s office is
circumventing the law on NGOs and the tax code, and trying to carry out tax
inspections of Russian NGOs and check up on the ministry of justice’, said Mr
Akhmetgaliev. Agora asks to be told of any attempt to carry out an audit using
the hotline 8-800-777-01-01.
attorney made it clear that no obstacle should be placed in the way of
familiarisation with documents on an organisation’s premises. ‘Allow the
removal of documents by inspectors only in exchange for a written list. It is
preferable that chief executives and other staff refuse to provide written
explanations at this stage’, he stressed.