Register of socially useful providers: first results
The new NGO support status of “providers of socially useful services” was introduced on 1 January this year, thereby giving effect to amendments made to federal law no.7 on NGOs.
At the request of the Agency of Social Information and the Federation’s Public Chamber, regional NGO “pilots” have been reporting on the progress they’ve made in applying for this new status.
The first 11 organisations and public initiative support centres from across Russia were selected to trial the system in mid-February and were the first in the country to submit supporting documentation for their inclusion on the new register. Following consultations with the Public Chamber, they agreed to publicise their initial results.
As at 20 April, four NGOs reported that they had changed and re-registered their constitutions to say that their organisation provides social services in specific areas. Following their re-registration, they again submitted a set of documents and are now waiting for a reply. Another four applicants are still awaiting reports from regional Ministries on the quality of their work, while at the same time assembling documents to prove they have no debts, as well as collating feedback received from social service recipients.
An organisation from Saratov oblast was refused by the Ministry of Culture as their activities didn’t meet the criteria for their inclusion on the Ministerial register. An application from the Public Initiatives Support Centre in Krasnoyarsk was turned down by four out of seven Ministries. A hypnotherapy service has been approved, with a further two centres still waiting for a reply.
The last of the 11 organisations, although it responded to a request from the Public Chamber to become a regional NGO “pilot”, decided instead to ask whether the register could help secure municipal funds to pay their employees’ salaries rather than submitting their April report.
Being included on the register not only means providing services in the home and looking after people in hospital and day care centres, but also by helping the homeless, facilitating the social adaption of ex-prisoners, working with disabled people and child orphans. It also includes social services such as employment for the disabled or organising computer literacy courses for retired people.
In the meantime, the Russian Union of Youth has become the first federal organisation to be included on the national register.