Russian government to transfer some social functions to SONGOs
The president has instructed that proposals be drawn up to transfer some governmental tasks in the social sphere to socially oriented NGOs
Moscow 18 March 2015
President Vladimir Putin has signed a list of instructions following the meeting of the All-Russian forum “State and Civil Society: Cooperation for Development”. The head of the government specifically instructed the preparation of proposals to ensure the flexibility of the system of grant support for socially oriented NGOs (SONGOs) and the creation of a mechanism for the transfer of part of governmental functions in the social sphere to the third sector.
The forum took place in Moscow in January 2015. At the plenary session of the forum, Vladimir Putin stated that it is essential “to create the most comfortable working conditions for socially oriented NGOs, to take away any remaining barriers to their activities in the spheres of social service, health and education, and to form a legal framework that functions effectively.”
Following the results of the forum, Putin gave a number of instructions, which were published on the president’s website. The president instructed his own administration, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, to prepare proposals to ensure the flexibility of the system of grant support for socially oriented NGOs and to heighten their effectiveness, to work on models of financing for large and long-term projects, taking into consideration the characteristics of their implementation in socially oriented NGOs and the content of public reports on the performance of socially oriented NGOs which are receiving financial help from the country’s budget, before 15 April.
Putin specifically instructed the Civic Chamber, his administration and the Ministry of Justice to consider the appropriateness of a unified registry of NGOs and the clarification in legislation of the concept of a “socially oriented NGO”. The president also instructed them to consider the introduction of changes in legislation regarding the legal regulation of features of the work of socially oriented NGOs in various fields.
The government instructed to prepare proposals to create a mechanism to transfer some government functions in the social sphere to socially oriented NGOs and to adopt additional measures to stimulate socially oriented NGOs in various
fields. This refers to the inclusion of allocation of tax exceptions to organisations.
The president’s instruction to prepare proposals to ensure the flexibility of grant support for socially oriented NGOs is a step towards the third sector, said Iosif Diskin, member of the Civic Chamber and the Council under the president for the development of civil society and human rights. “I think that the Civic Chamber will begin work on this today. Alexander Vladimirovich (Brechalov, Secretary of the Civic Chamber) will determine today which of his colleagues will work directly with representatives of the administration and the government, or perhaps he will work with them himself, and then the work will begin. Because the government has submitted a budget to the State Duma it is necessary to prepare the appropriate amendments immediately,” highlighted Diskin.
The draft amendment to the federal budget which proposes reductions in the funding of the state programme of support for socially oriented NGOs was introduced in the State Duma on Monday. Today the public campaign to preserve the programme actively continues. The president was handed a petition for the preservation of state subsidies for socially oriented NGOs and the collection of signatures continues. The appeal has been signed by both individuals and by organisations.
NGOs can sign the petition on the Change.org portal or send their vote by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying in the email the full name of the organisation and the city. Up until today, over 4,000 people and 294 NGOs have signed the petition.
Author: Grigory Ivanushkin