A group of NGO leaders are concerned about a Government proposed draft law related to NGOs. Today, during a press conference at the Media Center, Eurasia Partnership Foundation project manager Mikayel Hovhannisyan said that fears are that the state wishes to create measures to limit the work of NGOs and currently the government is conducting discussions with NGOs about the draft.
According to the draft, NGOs need to present a detailed financial and contextual account of their work to state bodies.
Mikayel Hovhannisyan stressed that NGO representatives have fears that the law would be used selectively, as done before in Armenia, after it passes.
“We had initially suggested that strict reporting be fixed by the law, but only for NGOs financed by the state. Those finances are foundationally different than the rest from a financial perspective,” said Open Society Foundation – Armenia Deputy Director of programs Davit Amiryan.
With the new law, NGOs can be involved in for-profit (entrepreneurial activities). In the past, it was necessary to register as LLC and be its 100% shareholder, however that will no longer be necessary.
Transparency International anti-corruption center legal advisor Heriknaz Tigranyan said that there may be limitations in that regard as well. The for-profit activities , according to the draft, have to fall in line with the NGO's charter goals, while Tigranyan proposes another definition in the law, stating that an NGO’s profits from their for-profit activities must be used for implementing the NGO’s charter goals.