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Suspicions of money laundering by NGOs in the country, Parliament launches consultations with HJC, OSCE and CoE to isolate them, here are the details of the new law
Written by Esmeralda HIDA 26 Shkurt 2021
Parliament has begun work to increase monitoring of non-profit organizations in the country. In recent years, some problems and irregularities have been identified by the investigations of monitoring institutions against NGOs. Given that these types of organizations have become overcrowded and often with documentation problems, audit findings suspect that they may be funded with dirty money. In order to avoid money laundering from these institutions, the Assembly has started movements to increase control over them, and therefore has drafted a new law, which strengthens the criteria for their registration and oversight of the activities they organize. In order for this draft law to be more effective and to increase the protection against the risk that NGOs may bring, the Assembly has started consultations with internationals. Finally, The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights held a hearing with representatives of civil society regarding the draft law "On non-profit organizations". At the beginning of the meeting, President Manja submitted that the draft law was submitted in September 2020, but because representatives of civil society, the OSCE and the Council of Europe have asked for more time to get acquainted with the draft, the commission has given them the opportunity to get acquainted. and give opinions or comments on it. Manja pointed out that this draft law can not pass the vote without first being reviewed by institutions dealing with security, the fight against money laundering and informality. He told the commission that consultations have already begun with several NGOs, the OSCE, the HJC and the CoE. "We addressed 468 NGOs, the High Judicial Council, "The Commissioner for the Right to Information and Personal Data Protection, the OSCE Presence in Albania and the Council of Europe office", he said. However, as some other criteria for registration have been added, it was decided to hold several more hearings.
Innovations of the law
The report accompanying the draft law shows that many problems appear during the registration. The procedures in the current law also delay the process for NGOs, but give some others space to apply with ghost organizations. According to the data, the manual procedures applied so far have produced erroneous statistics thus allowing some organizations to manipulate. System modernization is therefore required to record data in real time. “The current Law on NGO Registration has defined the Court of First Instance of Tirana as the only competent body for all registrations and procedures for dissolution of CSOs and for intermediate actions required during the activity of these organizations, thus constituting an unnecessary administrative and financial burden for NGOs, especially for entities that register their NGOs in other cities of the Republic of Albania. Modernization of the registration system is a necessary need, in order to improve the activities of NGOs in the Republic of Albania. The existing law on NGO registration has a system of manual registration of NGOs. This has brought incomplete statistics, as there is a lack of coordination between other institutions that have the obligation to report on these organizations ", it is said in the report. The document clarifies that the main purpose of taking the legal initiative to change the current law on registration of NGOs is to improve the existing legal framework related to the procedure of registration of NGOs, through taking concrete actions. Among other things it is said that,