Local bodies directed to monitor NGO activitiesThe government has issued a circular to the local bodies to monitor and investigate activities of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and hold them accountable for misuse of funds following request of the anti-graft body.
The government has issued a circular to the local bodies to monitor and investigate activities of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and hold them accountable for misuse of funds following request of the anti-graft body.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development instructed the District Administration Offices and the District Development Committees (DDCs) to monitor and if
necessary investigate into the activities of the organisations, particularly those working in the health sector, and report back to the ministry.
Although the circular is aimed at the NGOs working in the field of health, it has alarmed the entire sector. Some argue the CIAA seems to bring the NGOs under its purview through the ministry.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had reprimanded the CIAA for exceeding its jurisdiction in directing a private law firm. The circular comes at a time when the NGOs and INGOs have been working on reconstruction.
“We sincerely hope the move is aimed at monitoring the activities of the NGOs,” said Krishna Gautam, senior vice president of the NGO Federation of Nepal. “The government tends to control the NGOs instead of regulating them.”
The ministry circular has not pointed out any local NGO, though. “The circular was a follow-up on the request made by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA),” said Bandhu Prasad Bastola, under secretary at the Good Governance Section at the ministry. “We have also received complaints against some local NGOs but the DDCs are in better position to pinpoint them.”
Based on public complaints, the CIAA had written to the concerned ministries to monitor and evaluate the activities of the NGOs in various districts. Earlier this month, the constitutional body had written to the ministry, seeking evaluation reports of various NGOs working at district level. In the letter, the CIAA has stated that it has received complaints against the organisations working on HIV/AIDS programme, drug rehabilation, LBGTI and migration issues.
Although the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and the Social Welfare Council are responsible for regulating and monitoring the NGOs and INGOs at the centre, the Local Self-governance Act authorises local bodies to monitor and regulate any activities carried out by governmental and non-governmental organisations.