For Growth on the Earth

The Ministry of Agriculture has been called to change the existing practice of cooperation with NGOs

Society of transparency “Delna” expects the Ministry of Agriculture (MA) to change its cooperation practices with NGO as soon as possible in response to the audit report of the State Audit Office on the utility of budget resources allocated to non-governmental (NGO) organizations in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.

“Delna” also insists that the government shall introduce a uniform and fair NGOS financing arrangements.

The letter from the Society, which is addressed to the Minister of agriculture Kaspars Gerhards and Minister of Finance Janis Reirs, states, that following the audit report there are still public authorities which are not capable of managing the state budget responsibly and fairly.

Therefore the Society invites ministries and other state and municipal authorities to be proactive in reviewing their cooperation with NGOs and ways to improve it.

The Society believes that the audit findings signal the need for a review of the overall funding arrangements for NGOs with a single and fair system. “Currently, organizations, which has been assigned public benefit status, do not receive any direct financial support from the state budget.

At the same time, the audit report shows that some farmers’ organizations actually receive money that could be used to defend the public interest,” the letter said.

To help develop civil society in Latvia, “Delna” suggests to develop a funding model which would encourage public benefit organizations to build their own capacity.

The Society offers to base the financing of a public benefit organization from the state budget in a similar model to the financing of political parties in Latvia. For each vote which political parties received in the Saeima elections – voted by more than 2% of the voters, this party is awarded € 0.71 per year.

“Delna” offers to provide funding to public benefit organizations, which managed to attract a certain number of members, for each member who has paid the membership fee for a given year.

In their view, the model would stimulate the involvement of more individuals and entrepreneurs in civic activities of public benefit organizations and ensure sustainability.

A letter has been sent to Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins for information.

Information source: LETA