NGOs urged to use government portal

The Ministry of Justice encourages NGOs to use a Government services portal


1 September 2015

The acting Director of the NGO department at the Ministry of Justice Dmitry Yermak recommended that the leaders of NGOs use a Government services portal for presenting any documents. Furthermore, he highlighted that when an organisation is registered as performing the functions of a “foreign agent” this does not make it “undesirable”.

In an interview with  Rossiskoi Gazeta, the acting Director of the NGO department at the Ministry of Justice Dmitry Yermak said that every year the Ministry of Justice handles over 60,000 applications concerning the establishment of new NGOs, changes in their status, changes in leaders or changes of address. He highlighted that it is easier to present documents in electronic form and recommended that leaders of NGOs use the Government services portal.

“I don’t think that all the leaders of NGOs know about the new electronic Government system and the latest changes in this field in general. The government has adopted a number of significant normative legal acts relating to the development of e-services. The Ministry of Justice also carried out and is carrying out work step-by-step, particularly in the field of state registration and monitoring of the activities of NGOs,” Ermak said.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice representative highlighted that the registration of an organisation as a “foreign agent” does not make it “undesirable”. According to him, the Ministry only captures and gives publicity to the fact that these organisations carry out “political activities”, whilst being financed by foreign sources. Ermak said that only 7 out of the 88 “foreign agents” entered onto the register voluntarily and for six months in 2015 there were 8 applications, generally regarding removal from the register, some of which are still pending.

To date, the Youth Consultation and Training Centre, the GRANI centre and the Kostroma Centre for Support of Social Initiatives have been removed from the list. 6 organisations have been excluded from the list in connection with liquidation. Some organisations were denied removal from the list. Amongst these was the Ecological Centre “Dront” and the All-Russian public movement “For Human Rights”.

Author: Grigory Ivanushkin

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