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Government regulates associations to ensure transparency in their relations with state entities 10 November 2015

All civil society development organizations in Cape Verde will, from now on, be regulated. The initiative is aimed at providing stricter regulation for associations in order to ensure accountability and control. The bill defining the special statute of civil society development organizations has been approved by the Council of Ministers, according to cabinet spokesman Démis Lobo.

Government regulates associations to ensure transparency in their relations with state entities

Council of Ministers spokesman Démis Lobo explained that the law is aimed at defining what civil society development organizations are in terms of their concept, nature and make-up, as well as their objectives and areas of intervention. Only after this process will they be able to benefit from differentiated treatment on the part of the State.

As such, “their directors will have a duly flexible labor regime,” and will be not be allowed more than “a set number of duly justified absences” over the course of a single year in order to be able to participate in their organizations’ activities.

“In addition, these associations will benefit from a series of fiscal and customs incentives, for example in importing equipment, vehicles and other materials necessary to their purposes and objectives in the area of social development,” according to Démis Lobo.

The associations will have to submit their accounts to the government or to municipal chambers as well, as the law allows them to be assisted by either the central executive or my municipal administrations. In the same manner, the Ministry of Finances may order audits or inspections into their accounts, without prejudice to the authority that the Court of Accounts has in this realm.

In order to be able to benefit from the new statutes, the civil society development organizations have to apply. The application will be submitted to the ministry overseeing decentralization, and those associations meeting the requirements spelled out in the law will obtain the corresponding recognition and be included in the civil society development organization data base.

The measure also comes in order to enhance decentralization. If there is a ministry responsible for decentralization, it makes perfect sense for applications to be made to and decided upon by that ministry. We don’t see any problem with regards to this process, in which applications and their results are transparent and will be published,” he said.

“The Court of Accounts will be responsible for inspecting accounts, so all conditions are in place for there to be absolute transparency in their relationship with the State, through the government and through municipal chambers,” he concluded.

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