Nepal Law Commission has prepared a draft law proposing to give authority to one government body to register international non-government organisations and national NGOs with an objective of enabling the government to effectively monitor the I/NGOs’ activities in Nepal.
Under the existing system, NGOs can register at two different bodies — district administration offices and Company Registrar Office, but if the new draft bill’s provision is enacted into the law, then there will be single authority to do both things — register I/NGOs and endorse their projects.
INGOs desirous of working in Nepal will have to submit their applications at the office of Central Registrar to register in Nepal and seek permission for carrying out projects in Nepal. The Central Registrar can grant or deny permission to INGOs.
The bill stipulates that the Central Registrar, while granting permission to INGOs for running projects in Nepal can set conditions for the INGOs and it would be the latter’s duty to fulfil those conditions.
Spokesperson for Social Welfare Council Shiv Kumar Basnet told THT that both the government and the SWC shared the view that there should be single authority to register I/NGOs and endorse their projects. “Only then can the government adequately monitor the projects carried out by I/NGOs,” he said. At present monitoring of the INGOs’ work is a little difficult as some INGOs directly deal with the government, he added. “There are some INGOs that tell us that SWC cannot seek details of their work as they have directly dealt with our government,” he said.
The draft bill also stipulates that I/NGOs will have to recruit Nepali human resources, including experts, consultants and employees in their offices in Nepal.
The bill that has been forwarded to the home ministry, states that INGOs can hire foreign experts for two years only if they cannot find suitable Nepali candidates. Before this process, INGOs will have to place advertisements in Nepal newspapers seeking to recruit Nepali experts. The bill, however, allows for one representative of the INGO to work in Nepal as a resident representative.
Basnet said at present over 50 per cent experts and consultants of INGOs were foreigners.
“If the provisions of draft bill governing the process of hiring experts, consultants and employees are enacted into law without any change, Nepalis will benefit a lot, as the posts held by foreigners will go to Nepalis,” he said and added that the posts of experts and consultants will help Nepalis earn handsome salaries.
The bill states that organisations will have to mention in their statutes the names of geographical areas in which they will operate. They will also have to state whether they will operate at national level or sub-national level.
The bill stipulates that in case the INGOs have to wind up their operation in Nepal for any reason, they will have to hand over their properties to the government unless otherwise provisioned in the contract.
INGOs will have to carry out their project work through local NGOs, the selection of which should be made through competitive process. The bill states that organisations desirous of receiving funds from international donors will have to submit application to the registrar and get the applications endorsed by the same authority.
A version of this article appears in print on April 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.