The Ministry of Internal Affairs in conjunction with the National Bureau for NGOs have announced dates for NGO Verification and validation exercise.
While addressing, the minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo announced that this registration programme will start on 9th August 2019 up to 7th September 2019.
According to Odongo, this verification will help to determine meaningful relationships, correlations and variations in the data with the NGO Bureau and districts to ascertain the status of NGOs operating in the country.
“It’s not intended to victimize anybody, we simply want to confirm the total number of NGOs that are currently operating,” he said.
“Some NGOs were founded by individuals targeting specific funding or projects. After those projects wound-up or failed to access funds, they disappeared and never renewed yet they are registered by National Bureau for NGOs,” he added.
Odong also confirmed part of the registration has already started and the ministry on 8th April, issued a communication to all districts requesting for a copy of Community Based Organization’s (CBO’s) register and NGO inventory.
However, he pinpointed that out of 128 districts, only 71 submitted their NGO verification data and 57 did not comply so the call for registration is majorly aimed at the non-compliant NGOs.
“We are making a follow up on the NGO verification non-compliant districts and also engaging the Ministry of Local Government. A database for CBOs was developed and the process of updating is on-going,” he said.
“OUT of 128 districts, only 71 submitted their data and the 57 districts did not comply, and we are making a follow up on the non-compliant districts and engaging the Ministry of Local Government,” he added.
Statistics from the National Bureau for NGOs indicate that of the 14,207 registered NGOs, only 3,810 have valid permits, while the remaining 10,397 are working illegally or their contracts expired.
Appropriately, Odongo claimed that to effectively implement the NGO regulatory framework, there was a need for verification and validation of the information on NGOs.
“With effect from 31st July 2019, the National NGO register indicates that there were 14,207 registered NGOs only 3,810 have valid permits, while the remaining 10,397 don’t,” he said
“To effectively implement the NGO regulatory framework, there was a need for verification and validation of the information on NGOs. We’ve now embarked on an NGO verification and validation exercise which is still ongoing,” he added.
The minister also has called on these organization to comply with this new setting and rules and as well, he issued a warning to all those operating on fake documents that this one-month registration exercise will expose them.
The National Bureau for NGOs (NGO Bureau) that was established to operate under the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Act 2016 is a semi-autonomous entity under the Ministry of Internal Affairs to replace the National NGO Board.
This Bureau is mandated to register, regulate, monitor, inspect, coordinate and oversee NGO operations in the country.
The National NGO Register was established in 1989 after the establishment of the National NGO Board under the NGOP Registration Act Cap 113 of 1989.
The Minister cited that since 1989, there was no verification or validation of the register to establish the exact status of registered NGOs.
In the 2018/19 Financial Year, the NGO bureau embarked on a verification and validation exercise which is still going.
By John Dalton Kigozi