July 15, 2010
International Year in Review for NPO-NGO Committee Posted to SSRN
Karla Simon has posted her article in the International Lawyer to her SSRN webpage. The article is a “year-in-review” summary of developments during the year 2009 regarding civil society organizations around the world. The article is accessible both in hard copy and on the internet. Those wishing a hard copy reprint should contact Karla directly at email@example.com.
China -- Foundation Center Established
The Wall Street Journal’s Realtime China Blogreported that some of China’s most recognized philanthropic leaders have gathered in Beijing for the launch of the China Foundation Center, a new organization that aims to help increase the transparency of Chinese charitable groups, which have sometimes struggled with public suspicion of mismanagement and even corruption. The organization looks to bolster trust in Chinese foundations by making information about their activities available to the public—thus hopefully encouraging more participation in charitable work. The center’s websitewill initially archive data on more than 1,800 foundations across China. Chinese and international philanthropic leaders gathered for the launch ceremony, including Peter Geithner, father of the U.S. Treasury secretary and a former longtime leader in the Ford Foundation, and Xu Yongguang, founder of Project Hope, China’s largest non-governmental social welfare group. Many of them described the new organization’s launch as mirroring crucial steps taken to improve the transparency of the charitable sector in the U.S. in the 1950’s.
Vietnam -- New Association Regulations Promulgated
The revised Decree 45 (2010) on the Organization, Activities, and Management of Associations, was promulgated on April 21, 2010, and took effect on July 1, 2010. The new Decree governs the registration, operations, and activities of associations at national, provincial, municipal, and sub-provincial levels. As explained by Mark Sidel in a recent article on the subject in the International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law, by issuing the regulation the Ministry of Home Affairs responded to calls from government regulators and the associations themselves for a more detailed regulatory document. The World Bank and other donors also requested that the associations serving as their grantees have access to better and clearer regulations. Some procedures have been changed from Decree 88 (2003), but procedures remain extremely complicated and make it difficult for the associations to actually become registered. Such requirements include a pre-registration process involving the creation of a board to apply for registration.