ASTANA – The draft law “On Amendments to Legislative Acts on Activities of Nonprofit Organisations” was approved in its first reading Jan. 31 in the Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament).
“More than 29,000 people work in non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Public procurement, grant financing and bonuses are provided as effective mechanisms to support NGOs. The draft law amends the Code of Administrative Offenses and five auxiliary laws. The main provisions of the draft law are aimed at improving the implementation of public procurement,” said Minister for Religions and Civil Society Affairs Nurlan Yermekbayev.
As part of the regulation, the draft law aims to improve legislation for public procurement and the quality of services provided by NGOs and optimise the number of NGOs providing information to the authorised body. Common approaches to the public procurement procedure were identified based on the study and analysis of the needs of target groups and NGO proposals.
Yermekbayev noted state bodies currently use different approaches to the issue without taking into account the needs of the target group. The draft law introduces the concept of public procurement formation. The procedure will be determined by by-laws and consider the population’s needs.
“One of the key innovations of this law is that residents and NGOs have the opportunity to participate in the public procurement procedure by submitting their proposals to the relevant state bodies. At the same time, information on the implementation of all social projects implemented by NGOs and evaluation results of public procurement will also be available to the public,” he said.
Plans are underway to evaluate the public procurement procedure to measure the project’s efficiency and assess the degree of people’s satisfaction with the quality of services. The unified requirements or standards of public procurement will be introduced to identify its quality, conditions and content. The criteria for evaluating the results of social projects provided by NGOs as part of the procedure will also be provided.
In addition, the law offers a mechanism to improve awarding prizes and grants by including a new direction “to promote the development of civil society, including enhancing the sustainability and strengthening the capacity of non-governmental organisations.”
“Some amendments to the draft law concern the optimisation of the number of NGOs providing information. More than 50,000 organisations are required to report annually to the ministry. With the introduction of this rule, the number of organisations that need to provide information to the NGO database will be reduced 2.5 times,” said Yermekbayev.