The voluntary farce

The situation concerning enrolment with the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations has become a farce and is untenable.

The situation is simple. All voluntary organisations in Malta have a choice to enroll or not to enroll with the Commissioner.  Enrolling with the Commissioner brings with it certain rights and duties, and various NGOs and voluntary organisations, both large and small have taken this option. Hence they are able to benefit from state funding and donations.

Certain organisations are choosing not to enroll, and they have every right to do so, according to legislation. Yet what if some of them generate a lot of revenue? What if some are refusing to be transparent as required by legislation on voluntary organisations? Isn’t this unfair towards voluntary organisations which are transparent in their activities and how they are financed?

Even though I have full respect for charitable work carried out by certain organisations, this should not justify exemption from transparency.

Within such a context, the call of Kenneth Wain (Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations) for equal treatment of all voluntary organisations is correct. It is surprising that the Government has not publicly declared support for his position. Nor has the Labour opposition.

Or perhaps it is no surprise at all. After all, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The Nationalist and Labour parties are themselves unaccountable and lack transparency in their sources of revenue. Indeed, this has been pointed out by of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (Greco).

As things stand, there is a free-for-all system as regards donations to political parties and it is more than obvious that this has resulted in a system of political money laundering. In this case, some are more equal than others in their influence on political parties and there is no accounting system to trace this. It is true that Government has initiated steps for a proper system of party financing, but given by what has been said so far, one should hold his breath for a proper reform.

Where does the Green Party stand in all this?

To begin with, we have expressed our support of Kenneth Wain’s commendable work. We are insisting that the legislation on Voluntary Organisations should be observed. It does not make sense for government to first pilot legislation (albeit belatedly) and then to encourage its being ignored by leaving persons like Commissoner Wain on their own to carry the can. Other NGOs, namely Birdlife Malta, Friends of the Earth Malta, Malta Organic Agriculture Movement, Nature Trust Malta, Ramblers Association of Malta and Zminijietna are also supporting Professor Wain.

AD is also in the process itself of registering with the Commissioner of Voluntary Organisations, unlike other political parties. Indeed, our Youth Section, AD Zghazagh, has already submitted its application, and in the near future our cultural foundation Ceratonia will be following suit, together with the Green Party itself.

Yet again, in Maltese civil society, all organisations are equal, but some are more equal than others. In the meantime we can all send them donations at the click of a button. Hurrah!

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Ma nahsibx li wiehed ghandhu jitkellhem l istess fuq partiti politici u organizzazzjonijiet non governattivi ohra jew karitattevoli. Jiddependi hafna l-iskop u x effett ser jkollhu l ghan ghalfejn dik l-irganizzazzjoni tezisti. Hemm differenza enormi bejn possibilta' ta' posizzjoni li tiggverna u possibilita' li taghmel karita' jew progett/attivita'. Mhux l-istess effett fuq is-socjeta'. Jekk f'kas minnhom, f'xenarju ipotetiku l-aktar extrem, jista' jkollok obbigazzjonijiet politici lill min tak flus fil kas li tkun fil gvern; fil kazijiet l-ohrajn ma' nahsibx li hemm l- istess gravita' jekk ma' jkunx hemm trasparenza u maneggjar hazin tal-operat. L-aktar li jista jigri fil kazijiet l-ohrajn li m'humiex partiti, hu li min ta' d-donazzjoni jkun imqarraq b'dak li sar bil-flus li ta. L-aktarreat li tista', forsi, tkun vicin li jsir hu frodi.Li, nonostante, ghandhu jkun penabbli. Pero' ma' tista tuza l-istess raguni u kejl . Nahseb li entitajiet ta karita' ghandhom jkunu huma -b'mod volontarju - li jirregistraw u jitobu biex jkunu kkontrollati - bhala certifikat ghall operat taghhom. Min ma' jridtx- ghal diversi ragunijiet anke validi bhal per ezempju spejjes ta' accountancy ecc, ghandhu jithalla jghamel dan -basta, hawn il-ligi trid kun stretta, jiddikjara li l organizzajoni mhux kontrollata(skopijiet ta' fondi) meta jsiru gbir ta' fondi.
eleonoray86cws Ca?uana
Unless there is complete transparency on Party funding the orgy of corruption will keep going on uninterrupted. Having political Parties declare ALL donations is the only way for us the people to know why certain decisions against our intererst are being taken. It will not be foolproof. Nothing is, but at least it is a first step. Obviously the PNPL will keep on finding excuses for the lack of transparency.