Use of funding by organizations for the disabled not being monitored
According to the Ministry of Justice, on 1 July 2008 66 nationwide and international organizations for people with disabilities were registered.
As far as state financial support for such organizations is concerned, this and the number of civic organizations receiving it consistently increased from 2001 – 2007. Whereas in 2001 only three organizations received support, that number has risen to 17, while the amount of funding is six times higher.
A Panel of the Accounting Chamber examined how this money was spent in order to ascertain whether this increase in state financing had contributed to more activity from the civic organizations. They concluded that the Ministry of Employment had not created the organizational and legal conditions to ensure transparency of procedure for receiving financial assistance and determine criteria for assessing the programmes and measures carried out with public funding. This resulted in unequal opportunities for organizations for the disabled to receive assistance.
Last year more than 40 million UAH were allocated under the programme of financial aid for civic organizations for the disabled, while in the first 9 months of this year the figure was over 35 million.
Since the list of all-Ukrainian civic organizations which receive state assistance, in breach of the Article 8 of the Law “On citizens associations”, has not been confirmed by a separate normative legal act of parliament, the Ministry of Employment has determined which civic organizations received assistance itself. 17 out of the 66 functional all-Ukrainian organizations for people with disabilities received funding, were over 70 percent allocated to the Ukrainian Society for the Blind [UTOS] and the Ukrainian Society for the Deaf [UTOH].
The auditors pointed out that the expenditure of UTOS, UTOH and other civic organizations differed in substance and direction. The merging of this funding therefore made it before difficult to set out indicators for how well the state programmes had been carried out, the criteria for allocating funding and control over its use. The Verkhovna Rada had instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to allocated funding for maintaining institutions in the non-production sphere of UTOS and UTOH through a separate line in the State budget however the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Employment had not implemented this.
The lack of coordinated activities by the Ministries of Justice and Employment on normative legal definition of the features and criteria for being classified as an all-Ukrainian organization for people with disabilities, for veterans, etc, complicated legalization of such organizations. Therefore in 2006-2007, as well as in the first quarter of 2008, over 18 million UAH was allocated to 11 civic organizations for the disabled which, according to checks by the Ministry of Justice, did not prove to have all-Ukrainian status in accordance with legislation.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Employment was almost half a year later in approving coordination plans for 2007 and 2008. this led to funding being shifted to the second half of the year, creating surplus, and reflecting inefficient management of public funding. As a result, on 1 October 2008, of 126 measures set out in the coordination plan and calendar plans of civic organizations for 2008, only 57, or 45 percent had been carried out.
The auditors established that the Ministry of Employment had not carried out proper monitoring to check that measures by civic organizations for the disabled were carried out in full, on time and to check their results. The Ministry did not have data about the total number of measures carried out during the audit period, nor the number of participants, including people with disabilities, who had taken part. The indicators for results of implementation under the programme of financial aid for civic organizations for the disabled passed by the Ministry of Employment and agreed with the Ministry of Finance were not standardized and contain data only for some civic organizations receiving funding. This makes it impossible to assess the effectiveness of the programme as a whole.
The Accounting Chamber concludes that the existing procedure for providing financial assistance to civic organizations for people with disabilities requires fundamental changes, through providing it only on a competitive basis and for specific measures which need to be defined together with all-Ukrainian organizations for the disabled.
Based on information from the Press Service of the Accounting Chamber www.ac-rada.gov.ua