Skip Navigation
Croatia

Transparency in NGO Project Finance (HR0030)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Croatia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs

Support Institution(s): State Public Administration School, state administration bodies, units of local and regional self-government, commercial companies in majority ownership of the state or units of local and regional selfgovernment, tourist associations, Croatian Olympic Committee, national sporting associations and sporting communities at the local and regional levels, Croatian Association of Technical Culture and local and regional associations of technical culture, Croatian Firefighting Association and local and regional firefighting associations.

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Civic Space, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Croatia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

TRANSPARENCY IN FINANCING PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED BY NGOs
The measure is being implemented from October 2017 to 31 August 2020
Leader of the measure GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR COOPERATION WITH NGOS
Description of the measure
Which public issue does the measure address? In Croatia, a system has been established for financing programmes
and projects implemented by NGOs from public sources, and this
system has been being improved for years in the sense of greater
transparency and the standardisation of criteria, standards and
procedures for distributing funds. However, there is still a wider public
perception that funds are distributed and spent non-transparently, and
it is therefore necessary to invest more efforts to increase
transparency and make the relevant information available to the
public.
What does the measure include? The measure includes the establishment of a new IT system to
monitor and valorise awards of financial resources to NGOs which
40
carry out programmes and/or projects of interest to the public good,
update and build up the public database on projects and programmes
implemented by NGOs financed from public resources, and deliver a
training programme on the criteria, standards and procedures for
financing and contracting programmes and projects of interest to the
public good implemented by NGOs, all with the aim of achieving
greater transparency in financing NGO programmes and projects and
greater public access to information about them.
How does the measure contribute to resolving the public
issue?
The establishment of the new IT system to monitor and valorise
awards of financial resources to NGOs which carry out programmes
and/or projects of interest to the public good will guarantee a better
platform for all bodies which award funding to NGOs, with the aim of
monitoring and valorising their programmes and projects, and
preventing duplication in financing the same programmes and
projects. By updating and building up the public database on NGO
projects and programmes financed from public resources, public
access will be guaranteed to information about such programmes and
projects, while the implementation of a training programme on the
criteria, standards and procedures for financing and contracting NGO
programmes and projects of interest to the public good will assure
standardisation of the application of the Regulation on criteria,
standards and procedures for financing and contracting programmes
and projects of interest to the public good implemented by NGOs, at
the level of all bodies which finance NGO programmes and projects,
and will guarantee the transparency of the entire process, that is the
use of the IT system and public database which will be set up,
updated and built up through the implementation of this measure.
Why is this measure relevant to the values of the Open
Government Partnership?
The measure is relevant to transparency since it guarantees the
transparency of the procedure of awarding funds to NGOs, and
access to information on the programmes and projects financed. In
addition, it is relevant to public accountability, since guaranteeing
transparency and access to information in this area will also influence
the accountability of civil servants and officials who render decisions
and implement activities in the area of distributing funds to NGOs.
41
Additional information The amount of HRK 2,000,000 is planned for launching the setting up
of the IT system in 2019.
The measure is in accordance with the following documents:
- National Strategy for the Creation of a Stimulating
Environment for Civil Society Development for 2012 to 2016
- Action Plan for 2017 and 2018 accompanying the AntiCorruption Strategy 2015-2020
- Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015-2020
- Operational Programme 'Efficient Human Resources' 2014-
2020

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Transparency in Public Funding of CSO Projects

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

"Measure 5. Transparency in Financing Programmes and Projects Implemented by NGOs" [35]

"By updating and building up the public database on NGO projects and programmes financed from public resources, public access will be guaranteed to information about such programmes and projects, while the implementation of a training programme on the criteria, standards and procedures for financing and contracting NGO programmes and projects of interest to the public good will assure standardisation of the application of the Regulation on criteria, standards and procedures for financing and contracting programmes and projects of interest to the public good implemented by NGOs, at the level of all bodies which finance NGO programmes and projects, and will guarantee the transparency of the entire process, that is the use of the IT system and public database which will be set up, updated and built up through the implementation of this measure. (…) The amount of HRK 2,000,000 is planned for launching the setting up of the IT system in 2019."

Milestones:

5.1. Creating a new IT system to monitor and valorise the distribution of funds for programmes and/or projects of interest to the public good implemented by associations (Article 56 of the Regulation on the criteria, standards and procedures for financing and contracting programmes and projects of interest to the public good implemented by associations) – Phase One

  • New IT system set up
  • Report on implemented financing of civil society association programmes published
  • Number of state administration bodies using the system

5.2. Implementing a training programme on the criteria, standards and procedures for financing and constructing programmes and projects of interest to the public good implemented by associations

  • Four training seminars conducted at the state level and four at the level of units of local and regional self-government
  • Number of seminar participants

5.3. Updating and building up the public database on projects and programmes implemented by associations and financed from public funds

  • Public database of information on financing projects by NGOs updated and built up in open form

Start date: October 2017

End date: 31 August 2020

Context and Objectives

Public financing of CSO programs in Croatia is regulated by the Law on Associations [36] and the Regulation on the Criteria, Standards and Procedures for Financing and Contracting Programs and Projects of Public Benefit Interest Implemented by Associations from 5 March 2015 (Official Gazette 26/2015). [37] The criteria and procedures for financing CSOs have improved in the last few years. However, there remains a perceived opacity concerning the funding of associations.

This commitment consists of three milestones: creating a new IT system for monitoring and evaluating the allocation of funds for CSO programs and projects of public interest (5.1); training state and local employees and authorities on proper funding guidelines (5.2); and updating the existing public database of publicly funded CSO programs and projects (5.3).

The commitment is in line with the National Strategy for the Creation of an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development 2012-2016; [38] the anti-corruption strategy action plan for 2017 and 2018; [39] and the Operational Programme for Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020 (OPEHR). [40] The Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs produced a manual in 2017 detailing criteria, standards, and procedures for financing CSO programs and projects. [41] An annual report [42] on financed CSO projects and programs lists how money from public sources is spent. Reports include detailed information on all the state authorities that allocate funds as well as those amounts, financing areas, beneficiaries, and geographic distribution.

The milestones are specific and measurable and are clearly relevant to access to information and the use of technology and innovation in increasing transparency of the public sector. According to government representatives, [43] the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs started implementing Milestone 5.1, along with Agency for Support of Information Systems and Information Technologies Ltd. (APIS IT), [44] with EU funding. This will ensure an improved platform for public bodies to monitor and evaluate publicly financed CSO programs to avoid "dual" funding. The need for training on this issue (Measure 5.2) was confirmed by the 2018 State Audit Office’s report [45] on all 21 counties and on 24 cities; the report found that the necessary level of knowledge on the issue had not been reached yet. Thus, the commitment will standardize use of financing criteria.

The commitment’s potential impact is minor, as it is a continuation of existing initiatives. However, the monitoring and evaluation system, and the improved database on CSO programs, will provide authorities and the public data for overall and comparative knowledge of public funding of CSOs. The projects and the education of national, regional, and local public authorities will ensure that each public authority adheres to the regulation. A CSO representative [46] agreed that this is a strong commitment as it will set up standards for increasing transparency of funding and decrease opportunities for misuse of public funds (e.g., avoiding dual funding, favoritism), even though certain additions they asked for were rejected.

Next steps

The Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs could consider exercising more comprehensive control over all government and self-government bodies’ ad hoc spending on CSO programs and ensure that each has a policy in place directing the allocation of public funds to such causes:

  • An annual report that analyzes public funding of CSO programs, recommending reforms in grant procedures to ensure plurality and diversity in grant allocations, and the allocations support public needs at local, regional, or national levels.
[35] Editorial note: The text contained herein is the abridged version of the commitment. The full text is available at: Action Plan for Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in the Republic of Croatia up to 2020 (OGP, Dec. 2018) 39−43, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Croatia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf. [36] Consolidated text of the law (Croatia), "Law on Associations," Official Gazette, 74/14, 70/17 (Narodne novine, 2017), https://www.zakon.hr/z/64/Zakon-o-udrugama. [37] Government of the Republic of Croatia, "Regulation on the criteria, criteria and procedures for financing and contracting programs and projects of interest to the common good implemented by associations" (Narodne novine, 9 Mar. 2015),  https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2015_03_26_546.html. [38] "Nacionalna strategija stvaranja poticajnog okruženja za razvoj civilnog društva od 2012. do 2016. Godine" (Government of the Republic of Croatia, June 2012) 20−22 (Measure 4, Implementation activities 4.1−4.5), https://udruge.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/dokumenti/Nacionalna%20strategija%20stvaranja%20poticajnog%20okru%C5%BEenja%20za%20razvoj%20civilnog%20dru%C5%A1tva%202012-2016.pdf. [39] Action Plan for 2017 and 2018 accompanying the Anti-Corruption Strategy from 2015-2020 (Ministry of Justice (Croatia), Jun. 2017) 18−19 (Activity 50−52), https://pravosudje.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/dokumenti/Pravo%20na%20pristup%20informacijama/Akcijski%20plan%20suzbijanja%20korupcije%202017_2018.pdf. [40] "Operational Programme Under the 'investment for growth and jobs' goal" (Croatian Government & European Commission, 2014), http://www.esf.hr/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FINAL-OP-EHR.pdf. Operational programs are detailed plans in which EU Member States set out how money from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) will be spent during the programming period. They can be drawn up for a specific region or a country-wide thematic goal (e.g., environment). [41] Priručnik za postupanje u primjeni Uredbe o kriterijima, mjerilima i postupcima financiranja i ugovaranja programa i projekata od interesa za opće dobro koje provode udruge (Office for Associations (Croatian), Jun. 2017), https://udruge.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//dokumenti//PRIRU%C4%8CNIK%20za%20primjenu%20Uredbe_v.%202.0.pdf. [42] "Financing programs and projects of associations from public sources" (Office for Associations (Croatian), accessed Mar. 2019), https://udruge.gov.hr/financiranje-programa-i-projekata-udruga-iz-javnih-izvora/2772. [43] Representatives of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, fourth meeting of the OGP Council on (18 Feb. 2019). [44] Agency for Support of Information Systems and Information Technologies Ltd. (APIS IT), https://www.apis-it.hr/apisit/index.html#/. [45] Izvješće o obavljenoj reviziji učinkovitosti dodjeljivanja i korištenja tekućih donacija iz proračuna jedinica lokalne i područne (regionalne) samouprave (State Audit Office (Croatian), Dec. 2018), http://www.revizija.hr/datastore/filestore/180/DODJELJIVANJA-I-KORISTENJA-TEKUCIH-DONACIJA.pdf. [46] Jelena Tešija (GONG), interview by IRM researcher, 21 Feb. 2019.

Commitments

  1. Implementing Right to Information

    HR0026, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0027, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Political Finance Transparency

    HR0028, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Commercial Regulations of Companies Owning Local Governments

    HR0029, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  5. Transparency in NGO Project Finance

    HR0030, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Protection of Persons Reporting Corruption

    HR0031, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Parliamentary Transparency

    HR0032, 2018, E-Government

  8. Media Regulations Framework

    HR0033, 2018, Civic Space

  9. Data Opening

    HR0034, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Raising Awareness About Open Data

    HR0035, 2018, Access to Information

  11. Central State Portal

    HR0036, 2018, E-Government

  12. Public Consultations

    HR0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Implementation of Anti-Corruption Policies by NGOs

    HR0038, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  14. Local and Regional Open Government

    HR0039, 2018, Access to Information

  15. OGP Sustainability

    HR0040, 2018, Capacity Building

  16. Right to Access Information Legislative Framework

    HR0010, 2014, Access to Information

  17. Improving the Implementation of the Right of Access to Information Act

    HR0011, 2014, Access to Information

  18. Starred commitment Proactive Release of Information and Opening Data

    HR0012, 2014, Access to Information

  19. Fiscal Transparency

    HR0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Starred commitment Improvements of Transparency and Efficiency in Public Administration Work

    HR0014, 2014, Capacity Building

  21. Improvement of Transparency of Election and Referendum Campaigns

    HR0015, 2014, E-Government

  22. Transparency in the Area of Youth Policy

    HR0016, 2014, E-Government

  23. Media Transparency

    HR0017, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  24. Improving Transparency of Information on Members of Parliament and Their Work

    HR0018, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  25. Improving Transparency of Data on Assets of Officials

    HR0019, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  26. Starred commitment Improving the Consultation Process with the Interested Public in Legislative Procedures

    HR0020, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Ensuring the Sustainability of Values and Content of the OGP Initiative

    HR0021, 2014, Capacity Building

  28. Starred commitment Participation in Drafting the New Anti-Corruption Strategy

    HR0022, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  29. Regulation of Lobbying

    HR0023, 2014, Capacity Building

  30. Improving Efficiency of the Ministry of Interior's Complaints Commission

    HR0024, 2014, Justice

  31. Promoting Civil Participation in the Work of Civil Society Organizations

    HR0025, 2014, Civic Space

  32. Improving the Content and Transparency of Budgetary Documents: Publish and Update the State Budget Proposal

    HR0001, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  33. Improving Transparency of Business Activity of the Companies of Special State Interest

    HR0002, 2012, Private Sector

  34. Making the Contents of All Budgetary Documents Understandable and Accessible to Citizens

    HR0003, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  35. Improving Accessibility of Local Budget Contents to the Citizens and the Public: Give Recommendations to Local Units to Publish Budget Documents

    HR0004, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  36. Starred commitment Improving the Legislative Framework for Exercising the Right of Access to Information: Amend the Act on the Right of Access to Information

    HR0005, 2012, Access to Information

  37. Starred commitment Improving Access to Information on Expending Public Resources and Contents of Relevant Registers: Implementation of Acts on Political Activity and Campaign Financing

    HR0006, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  38. Ensuring Transparent Work of Public Authority Bodies in the Service of Exercising Citizen Rights: Enhancement of Web Portal with Info on Exercising Rights

    HR0007, 2012, E-Government

  39. Starred commitment Setting up a System of Participatory Drafting and Monitoring of State and Local Budget Implementation: Public Discussions on Budget Allocation

    HR0008, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  40. Starred commitment Improving the Practice of Consulting the Interested Public in Procedures of Adopting New Laws: Amend Procedural Rules

    HR0009, 2012, E-Government

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!