It’s About Time
Its about time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission has suggested that the voluntary sector be brought under the umbrella of Right to Information Act, along with developing a code of conduct to ensure “greater transparency and accountability”. At present, only those voluntary organizations which receive public funds come under the ambit of the RTI Act.
The plan panel’s steering committee also suggested bringing voluntary organizations with a corpus beyond a stipulated amount under the purview of state Lokayuktas. The panel also supported the move for promotion of an apex body, empowered to govern the entire voluntary sector, by laying down certain norms and standards for self-regulation which could be termed as ministry of voluntary affairs along the lines of ministry of corporate affairs.
The argument for regulation of the sector stems from the fact that voluntary organizations use public funds and are exempted from tax and work in the public domain and their actions have a direct impact on people and society.
“The code of conduct should deal with issues of responsible governance practices, adhering to existing laws and also address issues like harassment of human rights activists, whistle blowers and those who express their dissent against the state,” the committee said.
It was argued that a system needed to be developed to examine the adherence to the code by voluntary organizations and a mechanism for dealing with complaints and grievances of various stakeholders could be framed within the terms of a code of conduct.
Further, it could help resolve disputes and grievances amicably and quickly, the panel noted, adding that there should be performance measures that would allow for fair application of incentives and disincentives to mould behavior in alignment with the desired code of conduct.
The panel also emphasized the need to encourage a ‘self-regulatory mechanism’ within individual organizations. It said every voluntary organization shall put its audited statement and annual report in the public domain, follow the policy of proactive disclosure of information under RTI Act and follow all mandatory rules such as registration, taxation, FCRA etc.
The panel supported single window system for registration of voluntary organizations (based on the recommendations of the task force report on proposed law for registering such bodies).
“The multiple forms of registration needs a composite review and it needs to be assessed whether a single window system for registration can be created,” it said, adding that the move will enable all stakeholders to find out if registered voluntary organizations were following rules or not.
“While giving due recognition to the autonomous nature of voluntary organizations, processes ensuring respectful engagement between the government and voluntary organizations must be institutionalized,” the committee said.
The following will be nice (Will make some noise as well I am sure ) to know when this happens……
- Is there a company officially called the Art of Living which is an NGO ?
- What is the relationship between VVMVP and the SSRVM Trust ?
- Then what is the relationship between Sumeru Travels, Sumeru Ayurveda, ….and so on.
- Has money ever been transferred between these companies.
- Can we have a detailed expenditure statement of VVMVP and the official donor contributions every year since inception. How much has this come as contributions from outside the country ?
- How much money has gone into public service projects from VVMVP and the rest ?
- Pl name the people on the Trustee Board on each of the above companies.
- What are the salaries and benefits paid to the trustees in each of the above Trustee boards.
- What are the salaries paid to the employees ? Volunteers ?
- Who are their auditors ?
- Please furnish their audited statement for the last 20 years ?
- How much assets in land do each of these entities have ?
- Do any of these entities have branches anywhere outside India ? If so who are the trustees there ? If they are not wholly owned subsidiaries, what is the relationship between the entities? Pl furnish respective agreements.
- Pl list the names of all the accountants and their telephone numbers that have kept your books of accounts since inception. (In some entities that may run in the 100s…may many volunteers each season). If they dont have this record thats even worse.
All of the above when filed…the official cost will be just 10 Rs for filing the claim….
The lawyers who have already filed against AOL(especially on the land grabbing issues.) are going to have a field day……..
Does Sri Sri have enough clout at the centre to stop this…..lets wait and see……Cleaning up is going to be virtually impossible……it will only lead to more of a mess. Even if he stops it at the centre the price will be very heavy.
I heard that many full time paid volunteers in Germany have been told that their services cannot be paid for anymore. Much infighting has happened after the disastrous losses with the Berlin festival. (This information has to be verified). I got this from an European volunteer that worked for the Berlin fest since its inception. Also, according to him, he said that many of the regular volunteers at times were treated like trash when the difficulties started to surface. And when organising folks realised that it takes more than GRACE to fill up a stadium.
Me thinks : Perhaps…maybe it was at that time many came to realise…. Grace in India works differently than Grace in Germany. Many of them had volunteered from all over the world. So they did not realise that they needed to say Heil gurudev when in Berlin. Big mistake. They kept on saying Jaigurudev. No wonder the grace did not work.