Government's Transparency Policy seen as too transparent for NGO's.

mr_anderson

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This is simply astonishing.


RTÉ News has learned that a group of the country's largest human rights organisations have written to the Government to express "serious concern" over the rules concerning political donations.


According to the letter, seen by RTÉ's This Week programme, the organisations have warned if they are forced by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPOC) to register as so-called third parties, it could prevent many of them from raising the money to fund their activities and even put some out of operation.


The group which wrote to Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy in recent weeks includes the Irish Council of Civil Liberties, Amnesty Ireland, and Transparency International Ireland.


The trio say they are also writing on behalf of a large number of other smaller NGOs.
https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0903/901936-ngos-sipoc/


Someone please correct me, because it sounds so ludicrous.

The government is putting in place one of the best anti-corruption policies around.
This forces people to register when giving political donations.
Unfortunately, it apparently doesn't suit various 'charities', as they believe such openness may affect their ability to rake in donations from anonymous sources.
Thereby forcing the likes of Transparency International Ireland to say 'No' to transparency.

Someone please tell me I'm reading it wrong.
 


Clanrickard

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This is simply astonishing.



https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0903/901936-ngos-sipoc/


Someone please correct me, because it sounds so ludicrous.

The government is putting in place one of the best anti-corruption policies around.
This forces people to register when giving political donations.
Unfortunately, it apparently doesn't suit various 'charities', as they believe such openness may affect their ability to rake in donations from anonymous sources.
Thereby forcing the likes of Transparency International Ireland to say 'No' to transparency.

Someone please tell me I'm reading it wrong.
You are reading it wrong.................
The NGOs have not criticised the commission, but they have warned that the legislation under which SIPOC deals with NGOs and the issue of alleged donations for political purposes was dangerously vague.
They also believe that this vagueness in the law has allowed it to be interpreted differently than it had previously been by SIPOC, with potentially devastating consequences for the civil society organisations.
 

mr_anderson

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You are reading it wrong.................
The NGOs have not criticised the commission, but they have warned that the legislation under which SIPOC deals with NGOs and the issue of alleged donations for political purposes was dangerously vague.
They also believe that this vagueness in the law has allowed it to be interpreted differently than it had previously been by SIPOC, with potentially devastating consequences for the civil society organisations.
Yep.
I got that bit.
But are they saying that it's too vague because it's going to force them to be more transparent than they would otherwise like ?
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Yep.
I got that bit.
But are they saying that it's too vague because it's going to force them to be more transparent than they would otherwise like ?
In terms of processing donations, yes.

No bad thing potentially, given the unfettered access the like of Colm O'Gorman has to policy makers.
 

okibb

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Article says that SIPO-registered entities cannot receive donations larger that 2500 Euros from a single source in any one year.

That's the sticking point for these NGO's.

Atlantic Philanthropies comes to mind.
 

mr_anderson

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Article says that SIPO-registered entities cannot receive donations larger that 2500 Euros from a single source in any one year.

That's the sticking point for these NGO's.

Atlantic Philanthropies comes to mind.

But they can if the source is revealed ?
Also, would AP be 'caught' if it didn't give political donations ?
 

cunnyfunt

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This is simply astonishing.



https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0903/901936-ngos-sipoc/


Someone please correct me, because it sounds so ludicrous.

The government is putting in place one of the best anti-corruption policies around.
This forces people to register when giving political donations.
Unfortunately, it apparently doesn't suit various 'charities', as they believe such openness may affect their ability to rake in donations from anonymous sources.
Thereby forcing the likes of Transparency International Ireland to say 'No' to transparency.

Someone please tell me I'm reading it wrong.
Fuk'm.
 

Half Nelson

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Very interesting article.

NGO's involved in political activities receiving more than 100Euros in donations cannot receive donations from abroad.

Abortion Rights Campaign had to return their Soros money.
But not Amnesty International Ireland. Go figure!
 

lostexpectation

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Yep.
I got that bit.
But are they saying that it's too vague because it's going to force them to be more transparent than they would otherwise like ?
SIPOC itself said it was too wide as they pointed out http://www.sipo.ie/en/Reports/Annual-Reports/Previous-Annual-Reports/2003-SIPOC-Annual-Report.pdf

SIPOC says this woudn't be the intention of the legislation in their opinion

SIPOC now seems to be saying we're just writing letters to them asking if they think they need to register, although mentioning penalties for not registering would scare people.
 

Schuhart

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Yep.
I got that bit.
But are they saying that it's too vague because it's going to force them to be more transparent than they would otherwise like ?
You are absolutely right.

I frequently find the Dail record is good for a hoot on these kinds of issues. The news article says Amnesty and the ICCL are concerned over the legislation applying to them. Yet, here's what one
https://www.labour.ie/joecostello/

<...>lifetime member of Amnesty International and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties<...>
said about the ban on donations from outside the State when this legislation was first enacted
Seanad Éireann - 14/Jun/2001 Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2000: Committee Stage (Resumed).

<...>The second provision relating to an individual other than an Irish citizen who resides outside the island of Ireland is good in so far as it goes. It is appropriate for democracy here that we do not have persons who are not citizens of this country or corporate bodies based in other countries interfering with the way we run our democracy.<...>
Absolutely. We can't have wealthy people or organisations from outside the State giving political donations, unless they are donations to people or bodies that we like.
 

The Field Marshal

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The bulk of charitable NGOs are corrupt.
It is particularly bad in Ireland.
 

Clanrickard

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Yep.
I got that bit.
But are they saying that it's too vague because it's going to force them to be more transparent than they would otherwise like ?
Yes I believe you are correct now that I have reread it.
In terms of processing donations, yes.

No bad thing potentially, given the unfettered access the like of Colm O'Gorman has to policy makers.
Not to mention Soros.
 

Kitty O'Shea

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I think their complaint is that the legislation duplicates existing legislation administered under the Charity Regulator, Lobbying legislation and the Revenue.
 

McTell

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No
This is simply astonishing.//
Unfortunately, it apparently doesn't suit various 'charities', as they believe such openness may affect their ability to rake in donations from anonymous sources.
Thereby forcing the likes of Transparency International Ireland to say 'No' to transparency.

Someone please tell me I'm reading it wrong.

No, that is the game.

Money to NGOs for spin / guilt-tripping / etc, and you may be sure the "anonymous sources" will be looking for tax relief, so they're not all that anonymous in the big scheme of things.

What has to stay anonymous is the loans from one NGO to another, the high salaries, and of course the recipient of a high salary must be kept anonymous under employment privacy laws.

In my book, if it's public money then it should all be on the table. Who knows, but some new NGO might be able to do a better job cheaper than say Dochas, and needs the info.

Of course if you're in Dochas you might want your job to be for life, but NGOs are set up to solve problems, not just to employ also-rans with degrees for life.
 

Analyzer

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McTell

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No
Lobbying, and saying who you talked to, is now easy to comply with online. This is all good so far...

https://www.lobbying.ie/
 

Dame_Enda

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The NRA likewise registers as a charity so it can spend as much as it likes on what amounts to lobbying politicians. Sorry but this kind of practice needs to stop.
 


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