On changes to the Rules on the Right of Foreign Donors to Give Grants in the Republic of Azerbaijan

Posted by: | Posted on: Февраль 1, 2017

Foto-Rena-S.-300x218The Cabinet of Ministers made changes to the Rules on the Right of Foreign Donors to Award Grants in the Republic of Azerbaijan by its decree No 12 dated 24 January 2017. Transparency Azerbaijan welcomes this decree as an important step on the way to solve problems of the civil society and believes that the decree will ease the procedures for the right of foreign donors to award grants in the country.

The changes approved by the Rules are as follows:

  •  In addition to foreign donors, now recipients (or NGOs that have signed a grant agreement with a donor) can apply for an opinion on financial and economic feasibility of the grant (hereinafter “the Opinion”). This Opinion is the first condition to ensure the right of a foreign donor to award a grant in Azerbaijan Republic.
  •  Now a recipient can apply to the Ministry of Justice with a single request to both provide this Opinion and register a grant. According to the previous regulation, a donor had to apply to the Ministry of Finance for such an Opinion prior to signing a contract with a recipient, and subsequently a recipient had to approach the Ministry of Justice to have the grant registered.
  •  Grant documentation compiled in a foreign language still has to be translated into Azerbaijan language but the requirement to notarize the translation is annulled.
  •  The time period to provide an opinion to the financial and economic expediency of a grant is reduced from 15 days to 7 days and, in case additional research is required, extra 7 days (reduced from 15) can be given to the registering authority.

All these changes are positive and reduce the bureaucratic red tape in obtaining by foreign donors the right to award grants. Along with this, legislation regulating award of grants by foreign donors, including obtaining of an the Opinion on financial and economic expediency of grants, as well as the requirements for foreign NGOs to conclude agreements with the government in order to open branches or representative offices in Azerbaijan prior to any awards of grants, shall be further simplified.

We are confident that discussions with the civil society will contribute to further simplification of legal norms regulating this sphere.

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