Transparency International: NGOs getting state support in Russia lack transparency

posted 28 May 2015, 06:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 28 May 2015, 07:03 ]
26 May 2015

Source: (info
The report by Transparency International-Russia analyses the allocation of grants from the President of Russia in 2012 and the financing of socially-oriented NGOs through the Ministry of Economic Development in 2013.

The study considers transparency with respect to grant administrators and tender winners, as well as the transparency of the actual mechanism for allocating State funding.

The tender winners that were selected for the study included organisations that have received State financing to the tune of over three million rubles. In total, 114 non-governmental organisations were selected.

Lack of transparency

The study demonstrated a lack of transparency in tender selection procedures and in the reporting of tender winners. It evaluated the availability of reporting documents, charters and information about the management and projects on the websites of those organisations. Particular attention was paid to any potential affiliation members of NGOs might have with public authorities, the Civic Chamber and members of tender committees.

The procedures for selecting the organisations that administered the 'presidential' tenders and the commission they received for running the tender remain secret, although they are all potentially linked to State authorities; for example, through governing bodies.

In addition, a subsidiary of one grant administrator has itself received government funding on more than one occasion. A quarter of the NGO winners of the 'presidential' tender do not have their own website, while just one third have published their mandated annual report on the Ministry of Justice website.

The Ministry of Economic Development tender has traditionally been more open, although here too there are ample opportunities for greater transparency. Almost all of the winners have their own websites, yet only 41% of the NGO winners post their mandated yearly reports on the Ministry of Justice website.


The authors have drawn up a series of recommendations that, when implemented, will serve to increase procedural transparency and mitigate the risk of corruption when State funding is being allocated.

The report discusses the need for the selection of grant administrators to be made public; for tender applications and contracts made with winners to be put online; for there to be a public declaration of conflicts of interest amongst members of tender committees; and that restrictions be placed on organisations entering a tender several years in a row.

TI - R has previously carried out a series of studies of State funding for the Third Sector. In 2012, it published a monitoring study on support for socially-oriented NGOs.

In 2013, and again in 2014, it presented reports on transparency with respect to State funding for NGOs. Those reports analysed both presidential tenders for allocating grants and funding from the Ministry of Economic Development.

Translated by Lindsay Munford