MPs return mandate to supervise NGOs back to Internal Affairs Ministry

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Legislators have scrapped the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Board, returning its mandate of overseeing the operations of NGOs back to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

This occurred while the lawmakers considered the NGO (Amendment) Bill, 2024, passed during the plenary sitting on Tuesday.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, Hon. Wilson Kajwengye, stated that the functions of the National Bureau of NGOs can be performed within the Ministry, as was the case in 2016 before the Board was created.

The amendment now mainstreams the Bureau as a department under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as part of the government’s policy to rationalize various entities.

The new law replaces the NGO Board with a Bureau that will be headed by a Secretary, who will be supervised by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

According to the new legal regime, the Secretary shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Bureau, the management of its funds, as well as the administration and management of the property of the Bureau.

Kajwengye justified that dissolving the Board will save the government from accumulating arrears of up to Shs1.1 billion every year, being the costs of facilitating the NGO Board and Adjudication committee.

“The Non-Tax Revenue collected from NGO registration will also be mainstreamed into the Ministry,” said Kajwengye.

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