AVI WORTZMAN 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Habayi Hayehudi)
Deputy Minister of Education Avi Wortzman announced the establishment of a joint
committee of the Education and Finance Ministries to examine the issue of
government funding for NGOs at a meeting of the Knesset Education, Culture and
Sports Committee on Monday.
The meeting was initiated following
complaints from charity organizations over a new Treasury procedure for
non-profit organizations applying for financial support from the government
–introduced by former finance minister Yuval Steinitz just six days before the
previous government was disbanded.
According to the NGOs, the new
instructions pose many obstacles to organizations seeking government support due
to requirements which are “impossible to meet” such as a personal liability of
the authorized signatories of the organization and “draconian fines” for any
delay in submitting bureaucratic documents, among others.
application procedure takes the relationship between the government and the
third sector a generation back,” CEO of the Israeli Association of Nonprofit and
Voluntary Organization Eitan Mizrahi said at the meeting, “It does not reflect
the government’s desire and duty to support our blessed activity for the benefit
Mizrahi added that such harsh policy is a result of
“suspicion and distrust” on the part of the state.
debate, committee chairman Amram Mitzna decided to freeze the application
procedure until 2014, in order to allow its proper examination.
said that the current application requirements “narrow the work of organizations
and can lead to their collapse.”
“The Treasury policy is very important
in defining the share of the third sector in the state’s budget,” he said. “It
should provide clear rules in order to maintain good governance and fair support
to NGOs, without harming a large number of them.”