Court Halts Govt Funds for Montenegrin NGOs

Following a lawsuit by two NGOs, the Administrative Court has annulled a decision allocating over 2 million euro to civil society ogranizations in 2011, as a result of which the process will have to start again.Two organizations, a hiking club and an environmental NGO, sued the Commission For Allocation of Part of Revenues from Games on Chance because of what they saw as breach of the rules according by which it distributes money.

At the end of January the Administrative Court ruled in their favour, deciding that the Commission had failed to state the disadvantages of these proposed projects of these organizations in comparison to others that received government funding.

The business of allocating over 2 million euro, which should have been distributed to civil society organizations in 2011, will thus have to be repeated.

“We will file criminal charges against the members of the Commission and I hope that the prosecutors will act,” Milan Radovic, from the hiking club Visokogorci, said.

He claimed that some members of the Commission had clear conflicts of interest, because they also run NGOs that apply for government funds.

He further expressed doubts about the regularity of the allocation of money to civil society organizations in 2012.

The Commission For Allocation of Part of Revenues from Games on Chance is the main source of government funding for civil society organizations.

Each year, it sets aside a certain ammount of money for plans that meet given criteria, such as social protection, humanitarian activities, meeting the needs of people with disabilities or extra-curricular education.

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