An immediate investigation into 9,000 NGOs, especially ones that have been registered in the North and the East or `supposedly` carrying out operations in those areas is to be carried out by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Non Governmental Organisations. This was revealed when the Committee met last week.
A Committee member told the Daily Mirror that the five member committee chaired by S.S. Wijeyratne revealed that most of those NGOs did not even have an official address or areas they functioned in.
?It was said that there are about 4000 NGOs incorporated through a private motion in Parliament but information as to which Member presented the motion or where the NGOs functioned is not available,? he said.
In addition, there are another 5000 NGOs registered under the Companies Act, No: 17 of 1982. It was revealed that even these NGOs did not provide the solid information necessary to carryout an audit or any other investigation.
?Besides, it was revealed that these NGOs are not accountable to the Companies` Registrar. We suggested that a centre to monitor NGOs be implemented soon so that the activities of any NGO in the country could be monitored irrespective of under which institution it was registered,? the Committee member said.
According to the normal procedure details on NGOs operating in the country should be available to Parliament, the Foreign Ministry, the Social services Ministry, the Defence Ministry, Divisional Secretariats and District secretariats.
Yet, it was revealed a proper census had not been done on NGOs so far and no solid information was available on these NGOs in any of the above mentioned institutions.