‘Get licences before raising funds for charity purposes’
Manama : Assistant Undersecretary of Community Development at the Ministry of Social Development (MOSD), Khalid Ishaq has called for the need to obtain prior authorisation for fundraising licensing procedures before proceeding to raising funds and accepting donations for charitable purpose, in accordance to the provisions of the Decree law No. (21) for the year 2013 on the organisation to raise money for public purposes, and in the light of the Ministerial decree No. (47) for the year 2014 by issuing the executive regulations of the decree.
The Decree Law No. (21) for the year 2013 was issued to establish licensing procedures to avoid unknown and questionable ways of raising funds and collecting donations, as the importance of this legislation lies in tightening control over fundraising procedures in order to ensure disbursement according to the citizen’s interest.
Ishaq said that the law to raise funds is aimed for the public interests and benefits those wishing to raise money for charity and volunteer work, stressing the importance of transparency in the collection of funds and donations, and the protection of charity money not to be exploited illegally by law. In addition, it assures citizens and residents in terms of disbursement of funds, which will encourage good deeds by having a framework of transparency, accountability and commitment to achieve charitable purposes.
He demanded that organisations sign up at least two months before they begin to receive donations, as the Ministry will decide on the request within 30 days at the latest from the date of submission. Ishaq confirmed that the organisation would be notified on the status of the request. It should be noted that if within the period of 30 days, there is no reply from authorities then it is considered as an implicit rejection of the request. Pointing out that, if approved, the license would be received by hand from the delivery office, keeping in mind that the licensee must open a bank account to deposit money to notify the Ministry of the account number for a financial report to be submitted to the Ministry, explaining that after 15 days of this submissions, funds can be raised.
He said the Ministry explained the right to determine the duration of validity of licence according to the time period defined for the collection of money not more than one year from the date of approval of the licence application. The duration of the licence can be extended based on the licensee’s request a month before the expiry of the licence. “The extension period should not exceed three months, noting that the law does not allow the issuance of more than two licences for the same orgnisation in the same period even for a different purpose other than for collecting money.”
Regarding the acceptance of donations from inside or the outside of the Kingdom, Ishaq explained that incase organisations accept donations from one of the parties outside the Kingdom, they must apply to the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, during which they would have to identify the donation type- who submitted and its purpose. “Once approval is authorised, within a maximum period of a month, documents and financial documents that prove that the amount transferred to the outside may be handed over to the authority concerned,” he added.