Activities of NGOs
In Lithuania, the activities of NGOs are governed by several key laws and regulations, ensuringproper oversight and accountability. The main laws that control the activities of NGOs in Lithuania include:
- Law on Associations: This law establishes the legal framework for the formation and operation of associations, which are the most common type of non-governmental organizations in Lithuania.
- Law on Foundations: This legislation governs the establishment and functioning of foundations, which are another form of non-governmental organizations that focus on charitable and philanthropic activities.
- Law on Public Institutions: This law regulates public institutions, which are non-governmental organizations that provide public services or perform specific functions designated by the state.
- The Corporate Accountability Law, also known as the Law on Financial Reporting, is another significant law in Lithuania that impacts NGOs. While its primary focus is on financial reporting for businesses, this law also extends its applicability to certain non-profit organizations, including NGOs, based on their legal structure and size.
The Corporate Accountability Law, also known as the Law on Financial Reporting, sets forth guidelines and requirements for the preparation, auditing, and submission of financial statements. NGOs that meet specific criteria, such as surpassing designated revenue or asset thresholds, are obliged to comply with the financial reporting obligations outlined in this law.
Under this legislation, NGOs are mandated to maintain accurate and transparent financial records, prepare annual financial statements, and have them audited by qualified auditors if certain criteria are met. The financial statements should adhere to generally accepted accounting principles and be submitted to the relevant authorities within the specified timeframes.
The oversight and enforcement of the Corporate Accountability Law are primarily carried out by the State Enterprise Centre of Registers (Valstybinė įmonė Registrų centras) and the Financial Market Supervision Service (Finansinių rinkų priežiūros tarnyba). These institutions ensure that NGOs subject to the law fulfill their financial reporting obligations and uphold transparency in their financial operations. By incorporating the Corporate Accountability Law into the regulatory framework, the Lithuanian government aims to foster financial accountability and transparency, not only among businesses but also among specific non-profit organizations, including NGOs.
In addition to these laws, there are government institutions responsible for overseeing the activities of NGOs in Lithuania. The main institutions involved include:
- Ministry of Justice (Teisingumo ministerija): The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the registration and supervision of NGOs. It ensures compliance with the relevant laws and regulations governing the establishment and operation of non-governmental organizations.
- Public Authorities (Valstybės institucijos): Various government agencies, such as tax authorities, may also play a role in overseeing NGOs. They monitor the financial aspects of NGOs, including taxation and compliance with reporting requirements.
These laws and government institutions work together to ensure that NGOs in Lithuania operate within the legal framework and adhere to the necessary regulations. By promoting transparency and accountability, the government aims to maintain the integrity of the non-governmental sector while safeguarding the interests of the society as a whole.