NGOs in China will face stricter rules when hosting “recognition activities” or giving out awards, according to the new “Administrative Measures for Social Organization Evaluation Recognition, and Commendation Activities” released earlier this month.
The measures, issued by China’s National Evaluation, Recognition and Commendation Coordination Group, regulate the scope of application, application conditions, approval mechanisms, procedural requirements, prohibited conditions, supervision systems, violation procedures, and honor revocation for NGOs (known as “social organizations” in China) when carrying out evaluation and recognition initiatives.
The Coordination Group office previously issued interim regulations in 2012, but they have gradually become outdated in recent years with the continuous improvement of the appraisal management system and the advancement of the social organization registration management system, the China Philanthropy Times reported.
In 2017, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China approved the implementation of the “National Merit and Honor Commendation Regulations”, which specifically stipulated the management requirements for appraisal and commendation activities. In 2018, the Central Committee and the State Council jointly issued the “Administrative Measures for Evaluation, Recognition and Commendation Activities”, which included comprehensive regulations for the management of evaluation and recognition activities, and required that additional specific management measures be formulated to exercise control over social organizations holding such activities.
The “Regulations on Optimizing the Business Environment” released in 2019 emphasized that, unless otherwise provided for by laws and regulations, no unit or individual shall force market entities to participate in any evaluation and commendation activities and shall not charge market entities for such activities.
This has also been reflected in the new measures, according to the China Philanthropy Times, as some social organizations in recent years have been exposed for conducting improper evaluations and giving out awards, with some even collecting fees in violation of the regulations.
In accordance with the Administrative Measures, the Coordination Group Office will compile a catalogue of social organizations’ evaluation and commendation projects that meet standards, with members of the public able to access an online database of such projects.