On August 12, the Guangdong Legislative Affairs Office released a public consultation paper on the “Guangdong social organizations management regulations”. The regulations cover areas such as NGO registration, internal management, rights to be safeguarded, and the monitoring and legal responsibilities of each organization.
On August 19, a forum brought the draft proposal writers, other researchers, lawyers and NGO representatives together to discuss the regulations and their implications.
At the forum, the vice director of the Sun Yat-sen University’s Guangdong province local legislation research, evaluation and counselling Center, Yu Haiyong, welcomed the regulations’ clear demarcation of the government and NGO spheres, but wanted the line to be more clearly defined, calling for NGOs to be set up independently, be able to carry out fund-raising activities, elect their own management committees and employ their own staff.
He said the regulations had to be aimed at lowering the entry barrier for new organizations and limiting governmental authority. He was of the view that while penalties should be imposed on wrongdoers, blacklists of NGOs were unnecessary. Further, unregistered NGOs should be allowed to continue to operate as long as they genuinely serve the community. He concluded by saying that the annual NGO inspections could be replaced by a yearly report instead in order to reduce the administrative costs involved.