Only 37 percent of non-governmental organisations operating in the country have submitted their technical and audited reports to the non-governmental organisations (NGO) Board.
This was revealed in Blantyre on Monday on the sidelines of an orientation on NGO law and regulations for board chairpersons of NGOs in the country.
Chairperson of the corporate and service committee of the NGO Board, Martha Mkandawire said out of 602 NGOs the country has, only 228 have submitted their reports representing 37 percent.
She said even though there was an improvement as compared to last year where compliance was at 27 percent, the current figure is not impressive.
“We are targeting over 90 percent of the NGOs to comply. NGOs are the third sector, providing checks and balances to government. So they need to be beyond reproach and exemplary through transparency, accountability and respect of the rule of law. They can not be watchdogs if they are not complying with the three,” said Mkandawire.
According to Mkandawire, NGOs control a lot of financial resources estimated at about a third of the country’s annual budget hence the need for transparency.
Board chairperson for Human Development Services (HDS), one of the NGOs that have not complied with the requirements, Caleb Ng’ombo cited among other reasons, lack of funds to conduct a financial audit.
Said Ng’ombo:” The coming in of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the NGOs in terms of funding in such a way that developing of reports has not been a priority.
“My own organisation has not been funded for two consecutive years. But we are getting to appreciate that this is indeed an obligation, and we will surely begin to comply.”
The orientation aimed at raising awareness to the NGOs that have not complied with the requirement in NGO Act.
The board is currently reviewing the act to incorporate penalties for non-compliance.