Irregularities revealed at NGOs supported by Norway Grants, says govt control office
Budapest, June 30 (MTI) – The public prosecutor’s office has revealed irregularities in the operation of several organisations supported by Norway Grants, the Government Control Office (Kehi) said on Tuesday.
Kehi said it had asked the prosecutor to review seven NGOs supported by Norway Grants, including five operating in Budapest. The review found that the operations of three, including the Fold Napja Foundation, the Civil Kollegium Foundation and the Szivarvany Misszio Foundation, had fallen foul of legal regulations.
The first two have been instructed to take appropriate measures while the third has already made the necessary arrangements after being informed of its irregularities. Additionally, the prosecutor’s office initiated legal proceedings against Magyar Telehaz Alliance Association and the Erdei Iskola Foundation because they were no longer carrying out any activities. In the meantime, the court established that the latter has been wound up.
After the start of the prosecutor’s review, the Kurt Lewin Cultural Foundation to Fight Prejudice asked the court to establish that it has wound up its operations. Kehi said the outcome of this would be monitored by the prosecutor’s office.
In the case of the seventh organisation affected by the review, the Energiaklub Szakpolitikai Institute, the prosecutor’s office established that its public benefit organisation status has since been discontinued.
Kehi’s statement was in response to a report on Tuesday by daily Magyar Nemzet that a review found that the operations of three Hungarian civil organisations overseeing the distribution of Norway Grants monies were fully in line with regulations. The paper cited Bettina Bagoly, a prosecutor’s office spokeswoman, confirming this information and saying that even in the case of two additional oganisations only administrative errors had been revealed.
Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein decided last May to suspend further disbursement of funds to Hungary over concerns about the Hungarian government’s introducing changes to the distribution of grants through civil organisations.