The cooperation with associations in the implementation of public policies is most often manifested through various forms of financial and non-financial support that public authorities provide to projects and programmes of public benefit interest.
This kind of cross-sectoral cooperation has great potential to generate a number of positive changes and create the necessary synergies for sustainable social and economic development. The extent to which that potential is realized depends largely on the quality criteria, standards and procedures for financial and non-financial support, as well as organisational and human resources within the public institutions necessary for successful monitoring and evaluation of agreed support model.
Having in mind the very high costs and more pronounced demands regarding transparency and accountability of spending taxpayers' money in this area, the Croatian Government, in order to fulfil the obligations arising from the new Law on Associations, adopted the Regulation on the Criteria, Standards and Procedures for Financing and Contracting Programmes and Projects of Public Benefit Interest Implemented by Associations
(Official Gazette 26/2015) on 5 March 2015.
Aiming at better coordination of all donors of financial resources in implementing of procedures, including the education on the need and importance of consistent application of the said Regulation, the Government Office for NGOs is responsible for:
- Coordinating the preparation, implementation and monitoring of public calls for financing programs and projects of NGOs from public sources,
- Giving prior opinions to all providers of financial resources from public sources at the national level on the compliance of areas of financing and implementation of the calls procedure with the Regulation, and for tenders worth more than 10 million performing prior quality control of tender documentation and other conditions to be met by service financial resources related to the application of the criteria of financing and contracting programs and projects,
- Preparing of joint annual plan of calls and other NGOs programs financed from public sources at the national level in order to harmonize and better planning by all bodies from national public sources and the EU funds for finance NGOs projects and programmes,
- Organising Info days at the beginning of each year in order to present calls for the current year to potential and interested beneficiaries,
- Collecting and publishing information on announced calls at the national and local levels and publishing them on the Office for Cooperation with NGOs web page,
- Ensuring timely exchange of information among donors of funds to associations that inappropriately spend resources allocated to them or otherwise do not comply with contractual obligations,
- Preparing Manual on the application of the Regulation including templates of calls documents as guidelines to donors of funds,
- Organising counselling and trainings of donors' institutions staff that are directly responsible for implementing (applying) Regulations for finance NGOs projects and programs,
- Submitting reports to the Croatian Government and interested public including developing comprehensive analysis on financing of NGOs projects and programs at least once a year.
Based on the Regulation, the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs has developed the Manual for Implementation of the Regulation on the Criteria, Standards and Procedures for Financing and Contracting Programmes and Projects of Public Benefit Interest Implemented by Associations
. The Manual was developed as a guideline to all public institutions that grant financial and non-financial support from public sources to projects and programs of public benefit implemented by associations as well as other civil society organisations. The Manual is aimed at state bodies, government offices and bodies, other public institutions as well as the local and regional self-governments, companies founded by the Republic of Croatia, or respectively by one or more local and regional self-government and other legal entities founded by the Republic of Croatia, or respectively one or more local and regional self-government, but also other legal entities that finance, grant or sponsor NGOs’ project and programs from public funds.
Annual reports on financing of CSOs projects and programs show the way of spending of funds from the public budget aimed at project and programmes of associations and other CSOs.
The reports are comprehensive containing detailed analysis on the following:
- Which state bodies give funds and in which amount
- Areas of financing
- Beneficiaries of the financed projects
- Territorial distribution of projects