Office for Cooperation with NGOs was established by the Regulation on the Office for Cooperation with NGOs in 1998 to perform professional activities within the scope of the Croatian Government in connection with the creation of conditions for cooperation and partnership with non-profit sector, especially with associations in Croatia.
A detailed scope of the Office defined by the Regulation on the Office for Cooperation with NGOs (Official Gazette 34/12) on the basis of which the Office carries out activities:
- drafting, systematic monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the implementation of strategic programs for the creation of an enabling environment for civil society and the preparation and implementation of measures of other strategic documents covering the activities of cooperation with associations;
- participation in the development, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the normative framework for the operation of NGOs and other civil society organizations in the Republic of Croatia;
- coordination of work of state administration bodies and other public institutions in the field of harmonization of policies, criteria and standards of financing projects of NGOs and other civil society organizations from the state budget and other public sources;
- provision, if necessary, expert assistance to national authorities in the preparation and implementation of tenders for financing projects and programs from the state budget;
- cooperation in the preparation of programs supporting the development of civil society carried out by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development and financed from the state budget funds available to the budget of the Office;
- development and management of effective monitoring and evaluation of projects and programs of organizations financed from the state budget and other public sources and EU funds;
- preparing analyzes and reports for the Croatian government on expenditure of funds, to support program activities, provided the associations paid from the state budget, other public sources and EU funds;
- designing and conducting a public database on allocated grants for projects and programs of civil society organizations from the state budget and other public sources;
- coordination of work of state administration bodies in the field of consultation with the interested public in procedures of adopting laws, other regulations and acts and involvement of associations and other civil society organizations in the adoption, implementation and evaluation of public policies;
- professional and administrative support to the work of individual advisory bodies of the Croatian Government;
- provision, if necessary, expert assistance to the Office of the President of the Croatian Government on the issues from its scope;
- preparation and implementation of professional development and training of civil servants and other users in the area of development cooperation with civil society in shaping of public policies;
- providing information and providing technical assistance to citizens and representatives of civil society organizations within the competence of the Office;
- establishment, implementation and development of international cooperation with the bodies of the European Union, other international bodies and related institutions in accordance with the competence of the Office;
- preparation and implementation of activities of international development cooperation in support of development of civil society;
- preparation, coordination and implementation of projects and programs of the European Union and other international organizations to support the development of civil society;
- implementation of the activities of financial management and quality control of projects and programs for the civil society sector that are financed from European Union funds;
- co-financing projects of NGOs and other civil society organizations who receive support from EU funds.
The Office carries out projects to support the development of civil society organizations from the European Union-funded contracts and Central Finance and Contracting Agency.
Since 2005, based on the Operational Agreement with the said Agency, the Office is responsible for programming and monitoring of projects under the EU's civil society sector CARDS and PHARE programs and IPA I component.
Also, since 2007 the Office is contact point for the Europe for Citizens programby which are opened new options for funding of civil society organizations, and local governments in Croatia in order to encourage active involvement of citizens in decision-making processes at European level.
Office for cooperation with NGOs which within a decentralized system of EU funds in the pre-accession period has the role of Project Implementation Unit, will be the intermediate body for the first level of Efficient Human Resources Programme in the proposed new operating structure for the use of the ESF (Under the provisions of the Decision of the Government on strategic documents and institutional framework for the use of structural instruments of the European Union to the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 116/2010), with the Ministry of Labour and Pension System as governing body. Programming investments in strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations is part of the Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources.
In accordance with the Regulation on the criteria, standards and procedures for financing and contracting programs and projects of interest to the public good provided by the association, the Office is working on improving standards for financing programs and projects of associations from public sources.
In carrying out these tasks, the Office works closely with the Council for the Development of Civil Society, to which also provides technical, administrative, professional and financial support in its work.