Standard 3.3.2. State Funding for CSO-Provided Services

Legislation

An ongoing problem is the lack of specific budget lines planned for funding service provision by CSOs. Only the Law of Social and Family Services and the Administrative Instruction on allocation of budgetary funds from the category of subsidies and transfers foresee budget allocation for service provision by CSOs and other service providers. Funding is provided only based on public calls for services that are not provided by state authorities, usually for a four to twelve month period.

 In 2009 caused by the lack of budgetary planning happened decentralization of services, shifting financing of social services from the central level to the municipalities. Neither this move proved successful in creating sustainability therefore drafting of the concept document of the law on local government finances foresees creation of a specific grant for social service providers. Its details remain to be defined as the drafting of the document proceeds.

Amendment of the Law on Public Procurement in 2015, has made it adept to characteristics of civil society sector. The new law has removed legal barriers for CSOs receiving public funding for service provision through public procurement. CSOs are recognized as economic operators while the requirement that a CSO should be registered into a commercial register is removed. However, any funding can be awarded only on annual basis, while longer term agreements are not supported.

0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment

Practice

In 2019, the budget allocation for contracting social services as well as trainings provided by CSOs is EUR 510,000.00. Five surveyed organizations stated to have been prohibited to apply for public service provision without specific explanations provided. Seventy percent of CSOs that have received funds from state contracts perceive that they are not sufficient to cover basic costs of a service. Especially funding for social services is not sufficient due to improper planning by public institutions. One CSO interviewed explains “the problem arises when the Ministry plans the budget for funding social services. The budget calculates the costs of delivering a service as a whole, and not per the number of people being served. As a result, the funding provided is not enough to cover the whole cycle of providing a service. That is why most shelters have to suspend their activities at the end of the year”. Out of 13 organizations that stated to have received state contracts, 7 of them claimed to have not received funds on time and to have had problems when delivering services. Three organizations have stated to have received funds on time, while three others have stated to have faced delays but losses have been covered by public institutions.

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