YHD: Illegal distribution of funds between disability organizations in Slovenia

yhd logoYHD – Association for theory and culture of handicap has sent a legal opinion to the National Assembly of theRepublicofSlovenia, specifically, to the Labour, Family and Disabled Persons Board, which we fought due to many years of discrimination against our association concerning the allocation of resources by the Foundation for Financing of Humanitarian and Disabled Persons Organisations (FFHDPO).

Our projects have been financed on a much smaller scale than comparable projects run by other disabled persons’ organisations. Since no criteria or measures provided in the FFHDPO Regulations are being respected, we asses that such distribution of funds is unclear and illegal. The reason for this is the conflict of interests inside FFHDPO, because the receivers of the largest portion of the funds (the large, old disability organisations that were founded based on the common diagnosis of their members) are the very same organisations that divide the funds, supervise this activity and adopt acts regarding FFHDPO’s operation.

FFHDPO is a public interest organisation, which collects the funds from the Lottery of Slovenia – the money does not land in the state budget but rather directly in the foundation. Since there is no supervision beside the Court of Audit, the funds are divided by the relative strength of the organisations. The fact that FFHDPO does not respect the rulings of the court makes us conclude that there is a legal void in this area. There seems to be no way for us to secure the rights that the court has ruled we have. The court has ruled the following:

–       YHD has a right to be granted a larger amount of the funds

–       YHD was discriminated during the division of funds

–       FFDHPO’s criteria and rules regarding the division of funds are not clear enough.

We have asked the PM’s for the Government to adopt an act which would unify the rules and better regulate the operation of public and private foundations. Based on the reports by the Court of Audit, which regularly audits their operation, we think this is an urgent matter. We have raised our suspicions of the conflict of interests, which is present in the FFHDPO board, where more than 20 million EUR of funds are distributed on the principle, before the public tender is set and in closed FFDHPO session where not even the most lax criteria are being respected.

We have won our case on the Administrative Court due to opaque procedure in which the FFHDPO funds were distributed. The Foundation was ordered to redistribute funds according to the rules, but this has never taken place, we have received no replies on our appeals against FFHDPO’s decision.

A different composition of the FFHDPO board could have formed objective criteria and measures, which would give rise to the financing of quality projects for user and to legal operation.

Elena Pečarič presented to the members of Parliament YHD’s stance on the matter and asked for their support in restoring the state of Law this matter and just division of funds based on objective criteria. The MP’s have expressed their support and adopted two resolutions: to adopt a Public and Private Foundations Act, which would set out clear rules regarding the operation of the said organisations and that the Court of Audit pay special attention on the current events at FFHDPO regarding the already issued opinion and measures that the Foundation is bound to adopt by Law.

YHD

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