Thousands of social organizations received administrative sanctions last year

The China Youth Care Foundation was given an administrative sanction last month by the Ministry of Civil Affairs for unjustified fundraising and spending. As a result, the activities of the Foundation were suspended for a month. It has also been announced on the official website of the Ministry of Civil Affairs that the registration of the Haiyang Charity Foundation will be canceled, due to the fact that it has failed to take the prescribed annual examination for two years in a row. The Department of Civil Affairs of Sichuan Province also decided to give administrative sanctions to 109 social organizations which refused or avoided their annual examinations.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, in 2016 the ministry dealt with 2363 violations of laws and regulations conducted by social organizations. The total number of sanctions has been on the decrease since its peak in 2014. The administrative sanctions mentioned above were mainly based on the Charity Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Regulation on Funds, and the Regulations on the Registration and Administration of Social Communities. In 2014, new regulations were adopted to standardize the procedure for administrative sanctions, which contributed directly to a hike in the penalties.

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On the provincial level, statistics collected by Sun Xiaoshu show that in 2017 at least 594 administrative sanctions have been imposed and reported by the provincial Department of Civil Affairs so far. Out of the 594 organizations, 98% were sanctioned for not taking the annual examinations held by the Department of Civil Affairs, as the rules prescribe. In Beijing, 25 organizations were found not to have taken any examination since 1995. Consequently these “ghost organizations” were removed from the registration list and their licenses confiscated.

At the state level, the Ministry of Civil Affairs published 32 sanction decisions in 2017. The most common reason is also absence for examinations, followed by not performing within the charter, illegal naming of affiliates, and unjustified fundraising and spending. Most of the organizations that received penalties have a history of over five years, and some were founded back in the 1980s -1990s, suggesting that they lack the capabilities to adapt to the new regulations.

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