Coalition of NGOs rejects government plans to apply VAT

Groups claim that tax applied on all products and services could ‘prejudice’ rights of citizens

By Doaa Farid

Daily News Egypt

A coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) released a statement on Sunday, opposing the application of the value-added tax (VAT).

In that regard, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), along with the General Syndicate of Sales Tax Workers and a number of independent trade unions and syndicates, sent a letter on 17 September to the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and head of Tax Authority.


How can NGOs meet the challenges of ethical spending?

From local procurement to voluntourism, humanitarian spending can be an ethical minefield. How can agencies do their best?

By Huw Nesbitt

The Guardian

Worldwide humanitarian aid contributions in 2013 were at their highest level for five years, putting the sector’s aims and practices under the spotlight.

According to analysts Global Humanitarian Assistance, donations from government and private bodies totalled $22bn (about £13bn) – up nearly a third on the previous year.

With such large amounts of money involved, there is obviously a pressure for humanitarian and development NGOs to show transparency and accountability in their aid flows. This means demonstrating value for money in their procurement policies and, ideally, strengthening the communities involved.


NGOs can Now Sign Up for .ngo Domains

Two new domains to illustrate an NGO’s authenticity

By Peter Griffin

Forbes India

There are between 700 million and a billion websites. The biggest chunk of these—and the ones most in demand—are the .com names. Other early top-level domains (TLD) like .net and .org also have significant shares, and country-specific TLDs, like India’s .in, are popular too.

Charities, NGOs and other such organisations originally went for the .org TLDs, but those eventually became unrestricted: There’s nothing to stop your local pornographer from buying himself a .org domain. NGOs wanting an easy-to-remember name on the web had to compete with the world at large, and the options were increasingly limited (for instance, 328 million new domains were registered in 2013, say media reports).


NGOs call for debate on how to put science at the heart of EU politics

Scientific advice to the European Commission’s President should be transparent and objective

Malta Today

Scientific advice should be transparent, objective and independent, and there should be more science and more diverse expertise available to the European Commission’s President, a coalition of 25 international and national NGOs, including The Action for Breast Cancer Foundation Malta and Friends of the Earth Malta, wrote in a letter addressed to President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today.

The new President will have to decide whether or not to retain the position of Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) that was established by his predecessor, President José Manuel Barroso.