PA initiative on prevention of restrictions for civil society organizations in the name of preventing money laundering and the fight against terrorist financing in Albania
Partners Albania is implementing an initiative that aims to empower Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) to proactively engage in an enabling legal environment in the context of preventing money laundering and combating terrorist financing. This is the first initiative towards a long-term intervention that Partners Albania has planned in this regard.
The intervention focuses on mapping and analyzing the legal and regulatory framework in the country on the prevention of money laundering and the fight against terrorist financing, an informational, educational, and awareness-raising campaign for the sector on this issue, the organization of roundtables in the country and the region with various relevant stakeholders, as well as advocating for an enabling legal environment for the activity of NPOs in the country.
In March 2021 Partners Albania held a series of local roundtable discussions with other interested organizations and stakeholders, in order to inform, present, and discuss the main findings of the report which is being prepared by Partners Albania on the legal and regulatory framework governing the activities of NPOs, in relation to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as the compliance of the measures taken by the Albanian state with Recommendation 8 and the Explanatory Note of the Special Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for non-profit organizations.
Also, on March 18, PA organized a regional workshop where civil society organizations from the Western Balkans and Turkey shared their experiences on their involvement in processes related to the prevention of money laundering and the fight against terrorist financing in the respective countries and agreed on the need for a coordinated advocacy effort with the international institutions responsible for these issues.
Following, in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding between the General Directorate of Taxation, Partners Albania for Change and Development and GIZ “On inter-institutional cooperation in order to implement the NPOs sector terrorist financing risk assessment methodology”, the work has begun on drafting a Terrorist Financing (TF) risk assessment methodology in the NPOs sector, in accordance with the requirements of Recommendation 8 and IO.10 (Immediate Outcome 10) of FATF, based on international models.
The purpose of this methodology is to help countries understand the risks of TF to the NPOs sector, to assess how effectively they are mitigating these risks, and for them to be able to clearly demonstrate how they have achieved this understanding. This will be a comprehensive process, during which information and data from various sources will be collected and analyzed, which will then serve to draft the report of the NPOs TF risk assessment methodology.
To this end, during the months of July-August 2021, Partners Albania conducted a survey with 153 NPOs to gather their perceptions and experiences about various issues related to TF, policies against TF, and how they affect the NPOs sector. Hereinafter, work is continuing with a survey of financial institutions (bank and non-bank) to obtain their perceptions of TF risk in the NPOs sector, as well as data collection and surveys conducted with public institutions.
As an important part of the process, the Oversight Group of the methodology was formed with representatives from public institutions and the NPOs sector, such as: The General Directorate of Taxation, The General Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering, Tirana District Court, Office of the Prosecutor General, The State Committee on Cults, General Directorate of State’s Police, The Coordination Center for Countering Violent Extremism, The Interreligious Council of Albania, The Muslim Community of Albania, Women’s Center Light Steps, SCiDEV Center, the Initiative for Social Change Arsis and Dorcas Albania Foundation. The role of this group is to discuss and agree on the outputs produced by the group of experts engaged in the process, ensure cooperation with the required agencies to carry out the risk assessment process, including the provision of data by relevant institutions/organizations, provide comments and recommendations on the draft evaluation and recommendations, as well as approve the evaluation report drafted by the experts.
The first meeting of the Oversight Group was organized on December 3rd, where members were introduced to the background and context of TF risk assessment in the NPOs sector, the methodology, and the process.
These activities are funded by the GIZ Global Project ‘Combating Illicit Financial Flows ‘.
|Assessment Report on Legal and Regulatory Framework on Counter-terrorist Financing and Anti-money Laundering for NPOs in Albania||Download|
|Prevention of restrictions on civil society organizations in the name of fight against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing||Download|
|FATF and NPOs - Recommendation 8||Download|