The Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (Ceps) organised a meeting for its members in collaboration with the Registrar Division on the introduction of the new law that was passed in the National Assembly regarding associations and changes that it’s going to bring for compliance.
The meeting for the non-profit orgainisations was facilitated by a team from the registrar led by registrar general Wendy Pierre.
It was held at Cep’s conference Orion Mall as part of the division’s ongoing sensitisation programme with the relevant stakeholders to discuss and to get their contributions before the law is enacted in September 2022.
It was also part of Ceps strategy to educate its members on relevant laws among other decisions taken, that have an impact on their organisations.
The new Associations Act, which repeals the Registration of Associations Act, Cap 201 1959, seeks to comply with, among other laws, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act, 2020 and the Beneficial Ownership Act, in regards to international best practices and standards.
It also seeks to streamline the process of application and registration of associations, in order to bring more transparency in the sector and to protect any party who is or intends to associate with any new association.
It further seeks to streamline provisions regarding the rules of the associations, admission of minors, rights of members, terms of office bearers, accounts and returns, information to the public, cancellation, amalgamation and dissolution of registered associations among others.
Most of the participants felt the civil society should have been consulted for their inputs before the law went to the National Assembly. But the registrar general, Mrs Pierre, stated that the division had held consultation meetings with the society and some of their inputs have been included in the law.
She further stated that as the law has not been enacted yet, their inputs, among others to come in following consultation meetings, will be evaluated for inclusion.
After the two-hour interactive discussion, Dean Padayachy, the chairman of Brother Houdes, an association which caters for victims of domestic violence, said that the new law will surely protect organisations against malpractices when it comes to transparency and international best practices and standards.
He felt that offices bearers should be on freehold rather than the three 3-year terms (9 years) imposed. He noted that as the work is voluntary, it should be up to the members to freely decide who stays on regardless of the many years that person has served as an office bearer.
For his part, the chief executive of Nature Seychelles, Nirmal Jivan Shah, said he was happy the way the meeting went when considering that a government department, including its head, comes to talk with them, not as masters but on an equal footing, where the participants have had most of their questions answered with satisfaction.
The registrar division will continue with its awareness sessions with stakeholders regarding the law and which will include a survey to understand why people are not willing to step up to take leadership positions in associations.
Courtesy Patrick Joubert (Nation.sc)