In April, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of Azerbaijan requested support to train CSOs on their reporting obligations under new anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorism financing (CTF) legislation. In response, the SCS project in Azerbaijan - the Empowering Civil Society Organizations for Transparency (ECSOFT) activity - and MoJ officials met with representatives of 65 CSOs from Shirvan, Guba, and Ganja and trained them in the new reporting obligations and how to establish internal control systems and develop internal regulations. MoJ officials also answered questions directly from CSO representatives on organization registration processes, grant registration, and recent changes to bylaws.
The trainings were a rare instance of MoJ officials travelling to the outer regions of Azerbaijan to meet with CSOs and were an important first step to improving the trust and overall relationship between the MoJ and CSOs. Following the trainings, ECSOFT has worked with the MoJ and Financial Monitoring Service on drafting guidance documents on compliance and reporting obligations under AML–CTF legislation for CSOs.
Launched in 2018, this three-and-a-half year SCS Global program is implemented by FHI 360, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), and MG Consulting to improve the fiscal transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption measures of Government of Azerbaijan agencies. It also assists CSOs to become more competent and sustainable in conducting anti-corruption, oversight, and advocacy activities.