HCLU Accounts to the Public, not to GCO

We consider the attempts by the Government Control Office (GCO) to audit our programs financed by the Norway NGO Fund a political attack. We will reveal everything to the public, but not to the government, which has no jurisdiction over this sphere of activities. As advocates of freedom rights we often urge citizens to actively protect their rights. Now the time has come for us to protect ourselves against this politically motivated unlawful attack. We consider the accusations that we use the Norwegian money to support LMP (Politics Can Be Different) and other leftwing liberal parties absurd. We always criticise those in power for abusing their power and violating rights; that’s what we always did, and that’s what we still do.

The Government Control Office informed us a few days ago that they want to audit our two programs financed by the Norway NGO Fund, and summoned us at the same time to provide all documents, contracts, bills and letters relevant to those programs, as well as several organizational documentations. Government officials made it clear earlier that they want this audit because they think that the Norwegian moneys went to organizations with links to leftwing parties. The political motivation of the audit was reaffirmed by some content published on the website of GCO (“The Norwegian pattern is unravelling. The threads lead to the left-liberals. Viking conquest by financial support. LMP critiques and the homosexual lobby in the crosshairs.” – GCO website, 13rd June 2014). Under these circumstances we have no doubt that the examination by – the not independent – GCO serves political goals, it is part of the local elections campaign of the governing party, which has almost unlimited power, and its purpose is to threaten the remaining balancing force against said power, and the gagging of NGOs critical of the government.

We would oppose this audit even if we would not question the jurisdiction of GCO, since in that case this would mean GCO abused its authority. 

However, we are also convinced that GCO has no scope of authority for this particular audit, and we have let our misdoubts about the legal grounds for this audit known to GCO. Moreover, in a request for information act we asked about the details of the audit, for example about its costs. We will not give GCO an account of our programs financed by the Norway NGO Fund, but we will do so to the public, since our credibility has upmost importance to us.

We have nothing to hide: we uploaded the whole documentation concerning the tenders to our homepage, we have digitalized the whole file containing the documents created in our communication with the tender organizations of the Norway NGO Fund: from contracts, through reports and bills, to letters.

We will upload more documents in the following days. From these anyone can check whether we have cheated the Norwegian taxpayers out of their money.

HCLU has won two tenders from the Norway NGO Fund: one in 2009 and one in 2013. The latter program, which covers the reinvigorating of the HCLU organization, and the sharing of our experiences with local NGOs, is still underway, so we can only publish partial reports: the summary of the program and its whole (substantive and financial) documentation up to now. Sharing the experiences accumulated in the 20 years operation of HCLU with local NGOs might be frightening to a government that does not allow criticism.

However, our 2009 tender has been closed, so we published the documents that we had already sent to the tender organization. For the sake of total transparency, in the following days we will publish all financial documents supporting the account report of the tender. The title of the program was “Let your voice be heard – online campaign mobilizing patron members”. Within the frame of this campaign, as an organization acting as a control on the actual government, we worked on revealing various corruption and freedom violation cases of the government to the public, and helped these scandals trigger wide civil protests. The other goal of the project was to make these protesters donate money, making it possible for them to support cases important for them from their own sources. The project was successful: triggering inconcealable scandals and organizing civil protests undeniably resulted in for example the stopping of the Sávoly motorcar racecourse investment, which prevented the plunder of thirty five billion forints of public money paid by the Hungarian taxpayer.

We used the Norwegian money for example for a mail campaign concerning this, and creating videos about the subject.

We also covered the issue of meaningless raids in disco clubs paid by the taxpayer, and the institution of guardianship which means disfranchisement for intellectually disabled citizens. Scandals triggered and civil protest organised using the Norway funds significantly contributed to preventing many politicians from suppressing their atrocious dealings in 2009 and 2010. Several such politicians were revealed to have abused their power in this period, and it resulted among other things that the citizens made harsh judgements on the governing parties in the 2010 elections. Having performed such actions, we consider the accusation that we received or use the money of the Norwegian state for supporting leftwing parties ridiculous, since that time Hungary had a leftwing government.

The facts obviously refute the accusations. These accusations are even more absurd, because while government politicians are worried that “alternative thinkers” did not receive Norway NGO Fund money, there is no mention of an audit on the operation of a government fund, the National Cooperation Fund, the head of which is also the leader of the piece-march organizing Civil Collaboration Forum.

HCLU always calls on the actual government with regard to respecting constitutional rights,transparency and human rights. To achieve this goal, it must remain independent from the Hungarian state. For this very reason, it never accepts money from any government agency to finance its activities, and it will not allow its finances to be checked by politically motivated Hungarian authorities.

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