The largest group of U.S.-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to date has responded to the Obama administration’s new “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) strategy.
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The Charity and Security Network monitors U.S. and foreign government activities and a wide range of news sources to identify developments in national security policy that impact civil society and nonprofit organizations. We collect and disseminate relevant information on our website, via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and through our biweekly email newsletter, which contains links to a variety of news articles. To read the most recent issues of our email newsletter or to subscribe, click here.
Our staff also creates news pieces on events and developments of particular interest to our members that are not covered in other news outlets. Those stories can be found below, in revese chronological order.
A long-awaited final Partner Vetting System (PVS) final rule was issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) June 26 (Partner Vetting in USAID Assistance, 80 Fed. Reg. 36693). The rule, which establishes a pilot project in five countries, requires many grant applicants to submit detailed personal information on key employees to USAID for comparison with intelligence databases. It is dismissive of concerns raised by nonprofit organizations (NGOs) and others in response to the proposed rule issued in 2013.
The Charity & Security Network, joined by 42 civil liberties, human rights and racial justice organizations, has signed onto a letter expressing grave concerns about a proposed bill that would create a division devoted to “countering violent extremism” (CVE) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The office would be headed by a new Assistant Secretary and supported by a career Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the bill allocates $10 million annually from the budget of the Office of the Secretary of DHS to this new program.
H.R. 2899, The Countering Violent Extremism Act of 2015, was introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (D-TX) June 25. A hearing on the bill was held July 15 in the House Committee on Homeland Security, followed by bill markup. Representatives from DHS did not attend the hearing, while many observers have speculated on the reasons for its absence. The bill passed out of committee that evening on a voice vote.
As part of its program to promote global implementation of its anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering recommendations, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will be conducting an evaluation of U.S. compliance in late 2015 and early 2016. FATF is expected to review the evaluators' report and make any recommendations in October 2016.
On July 6, 2015 the Charity & Security Network and the Council on Foundations submitted a detailed memo to the FATF Secretariat that provides the evaluation team with background information on U.S. counterterrorism laws, the impacts on nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and how this compares to FATF standards. It found that U.S. law fails to meet the FATF criteria of a risk-based approach, proportionality, protection of legitimate NPOs and consistency with human rights and humanitarian law. In a cover letter, the groups asked that the FATF evaluation team meet with representatives of the NPO sector as part of the evaluation process. The outcome of the report, and the recommendations, could provide an important opportunity for the U.S. to make its laws more civil-society friendly.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has said it will formalize its consultation process with the nonprofit organization (NPO) sector. At its June Plenary in Australia, FATF agreed to enhance its engagement with NPOs when workingon combating money laundering and terrorist financing by holding an annual discussion with NPOs on specific issues of common interest. It will also organize ad hoc exchanges on technical matters.