INGO Forum Meetings 2009

INGO Forum Meeting - PIT Discussion

Friday, 11 December 2009, 09:00 – 11:00 am

Chairs:
Don Tuan Phong, PACCOM Director General
Marko Lovrekovic, VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Managing Co-Director

 

Venue:
VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Meeting Room
218 Doi Can, La Thanh Hotel, Building F1, Hanoi

 

The meeting was initiated following INGOs' questions regarding the letter which many of them received from the Hanoi Tax Department during November 2009. The letter requested lists of names of INGO expatriates eligible for Personal Income Tax (PIT) exemption. During the meeting Mr. Don Tuan Phong, Director General of PACCOM, provided clarification regarding some questions related to PIT exemption for INGOs' expatriates. However, he said that some questions can only be answered by competent tax authorities. Prior to the meeting Mr. Marko Lovrekovic, Managing Co-Director of VUFO-NGO Resource Centre, prepared a letter on behalf of the INGO community in Vietnam and sent it to the Hanoi Tax Department. Please find a copy of this letter at the bottom of the page. The VUFO-NGO Resource Centre will inform it members as soon as we receive any response from the Hanoi Tax Department.

 

In his introduction Mr. Phong briefed the participants on the latest discussions regarding the PIT exemption and relevant legislation. He emphasised that PACCOM has been working hard on the broader legal framework and PIT exemption. The Prime Minister has approved a new decree which will have clear provisions regarding PIT exemption. This decree has been approved by 16 members of the Cabinet (out of 32 members) to date. The Government should make the final decision before the end of 2009 and a new decree should come into force in early 2010. In the meantime, Mr. Phong clarified the current situation with respect to PIT exemption for the following categories:

 

REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE
Expatriate staff in INGOs that have 'Representative Office' status are eligible for PIT exemption provided that they have a PIT-Exemption-Clause included in their Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Committee for Foreign NGO Affairs (COMINGO). However, about 25 INGOs with 'Representative Office' status do not have a PIT-Exemption-Clause in their (old) MOUs, and about 10 have (new) MOUs pending. PACCOM will amend old MOUs (without the clause) and introduce the clause in all new pending MOUs early next year. In the meantime, COMINGO will send certification to the General Department of Taxation and Tax Offices in major cities for the period that is not covered in current MOUs. Mr. Phong promised to release this certification in the week of 14 - 20 December 2009.

 

PROJECT OFFICE
Long-term expatriate project specialists in INGOs that have 'Project Office' status are eligible for PIT exemption provided that their Terms of References (TORs) are included in the project documentation and approved by competent authorities. In most cases project documentation is approved at the provincial level by People's Committees but it can also be approved by ministries, departments, branches, central agencies and mass organisations. This kind of PIT exemption is defined by the Ministry of Finance's Circular 55 (from 2007). Please note that MOUs have never been signed with INGOs that have 'Project Office' status under the Decision 340 (from 1996). A new decree, which will replace the old Decision 340, will have clear provisions regarding PIT exemption and MOUs between COMINGO and both Representative Offices and Project Offices. However, it is not certain when this decree will come into force. Most probably it will come into force in February 2010. If the Ministry of Finance will insist on MOUs for 130 INGOs with 'Project Office' status in the next two months - COMINGO will issue a statement to the General Department of Taxation and Tax Offices in major cities, explaining that MOUs did not exist under the old Decision 340.

 

OPERATING PERMITS
Expatriate staff in INGOs that have 'operating permits' are not eligible for PIT exemption, unless they are classified as project specialists in the INGOs project documentation approved by competent authorities. Around 500 (out of 670 in total) INGOs working in Vietnam have 'operating permits'. However the intention of the new Decree 93, which replaced the old Decision 64 (from 2001), is that long-term INGOs with 'operating permits' become representative offices. It will also decentralise the project approval process and enable local and provincial authorities to approve 90% of projects. Please note that the Decree 93 will come into force on 1st January 2010. A hard copy of the Decree 93 in English is available for reading at the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre. PACCOM will provide an electronic version of the official translation, which will be shared with INGOs.

 

EXPATRIATE CONSULTANTS
Expatriate consultants are not eligible for PIT exemption. They are liable to pay PIT.

 

VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers with INGOs who are paid an allowance are not permanent staff members. Such INGOs should sign MOUs in order to make their volunteers eligible for PIT exemption. MOUs should be signed with competent authorities, such as a Government Ministry or the local People's Committee. Without MOUs volunteers are liable to pay PIT.

 

In closing Mr. Phong said that the new decrees will introduce change in terminology: INGOs will be 'registered' rather than 'receiving permits'. COMINGO will inform the Ministry of Finance about the position of INGOs regarding PIT and share other concerns regarding the issue. PACCOM, on behalf of INGOs, will meet with the Hanoi Tax Department and the Ministry of Finance to share INGOs' concerns. There will be a dissemination meeting for INGOs before Tet to share the achievements of the past year and plans for next year. Mr. Phong also announced that this year PACCOM celebrates its 20th anniversary.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INGO Forum Meeting 13 November 2009

Friday, 13 November 2009, 14:00 – 16:30
Forty-nine individuals representing 35 organisations attended.

 
Chair:
Marko Lovrekovic, VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Managing Co-Director

Venue:
VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Meeting Room
La Thanh Hotel, Building F1, 218 Doi Can, Hanoi

Agenda:
1. Welcome and introduction
2. VUFO-NGO Resource Centre update on activities
3. Update on new decrees replacing Decree 340 and Decree 64
4. 2009 Salary Survey briefing
5. Five years of cooperation between PACCOM and INGOs
6. Key messages for Consultative Group meeting on 3-4 December 2009

1. Welcome and introduction

Marko Lovrekovic welcomed participants and announced that a representative of PACCOM was unable to join the meeting due to other commitments. Forty-nine participants from 35 organisations briefly introduced themselves.

2. VUFO-NGO Resource Centre update on activities

During the INGO Forum in May 2009 three major obstacles to normal functioning of the Centre were presented: a) old or non-existent technical resources; b) insufficient human resources; and c) insufficient financial resources. Of these the first two have been overcome. Technical resources have been fully upgraded, including computers, servers, printers and other office infrastructure. New team members have been recruited: Ethnic Minorities Working Group Coordinator, IT Advisor, Communications Advisor, two international volunteers, two Vietnamese volunteers, and a new part-time accountant. Also, there is a new face on the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Steering Committee: Ms. Yasmin Subhash Madan, Country Representative for Population Services International, who replaced Mr. Dario Gentili from Voluntary Service Overseas. Dario has been transferred to another country program unexpectedly. However, there is still a way to go when it comes to the third obstacle before the Centre can enjoy sustainable financial resources.

Core Services have been carried out regularly including: 12 e-newsletters, management of 26 mailing lists, 25 Newsbrief service letters, update of the library with new titles and support for 44 meetings related to 17 active Working Groups. The content of the old website has now been fully transferred to the new website. The 2009 INGO Directory in Vietnamese was published and distribution is ongoing.

Some of the most significant activities carried out by the Working Groups were: finalisation of the Complementary Child Rights Report, preparation for the Climate Change Forum in the Mekong Delta, participation in several emergency meetings regarding typhoons Ketsana and Mirinae, a workshop on implementation of Phase 2 of Program 135 in close cooperation with the the Committee for Ethic Minorities Affairs (CEMA) and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Annual Partnership Forum of 62 Districts, and comments and inputs for the Ministry of Health's (MoH) Circular 2009 on compulsory testing of HIV in necessary cases.

Ms. Tran Thi Thu Thuy from PACCOM was formally appointed to the position of Co-Director and continued a productive working relationship between the Resource Centre's team and PACCOM as a counterpart. The Centre also participated in the mid-year Dissemination of Information Meeting at PACCOM. Other activities included consolidation of inputs for INGOs’ participation at the mid-year Consultative Group meeting; and briefings of two foreign delegations from Ministries of Home Affairs in Laos and Bhutan. Both delegations were interested in the Centre as a mechanism for cooperation between INGOs and the Government. The Centre submitted the Vietnamese contribution to the 2009 Social Watch Report published by the Social Watch International Network. Preliminary discussions occurred regarding two new potential working groups: a) Capacity Development Working Group (working title), and b) Fair Trade Working Group. The Centre's work was promoted in two media reports – an interview for Thanh Nien and a short piece for Global Citizen, a new show on VTV3. The  first coordination meeting between the Ministry of Health and INGOs took place in October. The International Support Group of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development organised a conference to evaluate support for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development from 1993 until 2008; and to discuss the plan for the period 2011-2015.

For more details on the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre's activities update, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and open the attachment titled INGO Forum November 2009 Presentation.

3. Update on new decrees replacing Decree 340 and Decree 64

In the absence of the PACCOM representative, Marko Lovrekovic informed the participants about the new decree that will replace Decree 64. The new decree has been finalised, but is not expected to come into effect before January 2010. The English-language translation is not yet available. Another decree that will replace Decree 340 has not been approved yet, but is expected to come into force in 2010.

A discussion followed regarding the issue of personal income tax (PIT) for expatriate INGO staff. Many INGOs had just received a letter from the Hanoi Tax Department, requesting that INGOs submit a list of expatriate INGO staff eligible for PIT exemption according to the criteria set out in a previous letter from the Ministry of Finance. The letter said that the Hanoi Taxation Department would assume there were no PIT-exempt expatriates if they did not receive a list by 30 November.

Several issues were raised among participants regarding PIT:

  • Staff whose salary is paid from abroad are exempt from personal income tax, but what is the tax status of staff whose salary or allowances are paid from project funds and not from a source abroad?
  • Foreign staff are exempt from paying income tax so long as their Memorandum of Understanding has an exemption clause. INGOs need to ensure that their next MOUs have that clause.
  • However, project offices don't have MOUs – could project office staff be exempted from income tax? What is the situation for staff where an INGO has not signed a new MOU yet?

These questions were not answered since PACCOM representative was not present. However, the Centre's Managing Co-Director committed to clarify all questions with PACCOM and inform INGOs before the 30th November deadline.

4. 2009 Salary Survey briefing

Marko Lovrekovic gave a preview of the 2009 Salary and Benefits Survey of National Staff in International NGOs, which has been completed but not yet published. For logistical reasons not all member organisations were invited to take part. Fifty were contacted , 40 agreed to take part, and 33 actually filled out the online survey.

However the 33 were a representative sample, and their combined budgets equalled approximately half of the combined budgets for all INGOs in Vietnam. Fifty-two per cent of participating INGOs have a budget of less than $US1 million; 33% have budgets between $US1million and $US10 million; while 15% have budgets of more than $US10 million. Thirty INGOs are Hanoi based and three are from Ho Chi Minh City. Due to such a small number of INGOs based outside Hanoi that participated in the survey there will be no comparison analysis based on their location. However, the reported salaries were very similar between the cities and - generally speaking - there was more consistency between INGOs in salary scales, benefits and working hours than in the 2004 Salary Survey. For more details about the 2009 Salary Survey, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and open the attachment titled 2009 Salary Survey Summary.

The full report on the 2009 Salary Survey will include detailed statistics on salary scales, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave and maternity leave, study leave and training opportunities, insurance and tax calculation, travel allowances, types of contracts, bonuses, working hours and overtime. In order to preserve confidentiality only hard copies of the report will be distributed to members free of charge. Non-members will be able to obtain a copy for a moderate fee.

5. Five years of cooperation between PACCOM and INGOs

PACCOM is planning to undertake a survey on their cooperation with INGOs during the past five years. A similar survey was undertaken in 2000-01 but Vietnam has experienced many rapid changes in the INGO sector since then. PACCOM envisages field trips taking place from December 2009; compiling information in spring 2010; and finalising the report, followed by a conference to present results of the survey in May 2010. PACCOM is seeking an expatriate volunteer to conduct the research. If you would like to read a report from the previous survey,  please scroll down to the bottom of this page and open the attachment titled INGO Study 2000-2001.

6. Key messages for Consultative Group meeting on 3-4 December 2009

The Consultative Group meeting is the highest-level forum of the development sector in Vietnam, involving the Government of Vietnam at the ministerial level, international donors at the ambassadorial level and other relevant partners. There are two meetings each year: an informal CG meeting in June and a formal one in December. The VUFO-NGO Resource Centre facilitates representation of international NGOs in close cooperation with four democratically elected INGO representatives. This is a unique opportunity for the INGO community to raise concerns and put important issues on the agenda. The following CG representatives from the INGO community will attend the Consultative Group meeting together with the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre's Managing Co-Director:

  • Ms. Ninh Ngoc Bao Kim (Country Representative at Asia Foundation)
  • Mr. Phan Van Ngoc (Country Director at ActionAid)
  • Mr. Steve Price-Thomas (Country Director at Oxfam Great Britain)
  • Mr. Peter Newsum (Country Director at CARE International)

The meeting broke up into four working groups to discuss key messages under four broad themes from the Consultative Group meeting agenda. For the preliminary recommendations and key messages, please scroll down to the bottom of this page and open the attachment titled Key Messages for INGO Statement 2009. Please note that the conclusions will be used by the four CG representatives; combined with inputs from various Working Groups and consolidated into the INGO Statement report, which will be shared with all participants at the Consultative Group meeting on 3-4 December 2009.

The Forum closed at 16:30 hours.
Forty-nine individuals representing 35 organisations attended.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INGO Forum Meeting 22 May 2009

Friday, 22 May 2009, 14:00 – 17:00

Chairs:
Don Tuan Phong, VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Co-Director (PACCOM)
Marko Lovrekovic, VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Managing Co-Director

Venue:
VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Meeting Room
218 Doi Can, La Thanh Hotel, Building F1, Hanoi

Agenda:
1. Welcome and Introduction
2. VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Activities Update
3. New Decree on Foreign NGOs Registration and Operation in Vietnam
4. New Consultative Group Representatives
5. New Steering Committee Member
6. Mid-Term Consultative Group Meeting Preparation

1. Welcome and Introduction

Mr. Don Tuan Phong, the Resource Centre's Co-Director from PACCOM introduced the new Managing Co-Director Mr. Marko Lovrekovic (MCD), who talked about his background and professional experience. Marko comes from Croatia, having spent the last 10 years of his career managing country programmes in the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia) for several INGOs (Catholic Relief Services, International Rescue Committee, Search for Common Ground and Danish Refugee Council). He moved in Hanoi last year and spent time travelling around the country, learning its culture and getting to know the people of Vietnam.

2. VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Activities Update

MCD reported on the activities since the last INGO Forum in November 2008, the current situation in the Resource Centre and plans for 2009. The former MCD Ms. Trine Glue Doan resigned in October 2008. Although she remained actively involved in resolving many issues until the end of 2008 -and partially after this date- there has been a significant gap in leadership between January and April 2009. Most core functions of the Resource Centre have continued, but the lack of MCD delayed a number of activities, postponed some projects and affected the quality of services.

Core Services have been carried out according to the schedule: e-newsletter, mailing lists, Newsbrief, INGO Directory distribution (in English), upgrade of the website (still ongoing), election of the new Steering Committee member, election of the representatives for the Consultative Group (CG) meeting and facilitation of 14 active Working Groups (WG).

Other Activities during the reporting period included submission of the INGO Statement at the End-Year CG meeting in December 2008; publishing and distribution of the report 'Forms of Engagement Between State Agencies and Civil Society' (in English); active involvement in activities of the People’s Participation WG, and submission of a letter to the Ministry of Finance regarding Personal Income Tax (PIT) exemption on behalf of INGOs.

Current Activities include a number of initiatives which have been idle for a while or delayed, such as distribution of the INGO Directory in Vietnamese, consolidation of the library, inactivity of four WGs, finalizing of the 'Complementary Report on Convention on Rights of the Child' (CRC), launching of the new INGO Salary Survey, contribution for the Social Watch Report 2009, publishing of the Vietnamese version of the 'Forms of Engagement Between State Agencies and Civil Society' report, a follow-up stakeholders' workshop for policy recommendations, revision of the new draft 'Decree on Foreign NGOs Registration and Operation in Vietnam', preparing inputs for the Mid-Term CG meeting, and developing Budget and Work Plan for 2009.

Current Obstacles to the efficient functioning of the Resource Centre may have been caused by the lack of clarity when it comes to the Resource Centre's mission and main objectives. We need to step back and reflect on the importance of the Resource Centre's initial 'core' functions in comparison to its involvement in advocacy and policy dialogue. There are discrepancies between available resources and desired goals. In order to achieve long-term goals, the Resource Centre has to improve Human Resources management; start planning on replacing international volunteers with permanent local staff; adjust inadequate salary scales; upgrade the essential equipment; secure sustainable funding through increased membership fees; and identify alternative funding sources.

MCD suggested immediate steps and long-term actions, which will be implemented after consultations and discussions with the Steering Committee. Mr. Don Tuan Phong supported MCD's suggestions and emphasized the importance of strategic planning and necessity for quick action. For more details on MCD's update please refer to the following link:

VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Activities Update November 2008 - May 2009

3. New Decree on Foreign NGOs Registration and Operation in Vietnam

Mr. Don Tuan Phong introduced Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, Second Secretary at the office of the Prime Minister (PM) and thanked her for joining the Forum. Ms. Nguyen was invited to hear INGOs' comments and convey the main INGO's points to the Government.

Mr. Don Tuan Phong briefed the Forum's participants on the drafting process of the new decree. PM has tasked the Committee for Foreign Non-Governmental Organization Affairs (COMINGO) to draft a decree. First consultations with INGOs started two years ago and were followed by a more wider general review. It was decided that only non-government organisations and institutions will be involved in the consultations process - not the individuals. The new decree will replace the previous regulation from 1996. All relevant Government offices and ministries are involved in the process, including MOF, MPI, MOHA, MOPS and MOJ. There are 15 members of the Drafting Committee, representing different departments and expressing different points of view. It took nearly a year for the Drafting Committee to reach consensus on the latest (fourth) draft. At the moment, the decree consists of 6 chapters and 32 articles covering different aspects of INGOs' operations. This is the INGOs' last opportunity to provide input before the draft is finalized. It will be submitted to the Government in mid-June 2009 and it is expected that the Government will respond within 2-4 weeks upon submission.

New Key Points in the decree include a concept of 'registration' instead of 'permit' and 'licence'. The procedure for INGOs' registration or extension will be simpler and faster. The current 'permit for operations' is valid for one year, while the proposed 'registration' will allow up to three years of operations. 'Project office' will be changed into 'regional office'. The new proposed maximum for operations of 'representative office' will be five years. The extended period of 'registration' validity will reduce PACCOM's workload; improve the quality of work and efficiency.

Support from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) regarding Personal Income Tax Exemption has improved. The new decree has a separate article proposing the exemption status for INGO expatriates. So far, there were no strong objections to this proposal. PACCOM anticipates three possible scenarios: a) MOF and PM office may agree with the article fully and immediately; b) MOF and PM may decide to take the proposal into further consideration, including some changes; c) MOF and PM may reject the proposal, but agree to consider it later. Overall, it appears that the perception of many officials in concerned ministries has changed in favour of INGOs. However, there are no guarantees that the decree will be approved in its current form. We have to wait and see.

The Consultation Process regarding the new decree has been done in two ways: a) in direct consultations with relevant people; b) through written comments. The draft document was posted on the website; people could read it and submit comments. So far, PACCOM received comments from 20 different organisations, including Oxfam GB, Oxfam Belgium, Oxfam Quebec, Oxfam Hong Kong, Oxfam Australia, Oxfam USA, TDH, ADRA and others. The deadline for comments expired on May 2, however, INGOs were encouraged to send final comments next week.

Comments, Questions and Answers:

What are the next steps in the process? What is the timetable? How likely is that the key parts of the decree will remain unchanged? What else INGOs can do to help the process? The Drafting Committee has reached the final stage of the process. Following these last consultations, the Drafting Committee will incorporate INGOs comments and invite relevant ministries to provide their final feedback. That will include Ministry of Justice and up to 10 other ministries, represented through the Drafting Committee. The final draft will be submitted to the Government for consideration.

Is it possible for PACCOM to encourage new INGOs to apply for membership with the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre when they register with PACCOM? The VUFO-NGO Resource Centre is membership-based, for those INGOs who share the same vision, mission and objectives. The membership is voluntary and INGOs are free to decide on their membership, based on the scope and quality of services provided.

Who will be responsible for drafting a guiding circular of the new decree? The competent authority, as stipulated in Article 18, is COMINGO.

How sufficient is PACCOM's capacity to implement the new decree when it gets approved? Is there enough capacity and Human Resources to implement all stipulations of the new decree within deadlines? PACCOM will not be in a position to make decisions on each individual case. Some cases will depend on many relevant ministries and their capacity. When the new decree gets approved, especially the article about extended period of 'registration' - PACCOM will have reduced workload and more time to deal with individual cases, thus improving the efficiency and quality of work.

Article 4: Clarification of 'profit making' and 'religious' activities? The question of 'profit making' is a complex issue and the Drafting Committee already received a number of questions regarding this article. There will be further discussion within the Drafting Committee and more clarification will be provided in the final document. The same applies for 'religious activities'. For example, religious organisations are welcome to work on any aspect of humanitarian aid and non-profit development, but the decree will not support missionary activities.

Article 8: Distinction between 'regional office' , 'sub-office in provinces' and 'area office'? Definition of a long-term commitments and long-term plans? The term 'regional office' is used temporarily. We understand that it may be confused with 'regional' as in 'South-East Asia Regional Office' which is not intended. It has the same meaning like the previous 'project office' or 'programme management office' which run projects in locality. INGOs are invited to suggest new creative and descriptive terms. As for the definition of long-term commitment, three years of 'registration' was a maximum in the past. The Drafting Committee would like to extend that period to five years, which is considered 'mid-term' by several ministries.

Article 17: When INGO decides to voluntary terminate operations, how can they provide financial and audit reports 60 days prior to the termination? These reports are usually finalized after the termination? Normally INGOs know when they will leave and plan for it. Financial reports and audit reports must be done regularly. This question will be further discussed with the Drafting Committee.

Article 22: What is new regarding the office rent? It should not be considered new that 'registered' INGOs become entitled to rent an office. However, in the past some INGOs opened offices even without being 'registered'. We would like to emphasize that those INGOs who want to have an office must formalize their status.

Article 24: VAT exemption in relation to imported goods and commodities? Imported goods and commodities under the INGOs' registered and approved projects or programmes may become eligible for retroactive VAT reimbursement.

Article 25: What will be distinction between consultants; permanent full-time staff; and permanent part-time staff? Especially in terms of PIT exemption? In the current 'permits' for Project Office and Representative Office, the maximum number of staff (including expatriate staff) is limited for each organization. In the new 'registration' there will be equivalent limit for the total number of staff. It is at INGOs' discretion to decide who will be employed as permanent staff within this number. Since INGO are employing and paying salaries they can define working hours for its permanent staff. However, the total number of permanent expatriate staff (which is eligible for PIT exemption) must not exceed the approved maximum. The consultants who are contracted for particular assignments over limited periods will not be eligible for PIT exemption. INGO may decided to employ these people as permanent staff, but this will count towards the INGOs approved 'expatriate quota'.

Mr. Don Tuan Phong concluded the session and expressed his thanks to everyone who asked questions or provided comments. He noted that INGOs still have a few days to comment.

4. New Consultative Group Representatives

Although the deadline for nominations and expressions of interest for the new INGO Representatives at the CG meeting has been extended, the Resource Centre received only two expressions of interest: Steve Price Thomas (Oxfam) and Peter Newsum (CARE). Considering the fact that only two representatives were needed and only two candidates were available, the Steering Committee decided that there was no need for voting. MCD announced that Mr. Steve Price Thomas is re-elected INGO Representative and Mr. Peter Newsum is newly elected INGO Representative at the Consultative Group Meeting.

5. New Steering Committee Member

The Resource Centre received a total of 18 electronic votes for the new Steering Committee member prior to the Forum. Forty five participants from 33 organizations arrived to attend the Forum. They were given voting forms during the Forum and those participants whose organizations have not voted earlier were able to give their vote. After the counting, MCD announced the final result: Mr. Dario Gentili from Voluntary Service Overseas is the new member of the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre's Steering Committee.

6. Mid-Term Consultative Group Meeting Preparation

Mr. Steve Price-Thomas from Oxfam GB was invited to chair the session. He explained that the Consultative Group meeting serves as a forum for discussion between the Vietnamese Government and donor agencies on development policies and donor pledges. There are two meetings every year: an informal meeting in June and a formal one in December. Steve explained the mechanisms for discussion and the protocol during the meeting. INGOs have four representatives who share only one seat at the meeting. They usually divide different sessions of the meeting between them and put their comments forward when relevant. The VUFO-NGO Resource Centre's MCD is also present at the meeting. The agenda for this year's mid-term CG meeting includes the following:

1. Assessment of the Macroeconomic Situation;
2. Social Impact of Economic Slowdown and Policy Response;
3. Governance and Anti-Corruption;
4. Climate Change - Adaptation and Mitigation;
5. Harmonization and Aid Effectiveness.

The participants at the Forum were asked to split into five groups; each group discussed a different theme from the above agenda; and they prepared short statements regarding the themes which will be delivered by the CG representatives at the Mid-Term CG meeting. In addition, relevant working groups and INGOs have been asked to provide input for the Mid-Term CG meeting prior to the Forum. The CG representatives will communicate directly with these people and consolidate messages to be delivered at the Mid-Term CG meeting. INGOs with additional comments may contact MCD directly and provide their input.

The Forum closed at 17:00 hours.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Attachment
File INGO_Forum_November_2009_Presentation.pdf
File 2009_Salary_Survey_Summary.pdf
File INGO_Study_2000-2001.pdf
File Key_Messages_for_INGO_Statement_2009.pdf
File letter_to_tax_office_-_pit_clarification_eng.pdf