26 December 2020
Regular Association Inspections and Increase of the Scope of the Inspections
The Law on the Prevention of Financing for the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (the ”Amendment") introduces provisions to the Law on Associations, which regulates periodic inspections of associations as well as new mechanisms to increase the scope of such inspections.
The Amendment regulates that, according to the risk assessment carried out by the MoI, associations shall be inspected annually and no later than every three years. The criteria for the risk assessment are not determined within the scope of the Amendment. It is considered that this issue will be evaluated under the discretion of the administration.
Scope of the Inspections
Arrangements have been made to prevent a number of practical and legal obstacles to the expansion of the scope of the inspections. In general, inspections are carried out by inspectors of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (“MoI”). The Amendment stipulates that public officials in addition to the MoI inspectors may take part in the inspections. The regulations indicate that a more systematic approach will be implemented in the courses of associations’ inspections with respect to the utilisation of inspectors working in other public institutions.
Moreover, the legislation stipulates that experts who are not public officials may be engaged for the purposes of inspecting associations if the respective case requires expertise or technical knowledge. Accordingly, individuals who are not public officials will also be able to participate in inspections where the inspectors may not be fully adequate.
Obligations of Directors or Representatives During an Inspection
Directors and representatives of the association are obligated to show or provide any documents and records requested by the inspectors during the inspection; to fulfill the demand of inspectors to enter administrative places, enterprises and premises. In addition, during the inspections, it has been stipulated that entities which the association is a shareholder of may also be inspected.
On the other hand, it has been regulated that organizations such as banks, health institutions, associations or foundations cannot avoid providing information and documents within the scope of the inspection by citing special regulations regarding the data they hold.
Increase in Sanctions Regarding Inspection
In accordance with the provisions which have been introduced, within the course of an inspection directors and representatives who:
● cannot provide or show the ledgers of the association may be sentenced to imprisonment or a judicial fine from 3 months to 1 year.
● passively or actively prevent access to the administrative places, enterprises, premises and entities which the association is a shareholder of may be sentenced to imprisonment or a judicial fine from 3 months to 1 year and the association may be imposed an administrative fine from TRY 5,000 to TRY 20,000.