“Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO, “Europe in Law Association” NGO, and the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia, in cooperation with the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia, have carried out the alternative public monitoring of the Actions of the Republic of Armenia Anti-Corruption Strategy and its Implementation Action Plan for 2019-2022 to be performed in 2022.
This, among other things, includes collecting information on the progress of implementing the Strategy’s Action Plans using qualitative and quantitative methods.
The monitoring report was presented on 11 May.
Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Karen Karapetyan delivered a welcoming speech, noting that the fight against corruption, as a priority direction for the government, found its legal reflection not only in the government’s plan but also in the anti-corruption strategy. “In order to achieve the outlined directions and goals defined by the concept, the cooperation of the state and the public sector has its own unique and important role. In this context, special importance is given to this initiative, the preparation of alternative monitoring reports, which our partners carry out very effectively,” the Deputy Minister said.
“Unfortunately, according to the data of relevant international anti-corruption organizations, Armenia has regressed in the indicators of corruption perception, and the Armenian Government also admits this. I regret that so far there are no relevant actions on the part of the authorities to intensify the fight against corruption, moreover, I see many places where the voice of the civil society is not heard. I hope that the voice of this Coalition will be more audible,” Mr. Hovsep Khurshudyan, EaP CSF ANP Facilitator (Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum’s Armenian National Platform) said in his welcoming speech.
President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, member of the Anti-Corruption Policy Council Mr. Karen Zadoyan noted that highlighting the problems so that they do not find a place in the new strategy is rather more important than presenting the unfinished work.
“Indicators are set in various strategies, then it is written: this indicator has been fulfilled, that action has been taken, but we forget to combine it with the achievement of results at the level of strategic issues,” he said. Karen Zadoyan urged to stop the race and not rush to adopt the New 5th Anti-Corruption Strategy, it is necessary to stop for a moment, analyze the problems and only then have a high-quality anti-corruption strategy.
According to Mr. Arsen Ghazaryan, President of the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia, a member of the Anti-Corruption Policy Council, the basis of economic success is the radical reduction of systemic corruption in the country. He noted that if there is no equality, legality, limiting the arbitrariness of “bureaucrats”, the society will become totalitarian, and polarized, the consequences of which were quite large before.
Ms. Lusine Hakobyan, the President of the “European in Law Association” NGO, expressed hope that the upcoming anti-corruption strategy will not be another strategy like those that have been in place since the 2000s, but it will be possible to implement and complete the actions envisaged in it. “The fight against corruption in addition to the fight against bribery, anti-corruption education, etc., is also public control over the recruitment procedures transparently and on a competitive basis for a number of positions,” Lusine Hakobyan said.
Mr. Movses Aristakesyan, the President of the “Center for Economic Rights” NGO, as the chairman of the Governing Board of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia, noted that the discussion in this format can be considered a new impetus for constructive government-civil society dialogue, which has been missing for a long time. “I hope that the dialogue will become even more active within these frameworks in order to contribute to the drastic reduction of corruption and its consequences in Armenia, the prevention and elimination of new manifestations of the transformation of systemic corruption.”
According to Mr. Tigran Yegoryan, a representative of the “European in Law Association” NGO, a member of the working group for the development of the 5th Anti-Corruption Strategy, it is important for the state to ensure participation in the development of the strategy. “It is important that in this way we can develop effective cooperation and use mutual resources and form a culture of work to get the maximum result because as a result of the long-term absence of a culture of joint work, everything has turned into one-sided and black and white.” This participatory process is an important step to overcome this,” he said.
Anti-Corruption Experts of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia Ms Syuzanna Soghomyan, Ms Mariam Zadoyan, and Mr. Arnold Vardanyan presented the results and recommendations of the report on alternative public monitoring of the Actions of the Republic of Armenia Anti-Corruption Strategy and its Implementation Action Plan for 2019-2022 to be performed in 2022.
Speaking about the anti-corruption institutional system and anti-corruption education, Ms. Syuzanna Soghomonyan noted that the goals of the monitoring are to evaluate the current situation and the level of the final implementation of the actions to be performed in 2022 of the Republic of Armenia Anti-Corruption Strategy and its Implementation Action Plan for 2019-2022; to find out the actions, which were performed, performed mostly, partially, not performed or the execution process was suspended, their reasons, perform procedural (quantitative) evaluations of these actions, perform (qualitative) evaluations of the level of impact of actions.
Ms. Suzanna Soghmonyan presented the conclusions of the report according to the sector.
Ms. Mariam Zadoyan presented the results of monitoring corruption prevention. She also presented a number of essential recommendations, including:
development of a unified/single act of legal regulations on the prevention of corruption; evaluation of the activity, resources, capabilities, and influence of the Corruption Prevention Commission; definition of structures for the competitive delegation of functions to specialized and private structures of the civil society, improvement of the system for the study of integrity, etc.
Mr. Arnold Vardanyan presented the field of Anti-Corruption Strategy. “With the involvement of international experts, it is necessary to organize special pieces of training for investigators, prosecutors, and judges dealing with certain crimes of corruption, including illicit enrichment; develop guidelines on the methodology for investigating certain crimes, and ensure their continuous professional development,” he mentioned among the recommendations identified as a result of monitoring.
During the event, the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO, “Europe in Law Association” NGO, and the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia signed an agreement on consolidating collective efforts to develop the 5th Anti-Corruption Strategy, as well as ensuring its awareness and monitoring.
The presentation of the “Alternative Public Monitoring of the Actions of the Republic of Armenia Anti-Corruption Strategy and its Implementation Action Plan for 2019-2022 to be performed in 2022” was organized by the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO, “Europe in Law Association” NGO, the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia, the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia, and the 1st working group of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum’s Armenian National Platform.