ArmInfo. A commission on prevention of corruption will be established in Armenia. Corresponding amendments to the law "On the body for the prevention of corruption" and related laws were adopted at the extraordinary meeting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on June 9 in the second and final reading.
According to one of the authors of the presented package, the deputy speaker of the parliament Arpine Hovhannisyan, the new commission will be created on the basis of the Ethics Commission of high-ranking officials. The new commission will be established in accordance with a number of international conventions ratified by Armenia. It is planned to create an agency that will carry out functions to prevent corruption, including compliance with ethical requirements, conflicts of interests, incompatibilities and other restrictions applied to officials and civil servants, the implementation of systems for declaring assets, income and interests, and raising public awareness. The body will also be endowed with the necessary tools and levers. One of the most important elements of this toolkit will be the right to apply sanctions. In addition, in case of violation of the requirements related to the declaration, the authority will immediately apply sanctions. The list of persons who are obliged to submit declarations is also expanding - now about 2.2 thousand persons will be added to 500 current officials. Moreover, the process of connecting this category of persons to the system of declaring income and property will occur. The list will include all prosecutors, investigators, heads of penitentiary institutions and compulsory executors of judicial acts, as well as persons engaged in public procurement. Moreover, annually, before April 1, the Attorney General must submit a report to the country's parliament on the work done to fight corruption. The list of citizens interconnected with the official is also expanding, including the spouse, the minor son, the persons under guardianship, and also any person connected with the official. The task of the commission will include tasks on conducting educational, preventive and investigative measures. It is planned that the commission will consist of 5 members. Selecting the members of the commission will be a competitive council, which will consist of representatives of the office of the Ombudsman, the Chamber of Advocates, the Constitutional Court, representatives of the opposition deputy corps and the Public Council. Moreover, the representative of the opposition will be selected on a consensus basis, and a representative from the Public Council should represent a public organization. Until April 2018, the members of the commission will be appointed by the president, and after April 2018 - by the parliament of the country. Hovhannisyan stressed that it is also planned to introduce an alert institute. In particular, a unified electronic platform will be created that will allow citizens in the event of corruption risks to anonymously notify legal state bodies with the information they have. The Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Armenia also provides guarantees of protection of notifications, these are the same guarantees that are provided to persons participating in criminal proceedings.
To recall, in 2015, on the initiative of the former Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan, the Council for Corruption Fight was set up, which was headed by the Prime Minister himself. In the opinion of observers, the Council, like the previously created similar structures, did not act in accordance with the declared goal, but was more ostentatious in nature. As evidence of this are the Council's inadequate response to press reports on the facts of corruption, as well as the fact that the commission consisted of individuals who themselves had to be checked for involvement in corruption, including the former head of the Armenian government.