Friday, June 9 2017 12:48
Alexandr Avanesov

Commission on Prevention of Corruption to be established in Armenia

Commission on Prevention of Corruption to be established in Armenia

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.

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