The Draft Law on Administrative and Criminal Liability for Presenting False or Fraudulent Declarations by Senior Officials is being discussed in the National Assembly. The Acting Minister of Justice Arpine Hovhannisyan presented the package.
According to her, the draft has been developed within the framework of anti-corruption strategy: “Generally, this initiative aims to regulate relations, which had long been regulated in material, but not consequential sense. From the aspect of international experience the mechanism of the declaration is significant either centralized or decentralized, and the type of responsibility depends on this, in any case the responsibility is either disciplinary or administrative or criminal.”
The government suggests to make the following amendment in the Code of Administrative Offences: Failure to submit the declaration by an official or a person related to him, who is obliged to submit a declaration, results in a fine equal to the 200‐fold amount of the minimum salary.
The second violation, which also implies a warning and a fine of the same amount is submitting to the Ethics Committee a declaration with violations of its completion or infringing the provided procedure of submission.
And the third one is submitting incorrect or incomplete data with negligence, which results in a fine of 200-fold to 400- amount of the minimum salary: ” A more severe treatment was shown to this, I shall try to explain the logic. Two types of violations of the Criminal Code are separated: first of all, after the appointment of an administrative penalty, in the case when violation is not eliminated: this brings to criminal responsibility. There is a separate article that regulates a number of important offenses. Individuals who are required to submit declarations submit false information or conceal it. Here we see two types of sin, in one case it is negligence, in the other case, intentionally. In case of such an offense it is extremely difficult to determine the dividing line of negligence and intention. Faults are human attributes, but in case of such crimes legal assessment will not be received. The legislator underlines that the subject presenting declaration is obliged to present it properly and check t
heir authenticity. It will be very difficult to separate whether it is carelessness or malicious intent.”
Deputy Gagik Jhangiryan had a question. First, he noted that criminal and administrative dispositions are correctly formulated, but he was interested in another thing: “We planned criminal penalties, but this registration that we have been carrying out for twelve years, what is the meaning of this registration, what the result should be, and now we want to expand staff. In April 2015 we presented a draft intended to bring the results of this registration to practical field. In particular it was assumed, that if the Ethics Committee detects a significant difference, then materials should be submitted to the law enforcement agencies, the government gave a negative opinion. Now I am in favor of this, but what the government is planning, how long and what the result of this registration would be. After all, people should know that illegal enrichment is criminally prosecuted.”