It is unfeasible to fight against Corruption through putting a “Check Mark”: Discussion in the AYLA

Today, the first meeting of Anti-Corruption Coalition initiating group of Yerevan was held in the AYLA Office with participation of more than a dozen civil society organizations.

In his opening speech the President of the “Armenian Young Lawyers Association” NGO, “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project Manager Mr. Karen Zadoyan said, “Currently, Armenia has reached a point when everyone is talking about the danger of corruption and the fight against corruption, but actually the corruption risks are increasing. Therefore, there is a real need to pronounce the serious word of CSOs. They should be able to make it public. Fight against corruption is not only words.”

It should be noted that the RA Draft Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2014-2018 is being elaborated. There is draft which includes 4 spheres: 1. Education, 2. Health, 3. State Revenues, and Police, providing of services to the citizens. The draft should be realized by the Council which includes representatives from the state and legislative bodies, as well as CSO representatives. However, only two CSO representatives will be in the Council.

During the discussion the CSO representatives expressed concern about two issues: First, they emphasized that the selected areas do not fully reflect the fight against corruption.

The CSO members stressed that the social security sector should have been included among those areas. In this regard Karen Zadoyan mentioned, “Anti-Corruption centers were operated in the marzes during six years and we have statistics on complaints from citizens, the highest percentage has the social sphere. I believe there is no better analysis that the government may find, it is based on a resident’s needs, but the government has chosen only 4, but did not bring any grounding.”

In addition, participants emphasized criminalization of illicit enrichment sphere as well.

The second problem that CSO representatives mentioned referred to the format of the Council which was going to be formed to approve the strategy. It was emphasized that providing only two places to CSOs was ineffective, and thus the government would not be able to achieve significant progress in fight against corruption as it occurred in case of the former two strategies. “It is unfeasible to fight against corruption through putting a “check mark””, representatives of the civil society organizations noted.

Anti-Corruption Coalition initiating group in Yerevan was established as a result of the discussion. The first event on the Establishment of Anti-Corruption Coalition and the public discussion of the RA Draft Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2014-2018 will take place on 28 November.