Creation of the Commission will not make the Officials more Vigilant: Advocate

“I am skeptical that the 5-member commission will be able to carry out objective analyses of the property declarations of around 700 senior officials without any constraint,” Advocate Heriknaz Tigranyan, the Legal Advisor of : “Transparency International” Anti-Corruption Center said speaking about the activities of the Ethics Committee of the High Ranking Officials

Notably, the “Transparency International” Anti-Corruption Center had applied to the Committee with request to provide clarifications about Taron Margaryan and Gagik Khachatryan.

Ms Tigranyan tends to think that the committee has shortage of leverages, “Related to the check and study of the declarations the Committee has wide authorities to send requests, which we saw during the study of Taron Margaryan’s and Gagik Khachaturian’s matters, but nothing more. Let’s suppose that they revealed, what will happen then, what are the consequences or let’s say there are differences between the submitted declaration and the sources of real income. What shall the committee do? Shall it submit proposals to the President, the National Assembly or the Prime Minister of the Republic? In case of violations it should apply to the law enforcement bodies. But we still have not seen any application, directed to the law enforcement bodies; also we had not seen the proposals which the Committee submitted to the Government. If they are public they should be posted on the website,” the advocate said.

She only mentioned that the Committee proposes some changes in the government decisions related to the publication of the declarations, but only this, Ms Tigranyan did not see any other steps.

“It does not seem that creation of the Commission will not make the officials more vigilant. The provision of the law provides that if the high ranking official has a doubt that making or taking a decision or ruling will cause conflict of interests then he/she must apply to the Committee, which in its turn provides opinion whether the official’s doubts were grounded or not. We were constantly sending requests to the Committee asking about the number of such applications which the committee received during its one and half years of operation. The reply was “none”. Because the law leaves it on a discretion of the high official.  Now we do not send such requests,” the legal advisor of “Transparency International” Anti-Corruption Center said.

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The Ethics Commission of High-Ranking Officials has instigated only 4 Proceedings during its Operation.