According to Sona Ayvazyan, the Դeputy Director of “Transparency International” Anti-Corruption Center, the first problem referring to the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials are the legislative shortcomings. “Such Commissions in Armenia are not provided sufficient powers to enable them peruse the cases and carry out control,” Ms Ayvazyan said and poinet the following as the major problem, “The definition of “conflict of interests” in the Law on Public Service, is so vague that there are intentional omissions and not any sphere of activity may be considered under it.”
Article 30 of the law defines the conflict of interest of high-ranking officials in the following way, “Guidance of the high-ranking official by his own personal interest or that of his affiliated person shall mean an action by the high-ranking official carried out in the framework of his authorities, or making a decision (including participation in decision making in the collegial body) which in itself is lawful, but causes or contributes to, or reasonably could cause or contribute to the
1) improvement of his property or legal situation or that of his affiliated person,
2) improvement of property or legal situation of the non-profit organization to which he or his affiliated person is a member,
3) improvnemt of the property or legal situation of a commercial organization in which he or his affiliated person participates,
4) appointment to a position of the affiliated person.”
In this regard Ms Ayvazyan said, “The conflict of interests is perceived as a seeming conflict of interest, but in fact the official who is in the state of conflict of interests shall make a decision, which shall lead to enrichment, and only then it will be considered as a conflict of interests, which never will happen. That is to say that according to the definition of the law it is impossible to reveal the conflict of interests, and the commission is bound in this term,” Ms Ayvazyan said. She also added that due to this gap she had no expectations that the commission could operate efficiently.
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