Ministry of Education and Science paid 1 Million AMD to Mass Media for publication of 12 Articles

The RA Ministry of Education and Science allocated 1 million AMD to “Golos Armenii” Russian language daily for writing of 12 articles. The purchase is defined as the acquisition of public relations services.

According to the contract signed on 30 March, between the Ministry and “Golos” CJSC, the performer should write and publish till 25 December, 12 articles on educational themes for the series “At the Desk”.New Picture (21)

This means that the Ministry shall pay 83 thousand AMD for each publication. We tried to clarify with the Ministry why it had signed a public relations contract with just this Russian language periodical. In reply to, Mr. Mher Ghazaryan, Head of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry said:

““Golos” CJSC started publications on the theme “At the Desk” in 2012. The CJSC had suggested the series of this publication. The thematic and the direction of publications as well as the timetable of their publications is being decided as a result of joint discussion of the editorship of “Golos” CJSC and the Public Relations Department of the Ministry, after clarification of the coverage of the  most urgent programs for the definite time period.”

However M. Ghazaryan has left important questions unanswered: “What criteria must comply?” and “according to what timetable shall the ordered 12 Articles be published.”New Picture (22)

The point is, that we noticed that in the website of this periodical, which is a party to the contract; there are already 9 publications under the title “At the Desk”. But it is due to mention that they were not distinguished with complexity s well as the exceptional work of the journalist in preparing those articles.

The purchase is not justified

To the question “Why acquisition of the services was made in procedure of purchase from one person why the tender was not announced,” Head of the Staff of the Ministry of Education and Culture presented the legal grounds of the purchase. However here there was a little misunderstanding in the Ministry.

Thus, as the basis for the purchase is mentioned Article 20, Paragraph 1, Sub-Paragraph 5 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Procurements, which provides that the negotiation procedure can be conducted without prior publication of the procurement statement, if the purchase of the goods or services can be obtained from one person, which is also stipulated by the copyright and the related rights, and by the existence of the special or exclusive right.

The ministry also mentioned as a purchase of the ground Article 32, Sub-paragraph 4. Line 8 of the Government’s Decision 168 M on the Procurement Procedures.

32 sub-paragraph 4 of Article 8 of the line defined by the Company. In accordance with this provision “it shall be permitted on the grounds of the existence of special or exclusive rights purchase from print or electronic media except from the TV.

And although the norm is pretty tricky to read, it is clear that the point is not to give orders for the publication of articles in the media, but just about buying the periodicals or subscription for them.

And by the way, the contract between the parties was signed not about the acquisition Article 32, Sub-paragraph 4, Line 8 of the Government’s Decision 168 M, but rather on the acquisition of the services on public relations.

While the procurement procedure without prior announcement of the purchase do not exist in the list of the types of purchased services do not exist. That is. In other words, this purchase by the Ministry of Education is not justified.