On 3 July, a Government delegation led by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan left for the French Republic on a two-day working visit.
The Prime Minister was going to meet the President of the National Assembly of French Republic, the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Paris. Hovik Abrahamyan had scheduled to visit the City Hall of Paris to view a standing exposition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the Residence of the Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church in France and Europe. The Head of the Government should have to meet the representatives of the Armenian community. The Prime Ministers of Armenia and France should have attended the opening of an Armenian school in Alfortville. Then, on 5 July, the Government delegation would be back to Yerevan.
Like previously, this time also the delegation led by the Prime Minister left abroad by special flight, worth 31 million 448 thousand AMD (approximately USD 66.000). The contract was signed with “Aviation Training Centre” CJSC on 30 June. As a juridical basis for the purchase 539-A decision made by the Prime Minister is noted, which is not available yet.
The market average price of “business”-class tickets for Yerevan-Prague, Prague-Yerevan directions is 1500 USD. And, in case of rough calculations it seems as if the special flight trip is not that expensive.
But it is not clear why the calculation is carried out taking as basis the prices of “business”-class tickets, if in case of other business-trips practice and studies show that only ministers travel with “business”-class tickets more frequently. But more than the half of the above mentioned delegation’s stuff are not ministers. Consequently, calculations may be done according to the prices of “economy”- class tickets, and in this case it will be obvious what luxury is a special flight visit.
Artak Manukyan mentions, that there is no problem connected with the absence of a standard: Why are calculations done on basis of ‘business”-class tickets and not ordinary ones? We do not have standards that will set who may travel by “business”-class and who not”.
In the interview with Iravaban.net, the lawyer and expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project Marat Atovmyan mentioned that in such cases the absence of juridical regulations provides opportunity for arbitrary and subjective approaches as well as ineffective waste of state funds. “In this case there seems to be no infraction, but there is a problem, if the question is viewed from the aspect of the officials’ integrity and economic problems of the state. As a result, the state funds suffer losses, and investment of corresponding regulations is necessary,” Marat Atovmyan said.
The experts bring the international experience as an example: specifically, in several western countries standards are set. For instance, for business trips of European Parliament members certain amount is allocated for the purchase of “economy”- class tickets, and if the MP wishes to travel by “business” class, he/she has to pay the extra money himself/herself.