Corruption Risks in the Police Sector: the Existing Problems

In recent years, significant improvements have been made in the sphere of the traffic police services. Colonel of Police Arthur Tonoyan, Deputy Head of the RA Police Road Police Service on Registration-Examination and Technical Expertise said at the anti-corruption event “Corruption Risks in the Police Sector with regard to provision of Cervices to Citizens,” which took place in Ararat marz.

IMG_4269

Artur Tonoyan

He said that dozens of legal acts referring to the traffic police were changed or amended. “We always take into consideration the public opinion. Therefore, amendments have been made in various areas. For example, the reduction of the terms of car registration; undertook steps to reduce the corruption risks during the issuance of the driving license. In addition the driving licenses have been harmonized with the international standards.”

He also noted that some years ago the citizens spend the whole work day for the car registration process; today the period is reduced from 4 hours to 20-25 minutes.

“As a result of the reform and on the insistence of the Chief of Police the electronic register of the road police was developed and launched. I should also note that a number of countries used our experience as an example for registration of vehicles, for example Russia,” Mr. Tonoyan said.

According to him, the traffic police tried to keep the citizens away from unnecessary procrastination and corruption risks.

Despite the improvements, there are still problems with the facilities and technical equipment. “For example, we are now in Ararat marz, if we approach the registration department, the procedure is the same, however, technical equipment and infrastructure are in poor conditions,” said the speaker.

IMG_4265

“Corruption is a scourge on the neck of our society. In recent years the programs of all kinds in the RA have included the fight against corruption. This is the issue of our country’s security, the question of statehood. I am glad that the representatives of civil society are taking an active part in this fight as well,” Mr. Ilich Shadyan, the Deputy Governor of Ararat marz said.

Mr. Hayk Haykyan, Mayor of Ararat city believes that such working discussions are really productive. “These activities will affect people’s normal life. It is advisable to organize such activities more frequently to ensure that people can live in the legal state,” he said.

IMG_4241

Carl Ulbricht

Mr. Carl Ulbricht, International Expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project, spoke about the “Challenges of Overcoming Corruption in the Sphere of Police with regard to provision of Services to Citizens.”

He said that just at this time Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the Project Manager was participating at the sessions of the Anti-Corruption Council (The event was being held at 11:00-13:00 and just at the same time the session of the Board was in process at the Government – G.T.). Mr. Carl Ulbricht said that government’s approach has been changed and it is observed that the government began to realize the seriousness of the problem in depth, and take serious steps to cooperate with NGOs that have serious potential in the field.

Returning to the topic, he expressed the opinion that it is necessary that the representatives of the leadership structures should be law abiding. “When an employee sees that his manager always comes to work at 9 am, work tirelessly throughout the day and is the last to leave the workplace, then he gets motivated. And just in the contrary, when he sees that the manager “neglects” the work, uses the position for personal gain, the employee adopts a similar policy,” Mr. Ulbricht said.

Speaking about the systematic solutions, Mr. Ulbricht referred to legislation. He also talked about the introduction of the electronic systems, which, according to the expert, facilitated the process. In his opinion, the issue of salaries is not less important, as well as the clear definition of the norms of ethics. He believes that it is necessary to implement educational programs at schools in order to familiarize the members of civil society with the functions of the police and learn about the dangers of corruption since the school years.

“The work should be coordinated to achieve the result in all the areas, which I presented. If there is an attempt to make a change in one area and no work is done in the others, we will not yield results,” he said.

The International experts spoke about Georgian reforms in the sphere of traffic police as well.

IMG_4244

Mariam Gevorgyan

Lieutenant Colonel Mariam Gevorgyan, the Head of Passport and Visa Department of the RA Police spoke about the work carried out in the sphere. She noted that corresponding changes were made after the introduction of ID cards and biometric cards. “In the past the citizen came to the corresponding service to receive a passport. Currently the procedure is improved and it is possible to receive the passport from any passport department. For example, if the person is registered in Dilijan, but lives in Yerevan, he will not face problems,” she said and passed to the other questions.

Ms. Armine Chakhalyan, Legal Adviser of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project asked why the payments for the passports are high. “In fact, it is a problem, but the blank passport itself is purchased with high price and this is the main reason for the high prices,” the representative of the Police said.

IMG_4260

Edward Hovhannisyan

Mr. Edward Hovhannisyan, President of the “Achilles” Center for Protection of Drivers’ Rights NGO said that the organization of road traffic itself includes corruption risks, “Today, we do not have a traffic management scheme, it is the responsibility of the Mayor. The scheme is voluntarily implemented by the police that do it as they like,” he said.

In addition, according to the expert, there are gaps in the legislation, as well as the obvious and wrong application of the laws. This refers to the breath test. According to Mr. Hovhannisyan, they are ineffectively implemented, and include corruption risks. “I am sure that the driver – inspector relationships should be eliminated for reducing the corruption risks,” the human rights activist said.

IMG_4284

Armine Chakhalyan

Ms. Armine Chakhalyan, Legal Adviser of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project spoke about the Importance and prospects of cooperation between the civil society and the police aimed at the reforms in the police sector with regard to provision of services to citizens. She suggested the possible directions.

The event was organized in the scope of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project funded by the EU and co-funded by the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Iravaban.net

  Views: