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First Positive Results of Memorandum of Understanding Signed between the Advocacy and Assistance Center of the Republic of Armenia and Ijevan City Administration

On 30.09.2009 eight members of Avagani (Council of Elderly) of Ijevan Community applied to the Mayor of Ijevan City with request to provide the signed copies of protocols of Ijevan Avagani sessions for the period of 01.01.2005 through 30.09.2009. The mayor refused to provide the mentioned information.

After useless attempts to obtain these copies, the members of Ijevan Council of Elderly applied for the support to the AAC of Tavush Marz of the RA with request to support them to get these mentioned protocols. The lawyers of Tavush AAC studied the legal aspect of the requirement of Ijevan Council of Elderly and ascertained in legitimacy of their request. The AAC sent a notice to Mr. Varuzhan Nersisyan, Mayor of Ijevan city, asking to provide to the Ijevan Council of Elderly members the signed/approved protocols of Ijevan Avagani sessions, which took place after 01.01.2005. The notice clarified that rejection to provide the required information is in violation of the rights of Avagani members to receive information.

The Mayor of Ijevan in his reply N221-09 from 26.10.2009 stated that they need additional work to provide the requested information and noted that the information shall be provided in the period of 30 days. However after expiration of the 30 days’ period the Mayor failed to provide the requested information. After some futile attempts and reminders the AAC undertook obligation applied to the Administrative Court of the RA with a claim to restore the right of the members of Ijevan Council of Elderly to receive information provided by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, and Law of the Republic of Armenia on Freedom of Information. After the AAC had applied to the Administrative Court, the Mayor of Ijevan sent an answer informing that the requested information was published on the website of Ijevan City Administration. Representatives of AAC tried to retrieve this information from the website, yet it turned out that the website was still under construction and worked irregularly. In addition, in case if the website was completely operational for the visitors, nevertheless the members of Ijevan Council of Elderly who had applied for the support to the AAC, had required the signed(ratified) copies of the protocols, whereas the protocols that were published on the website were not official documents.

Eventually, on 11 March 2010, after a long negotiation process between the AAC and the City Administration, the Mayor of Ijevan city accepted legitimacy of the requirement of Avagani members, as well as on the assumption of the consistent behavior of the AAC, sent the requested information, the signed copies of the protocols of Avagani Sessions, to Ijevan office of the Advocacy and Assistance Center of Tavush Marz of the RA.

Thus the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Advocacy and Assistance Center of Tavush Marz of the Republic of Armenia, which is operated by the Armenian Young Lawyers Association NGO and Ijevan City Administration on 25 February 2010 had its first positive result. This is really remarkable and important factor for establishing partner relations between IjevanCity administration and the AAC.

On March 12, the signed copies of protocols of Ijevan Avagani sessions for the period of 01.01.2005 through 30.09.2009 were provided to the members of Ijevan Council of Elderly in the Office of Advocacy and Assistance Center of Tavush Marz of the Republic of Armenia.

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