Commitments

01 Open data in official declarations

Country: Armenia
Year Action Plan: 2018
Start Date: 12/1/2018  |  End Date: 8/31/2020

From the Action Plan

 
“Open data” in official declarations: Improving the electronic system of declarations on property, income and affiliated persons of high-ranking officials 1. “Open data” in official declarations: Improving the electronic system of declarations on property, income and affiliated persons of high-ranking officials
Commitment Start and End Date Commitment Start: December 2018
Commitment End: August 2020
Lead implementing agency Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials /Commission for Prevention of Corruption/
Person responsible from lead implementing agency Armen Khudaverdyan
Title, Department Deputy Chairperson of the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials
Email: info@ethics.amPhone (+37410)524689
Other actors involved Other state actors involved Staff of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia
Civil society, private sector "Transparency International" NGO (upon consent), CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia (upon consent), ““Asparez” Journalists’ Club” NGO (upon consent)
Issues subject to regulation Although reforms in the system of declarations (property, income and affiliated persons of high-ranking officials) are continuous, there are still several problems that exist in the sector.
In particular, the property and revenues of the heads and councils of elders of the communities of the Republic of Armenia are not known to the public, except for the property and revenues of the heads of communities with a population of 15,000 and more. At the same time, there are several indications in regard to the issue of conflict of interests of officials and members of councils of elders possessing funds from community budgets.
The scope of property subject to declaration, pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On public service”, is limited. In accordance with the specified law, declarants shall, among other properties, are obliged to only declare any expensive property with a value of more than AMD 8 million or more than the foreign currency equivalent thereto. The threshold value is very high, and due to this, the scope of property subject to declaration is not inclusive.
Based on the current legal regulations, gifts in the form of immovable, movable and expensive property, as well as gifts received in the form of money are subject to declaration. For the most part, the scope of data subject to declaration (content of declarations) does not provide the opportunity to reveal the relationship between the donor and the declarant. At the same time, in accordance with Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 1835-N of 15 December 2011, the data regarding the donor shall not be subject to publication. There is a problem regarding the protection of the data of a third party. As a result, this leads to various doubts and commentaries from the public. Meanwhile, if the data regarding the name, last name of the donor, as well as the relationship of the latter to the declarant are accessible to the public, the above-mentioned doubts on conflicts of interests will be dispelled. In this regard, although in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Armenia HO-206-N of 23 March 2018 "On public service", data on persons related to the declarant official through close kinship or in-law relationship: name, last name, father’s name, day, month, year of birth, relationship to the declarant official are also envisaged as general data subject to be included in a declaration; however, deciding on the issue of identifying (revealing the relationship to the declarant) the subjects (relative, godfather and others) beyond the scope of the above-mentioned persons as a donator, first and foremost implies revision of the content of a declaration. Besides, in regard to protection of personal data of a third party donor, publication of the declared data in regard to his or her name implies specification of the relevant regulations stipulated by the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On personal data protection”.
In the "Registry of Declarations" section of the website of the Commission, the search for declarations is carried out based on the following search characteristics of the official — "Name, Surname", "Position" and "Year". The “Registry of Declarations” is not accessible to users yet in terms of selection of the relevant data in the declarations according to a specific characteristic.

Main objective Ensure transparency of data subject to declaration.
Brief Description of Commitment 1. Ongoing enlargement of the scope of declarants (members of councils of elders and secretaries of staffs of communities with populations of 15,000 and more).
2. Revision of content of declarations, including in regard to reduction of the threshold value of expensive property subject to declaration and identification of persons not affiliated to the declarant official through close kinship or in-law relationship as donators (revelation of relationship to the declarant).
3. Enlargement of the list of data of declarations subject to publication.
OGP challenge addressed by the commitment Enhancement of public integrity
Relevance to OGP values Transparency, accountability, technology
Ambition By introducing the declarations registry interactive (searchable and user friendly) instrument, the Commission expects to receive from the interested groups of civil society more substantiated recommendations and applications in relation to alleged violations by declarant persons of the requirements set under the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On public service”. The number of applications submitted (through publications or by other means) to the Commission by interested groups of civil society is expected to grow as a result of the aforementioned, as well as legislative amendments. At the same time, it is expected to ensure rise of the level of accountability of declarant officials and increase confidence in them.
Promotes efforts for implementation of SDG Goals or Targets 16.6 develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

Verifiable and measurable criteria for performance of commitment Start Date: End Date:
Ongoing Actions
Publishing on the website of the Commission information on declarant officials who have not submitted a declaration for 2017-2020 or have submitted a declaration later than the prescribed time limit, the administrative liability measures applied by the Commission. December 2018 As of the end of each year — first quarter of the following year
Elaboration of the draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On public service”” and submission to the Staff of the Prime Minister in the context of enlargement of the scope of declarants, revision of the content of declarations, including reduction of the threshold value of expensive property subject to declaration and identification (revelation of relationship to a declarant) of persons not affiliated to a declarant official through close kinship or in-law relationship as donators. February 2019 June 2019
Elaboration of the draft on making amendments and supplements to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 1835-N of 15 December 2011 and submission to the Staff of the Prime Minister. October 2019 June 2020
Upgrading the search engine of the "Registry of Declarations" section of the Commission’s website at www.ethics.am, ensuring its interactive accessibility for users, developing and installing the software June 2019 August 2020

Lead Institution: Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials /Commission for Prevention of Corruption/


Support Institution: Staff of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia "Transparency International" NGO (upon consent), CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia (upon consent), ““Asparez” Journalists’ Club” NGO (upon consent)

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From the IRM Review

 

Overview

Design

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Relevant to OGP values

Potential Impact

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Implementation

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Completion at End of Term

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Results

Did it Open Government?

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