Armenia Design Report 2018-2020
- Action Plan: Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020
- Dates Under Review: 2018-2020
- Report Publication Year: 2019
- Researcher: Tatevik Margaryan
Armenia’s fourth action planAction plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen... reflects the new government’s commitmentOGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... to reform and greater transparencyAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More. Notable commitments include those regarding transparency of beneficial ownership of companies, development of land and water cadastres, and e-petitionsMany governments are creating online mechanisms for citizens to petition, call for action, and participate in making decisions on issues they care about. Technical specifications: Electronic tools tha.... The action plan’s implementation will require sustained engagement and closely coordinated efforts within government.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2011
Action plan under review: 4
Report type: Design
Number of commitments: 11
Action plan development
Is there a multi-stakeholder forumRegular dialogue between government and civil society is a core element of OGP participation. It builds trust, promotes joint problem-solving, and empowers civil society to influence the design, imple...? Yes
Level of public influence: Collaborate
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values: 11 (100%)
Transformative commitments: 2 (18%)
Potentially starred commitments: 2 (18%)
Action plan implementation
Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with major DIOG*: N/A
Commitments with outstanding DIOG*: N/A
* DIOG: Did it open government?
The Open Government PartnershipThe Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Armenia joined OGP in 2011. Since then, it has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the design of Armenia’s fourth action plan.
General overview of action plan
Armenia saw significant political changes in 2018, resulting in a new government that has expressed greater commitment to transparency and anti-corruption reform. Armenia’s fourth action plan reflects notable improvements in co-creation consultations and commitment ambitionAccording to OGP’s Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should “stretch government practice beyond its current baseline with respect to key areas of open government.” Ambition captures the po....
The development of Armenia’s fourth action plan involved greater public awareness and civil society engagement than previous action plans. For the first time, public consultations were held in all 10 regions of the country. Some consultations targeted groups of civil servants and youthRecognizing that investing in youth means investing in a better future, OGP participating governments are creating meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in government processes. Technical .... Overall, the additional consultations resulted in a more collaborative co-creation processCollaboration between government, civil society and other stakeholders (e.g., citizens, academics, private sector) is at the heart of the OGP process. Participating governments must ensure that a dive..., and readiness for legislative action helped create a more ambitious plan compared to the previous cycle.
Armenia’s fourth action plan focuses on improving access to government-held information and promoting public participationGiving citizens opportunities to provide input into government decision-making leads to more effective governance, improved public service delivery, and more equitable outcomes. Technical specificatio.... The commitments cover many important subjects, such as asset disclosureAsset declaration laws are an essential safeguard against corruption that require public servants to disclose information on their wealth, possessions, and other interests. Technical specifications: A... of public officials, beneficial ownership, budget transparency, natural resourcesOGP participating governments are improving transparency and citizen participation in natural resource governance to help detect corruption, safeguard community interests, and support environmental su..., health, and educationAccountability within the public education system is key to improving outcomes and attainment, and accountability is nearly impossible without transparent policies and opportunities for participation .... Several commitments involve providing mechanisms for public feedback. The fourth action plan is the country’s first to include commitments requiring legislative changes.
Notable commitments in Armenia’s fourth action plan include the development of a beneficial ownership registry to be piloted in the extractives sector. The action plan also includes commitments to develop land and water cadastres.
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Moving forward||Status at the end of implementation cycle|
|3. Beneficial ownership register
Create and launch a comprehensive and free register of beneficial ownership, to be piloted in the mining sector.
|The government could further strengthen beneficial ownership transparencyDisclosing beneficial owners — those who ultimately control or profit from a business — is essential for combating corruption, stemming illicit financial flows, and fighting tax evasion. Technical... by establishing mechanisms for mandatory inclusionOGP participating governments are working to create governments that truly serve all people. This includes many historically oppressed groups such as persons with disabilities, women, lesbian, gay, bi... of a larger scope of companies in the beneficial ownership registry. In particular, the government could mandate disclosure of media company ownership. To ensure beneficial ownership data verification, the government could promote international cooperation to obtain information held by foreign and domestic registries. Tangible penalties for companies providing false information should be set.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.|
|5. State Water Cadastre
Develop a database that consolidates information on all water resources in Armenia and that can check permits for specific water use.
|The government should complete an inventory of water resources and develop mechanisms to continuously update the database. The government and interested civil society organizations can also promote awareness of the database among communities that are affected by water resource use.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.|
|6. Land Cadastre
Provide public access to a database that is searchable by location and presented in a graphic (map) format.
|To ensure effective completionImplementers must follow through on their commitments for them to achieve impact. For each commitment, OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) evaluates the degree to which the activities outlin... of this commitment, the government should adopt necessary legislative amendments to provide information on land ownership free of charge.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.|
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations
|1. Enhance the effectiveness of the multi-stakeholder working group by:
|2. Enhance the co-creation process by developing a method for collecting, filtering, analyzing, and formulating action plan commitments and providing clear justifications for inclusion or rejection of commitments.|
|3. Continue efforts to expand transparency regarding the beneficial ownership of companies and to strengthen mechanisms for beneficial ownership information monitoring and verification.|
|4. Include commitments on improving transparency and accountability in the judiciaryWhile a majority of open government reforms occur within the executive branch, OGP members are increasingly taking on commitments to increase the openness of the judicial branch. Technical specificati..., such as disclosing results of the monitoring and evaluation of judicial reforms, publishing information on sanctions against judges, and strengthening transparency and accountability of judicial councils.|
|5. Continue efforts to enhance access to information, public feedback, and monitoring mechanisms in the education and health sectors.|
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