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Armenia

Land Cadastre (AM0040)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre

Support Institution(s): State Urban Development Committee, State Register Agency of Legal Entities, State Property Management Agency, LSG bodies, other state actors involved Transparency International Anti-corruption Center NGO

Policy Areas

E-Government, Land & Spatial Planning, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Armenia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

6. Ensuring public accessibility of the Land Cadastre of the Republic of Armenia
Commitment Start and End Date Commitment Start: January 2019
Commitment End: December 2020
Lead implementing agency State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre
Person responsible from implementing agency Larisa Manukyan
Title, Department Head of Geodesy and Cartography Department
E-mail survay@cadastre.amPhone (+37460) 47-42-37
Other actors involved Other state actors involved State Urban Development Committee, State Register Agency of Legal Entities, State Property Management Agency, LSG bodies, other state actors involved
Civil society, private sector Transparency International Anti-corruption Center NGO
Issues subject to regulation In the Republic of Armenia, the Land Cadastre is closed, and it is necessary to apply to the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre of the Republic of Armenia or the relevant LSG to receive information about any territory. Although the land use schemes, zoning plans and spatial planning documents are open documents by law, they are not accessible, or are accessible in formats that are not easily accessible for citizens. As a result, for years, the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre of the Republic of Armenia has provided that information to citizens by hand, only as prescribed by law, and the heads of communities have had the opportunity to arbitrarily dispose of the land lots, without any opportunity for public oversight.
Main objective To ensure transparency of the Land Cadastre, the land use schemes and zoning documents and, with that, public accountability of the relevant structures.
Brief description of commitment To ensure complete accessibility of the Land Cadastre and the land use schemes and zoning documents (data) for the public through a map, search functionality, ensuring the personal data protection regime.
OGP challenge addressed by the commitment More efficient management of public resources, rise of the level of public confidence
Relevance to OGP values Proactive publication of information disposed of by the state and LSG bodies will ensure accessibility of information about land resources and the decisions regarding those land resources, will help ensure public accountability, which will make it possible to apply public oversight over the enforcement of land use schemes and zoning documents.
Ambition Ensuring transparency of the decisions adopted by the Government of the Republic of Armenia and LSG bodies in regard to land use, proper public oversight over and raising the level of confidence in those bodies
Promotes efforts for implementation of SDG Goals or Targets

Verifiable and measurable criteria for performance of commitment
Start Date:
End Date:
Ongoing Actions
Rearm and electronically map the database of the Real Estate Cadastre, ensuring the relationship of land use schemes with zoning plans, as well as with the State Register Agency of Legal Entities. January 2019 August 2020
Publish and make accessible, with search functionality, the data of the cadastre, ensuring personal data protection in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Armenia. January 2020 August 2020

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Land Cadastre

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [61]

Brief description: To ensure complete accessibility of the Land Cadastre and the land use schemes and zoning documents (data) for the public through a map, search functionality, ensuring the personal data protection regime.

Milestones

6.1 Rearm and electronically map the database of the Real Estate Cadastre, ensuring the relationship of land use schemes with zoning plans, as well as with the State Register Agency of Legal Entities.

6.2 Publish and make accessible, with search functionality, the data of the cadastre, ensuring personal data protection in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Armenia.

Start Date: January 2019

End Date: December 2020 [62]

Context and Objectives

Currently, Armenia’s land cadastre database is not publicly accessible. To receive information on the status of any territory, for a fee, requesters must apply to the Real Estate Cadastre Committee of the Republic of Armenia or to the local government. [63] The law requires that land use schemes, zoning plans, and spatial planning documents be open. However, they are either not available at all or are available in formats that are not easily accessible for citizens. As a result, for years, the Real Estate Cadastre Committee provided this information to citizens upon request, only as prescribed by law. Thus, the heads of communities could arbitrarily dispose land slots without public oversight. [64]

Investigative journalists and interviewed stakeholders have reported several challenges related to mismanagement of land resources in Armenia. The investigative journalist outlet Hetq published an article in 2018 demonstrating corruptive schemes of purchasing land slots in the Hrazdan community’s state-owned protected forest by many officials and by their personal affiliates in a resort territory. [65] Similar schemes exist at the community level. Community heads change the status of a land zone, so they can sell it to their personal affiliates or other influential persons, often for their own personal interests. For example, forest zones are used for agricultural purposes, or agricultural land is sold for construction. [66]

This commitment aims to provide public access to the land cadastre database and allow visitors to search by location of the land, which would be presented in graphic format. Investigative journalists mention that currently it is sometimes difficult to find the address and ownership of a land parcel identified through satellite photos. [67] A comprehensive database of land ownership would allow investigative journalists to easily track the ownership of land and possible misuse of land zones. The public database would also facilitate access to public services and reduce paperwork for submitting inquiries to public administration bodies.

The commitment mentions certain limitations regarding personal data disclosure. It is not quite clear, however, whether these limitations involve the name of the owner or the personal data of the owner, such as passport information or contacts. The commitment also does not clearly state that the data will be accessible to the public free of charge. According to the law, fees are charged for provision of information on immovable property, with some exceptions—for example, for state bodies. [68] Thus, to provide information free of charge, legislative changes will be needed. The commitment does not include such changes. According to a civil society representative of the OGP working group, it was discussed that only creation of electronic map of land database is foreseen in the fourth action plan implementation cycle. [69] The publication of the database included in the second milestone is planned to be completed in 2022, within the next action plan. [70]

If the information on the land cadastre is available for the public free of charge—as is the case with the water cadastre commitment—this commitment could have a significant impact on state practices in managing land resources. Strengthened civil society monitoring could also work toward this goal. If the commitment had explicitly stated that information would be provided free of charge and included the necessary legislative amendments, it could have been assessed as transformative. Such an assessment would have applied if the commitment were also more specific about the type of information that would be provided on ownership.

Next steps

This commitment can serve as an important contribution to open data from the land cadastre. To achieve maximal effectiveness and significant impact of the commitment, the IRM research recommends the following actions:

  • Adopt the necessary legislative amendments to provide information on land ownership free of charge.
  • Provide the maximum amount of information allowed by law about the owners of land slots.
  • Ensure proper mechanisms for the timely update of information.
  • Implement awareness-raising activities to ensure widespread use of the database.
[61] Government of the Republic of Armenia, OGP Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Armenia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.doc.
[62] In Armenian version: January 2019-December 2022. Government of the Republic of Armenia, OGP Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020, Armenian version, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Armenia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_ARM.doc.
[63] RA Law On State Registration of Property Rights, 14 April 1999, https://www.arlis.am/DocumentView.aspx?DocID=121898
[64] Government of the Republic of Armenia, OGP Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Armenia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.doc.
[65] “Former Armenian Officials and Their Associates Privatize Fifty Hectares of Forested Lands,” Hetq.am, 28 January 2019, https://hetq.am/en/article/93475.
[66] Marina Mkhitaryan (UNDP Kolba Lab), interview by IRM researcher, 18 February 2019. Mariam Zadoyan and Syuzanna Soghomonyan (Anticorruption Coalition of Armenia), interview by IRM researcher, 22 February 2019; Sona Ayvazyan (Transparency International Anticorruption Center), interview by IRM researcher, 1 March 2019; and Arpine Hakobyan (NGO Center), interview by IRM researcher, 7 March 2019.
[67] Tirayr Muradyan (Hetq Investigative Journalists NGO), phone interview by IRM researcher, 7 March 2019.
[68] RA Law On State Registration of Property Rights, articles 71–75, 14 April 1999, https://www.arlis.am/DocumentView.aspx?DocID=121898
[69] The comment was provided during pre-publication period by Varuzhan Hoktanyan (Transparency International Anticorruption Center),
[70] Government of the Republic of Armenia, OGP Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020, Armenian version, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Armenia_Action-Plan_2018-2020_ARM.doc.

Commitments

  1. Open Data in Official Declarations

    AM0035, 2018, Asset Disclosure

  2. Government Grant Transparency

    AM0036, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  3. Beneficial Ownership Register

    AM0037, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  4. Modernization of Community Website

    AM0038, 2018, E-Government

  5. State Water Cadastre

    AM0039, 2018, E-Government

  6. Land Cadastre

    AM0040, 2018, E-Government

  7. Integrated Social Services

    AM0041, 2018, E-Government

  8. Unified Information System for Management of Education

    AM0042, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Exploring Medical Assistance Program

    AM0043, 2018, E-Government

  10. Platform for Submitting Petitions

    AM0044, 2018, E-Government

  11. Public Service Dashboard

    AM0045, 2018, E-Government

  12. State Travel Transparency

    AM0027, 2016, E-Government

  13. Accountability for Grants of the Government

    AM0028, 2016, E-Government

  14. Transparency of the State Budget

    AM0029, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  15. "Open Data" in Official Declaration:

    AM0030, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  16. Portal for Community Decisions.

    AM0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Accountability Licensing

    AM0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Accessibility of Integrated Social Services

    AM0033, 2016, E-Government

  19. "One-Stop-Shop" Pilot Project Within Military Registration Offices

    AM0034, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Digitization and publication of data in the “Republican Geological Fund” SNCO

    AM0016, 2014, Extractive Industries

  21. Ensuring Transparency in Mining

    AM0017, 2014, Extractive Industries

  22. Ensuring Public Awareness About Health Care Financing

    AM0018, 2014, E-Government

  23. Ensuring Transparency of Asset and Income Declarations of the RA High-Ranking Officials

    AM0019, 2014, Asset Disclosure

  24. Online Broadcasting of the State Procurement Appeals Board Sessions

    AM0020, 2014, E-Government

  25. Community Microsurvey Introduction in 10 Communities

    AM0021, 2014, E-Government

  26. Ensuring Open, Transparent, Participatory and Accountable Process of State Policies and Legislative Reforms

    AM0022, 2014, E-Government

  27. Public Awareness on the Lawmaking Activity of State Governance Bodies

    AM0023, 2014, E-Government

  28. Ensuring Transparency of the Election of Governing Boards of the RA General Secondary Education Institutions and of the Annual Budget Planning and Expenses of Ra General Secondary Education Institutions

    AM0024, 2014, Education

  29. Knowledge and Capacity Building of Public Servants in the Freedom of Information and Anticorruption Field

    AM0025, 2014, Capacity Building

  30. Ensuring Transparency of Local Self Government Bodies of Large Communities

    AM0026, 2014, E-Government

  31. Reviewing the Regulatory Normative Legal Acts (Regulatory Guillotine Project)

    AM0001, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  32. Improving Internal Audit System for the Public Sector

    AM0002, 2012, Audits and Controls

  33. Improving Procurement Procedures

    AM0003, 2012, Capacity Building

  34. Improving Budget Planning and Reporting Systems Through Full Utilization of Program Budgeting

    AM0004, 2012, Audits and Controls

  35. Promoting Transparency and Objectiveness in Tax Administration

    AM0005, 2012, Conflicts of Interest

  36. Fight Against Corruption

    AM0006, 2012, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  37. Introduction of a Unified Payment System (Portal)

    AM0007, 2012, E-Government

  38. State Car Inspection Improvements

    AM0008, 2012, Infrastructure & Transport

  39. Implementation of an Electronic System for Consular Services

    AM0009, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  40. Implementation of Mail-Armenia System

    AM0010, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  41. Introduction of e-Statistics System

    AM0011, 2012, E-Government

  42. Introduction of e-Documentation Sharing System in Urban Communities

    AM0012, 2012, E-Government

  43. Ensuring Transparency of Asset Declarations

    AM0013, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  44. Standardization of Offical Websites Content

    AM0014, 2012, E-Government

  45. Improvement of Knowledge and Skills of Public Servants on Access to Information

    AM0015, 2012, Capacity Building