The Government of the Republic of Armenia joined the “Open Government Partnership” (OGP) initiative in 2011 and has implemented four national action plans to date.
The action plans were aimed at improving the agenda of reforms assumed by the Government, making them more transparent, accountable, participatory and innovative.
The report of OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) assessed the Fourth Action Plan of “OGP-Armenia” for 2018-2020 as more reformative. The Fourth Action Plan stood out for its successful implementation of commitments despite the challenges of the pandemic and the war. The Fourth Action Plan was quite ambitious as it included legislative amendments and at least 6 of the 11 commitments were proposed by civil society organizations (CSOs). Some processes were introduced, such as the institution of actual beneficiaries and petitions; corruption risks present in the fields of education and healthcare were reduced; the transparency of public funds was improved by defining the tender procedure for state budget grants; the scope of declarations by public officials was clarified and expanded; the uniformity of providing information for websites of communities and the opportunity to provide services were improved; the mechanism for providing feedback on state services was introduced, etc. OGP commitments became targeted and timely, especially during the pandemic and the war. Awareness raising on the implementation and progress of the commitments was conditioned by the issues having arisen due to the pandemic and the war. However, the Government, together with CSO organizations, organized online and community meetings to observe the pandemic rules.
STEPS UNDERTAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA TOWARD OPEN GOVERNMENT
Since its membership in the Open Government Partnership initiative, Armenia has improved its processes for elaboration and implementation of its Action Plan, those for assuming the commitments and assuming more targeted and ambitious commitments. The Government of the Republic of Armenia has implemented four national action plans, which have been expressed in the following:
- In 2015, Armenia was granted the title of OGP Champion of the Asia-Pacific region under the participation tool "Smart Municipality" at the local level;
- Through the OGP process, Armenia met the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) requirements and became a member of the initiative;
- The “E-draft” portal of legal acts was created within the framework of the OGP. This is a tool for direct participation in the decision-making process for all citizens, without discrimination based on age, professional or other grounds;
- The Crowdsourcing tool was applied within the OGP framework. In the global OGP process, this tool became a good example for other participating governments and local authorities. Every citizen can participate and contribute to the development of the OGP actions, in line with the requirements set by the OGP;
- Direct democracy mechanisms at the local level were improved. Broadcasting mechanism of the Council of Elders’ sittings with the possibility of feedback and access to community services, etc., were introduced;
- Publication of reports of officials seconded at the expense of the State Budget;
- An Interactive Budget in Open Data format was established;
- Armenia became a member of the “Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group”. An institution of revealing the Beneficial Owners (BO) was introduced within the framework of the State Registry. Starting from 2023, all the organizations registered in Armenia shall reveal their real beneficiaries. The Government of the Republic of Armenia signed a Memorandum of cooperation with the "Open Ownership". Armenia was one of the first countries to apply the BO standards developed by the "Open Ownership";
- Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer of the OGP, visited Armenia and had meetings with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, the President of the National Assembly, the OGP MSF, other high-ranking officials and CSO representatives. The visit was covered by the Public Television company; interview with the OGP CEO;
- A system for submitting ePetitions was introduced in Armenia;
- A system of feedback by citizens of state services was introduced: https://gnahatir.am/am/;
- Within the framework of the Action Plan of OGP-Armenia 2018-2020, the Government of the Republic of Armenia implemented:
- More than 24 face-to-face and town hall meetings in all the marzes of the Republic of Armenia. The meetings were held with the support of civil society (CS) partners;
- More than 10 thematic public discussions and meetings with CS organizations and media representatives;
- Awareness raising campaigns on the commitments on Public Television company: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- Thematic TV programs jointly with CSO partners: television program “Open Governance” on the process of [revealing] Real Beneficiaries with the "Freedom of Information Center" NGO;
- 11 commitments, 6 of which - upon recommendation of civil society;
- 5 legislative initiatives and amendments
- High-level participation of the Government of the Republic of Armenia at the OGP Summit held in Canada;
- Co-operation with the "International Budget Initiative". As a result of the cooperation, the Open Budget Survey Armenia was developed for the first time;
- Corruption Perception Index improvement;
- In 2020, Gyumri and Vanadzor municipalities joined the Local OGP, and Yerevan and Armavir municipalities became new members of the OGP in 2022;
- A close co-operation with the Council of Europe Office was established for implementing the local democracy and open governance principles;
- Armenia participated in the OGP’s, USAID’s and partner Summit for Democracy organizations' joint meeting to contribute to better and inclusive implementation of the commitments of Armenia within Summit for Democracy ;
- Expanding cooperation with international organizations (USAID, UNDP, UN, ADB, GIZ, WB, EU, EC, UK Embassy);
- The official website OGP Armenia was developed: https://ogp.gov.am/hy/
- On May 18, 2022, the “SHE” faces of OGP” event was held during the “OpenGovWeek”.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an initiative assuming multilateral cooperation and having a clearly designed agenda and commitments. The initiative was called upon to bring together representatives of governments and civil societies to work together and design the agenda for inclusive development of the Government, as well as to make the system of governance transparent, accountable, innovative and participatory.
All the governments face challenges, for the solutions whereto the existing methods are not sufficient; hence, alternative and effective methods and models should be engaged and applied.
The "Open Government Partnership" initiative not only creates a significant dialogue between stakeholders but also ensures a process of revealing and discussing regional issues with the member states of the initiative.
The Republic of Armenia joined the OGP initiative on 17 October 2011 and has so far implemented three Action Plans. The commitments included in the OGP Action Plans covered social, legal, financial, community, mining, and other sectors. Undoubtedly, this process was accomplished with its whole significance and served as an incentive for a healthy democracy in Armenia.
Since joining the OGP initiative, we can state for sure that the effectiveness of the public administration system and access to information has been improved, responsibility for accountability has increased and society more responsible in the decision-making process has been shaped in Armenia.
Attaching importance to the OGP's overall progress, in 2016, the OGP member countries and Armenia joined the Declaration aimed at the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2017, Armenia launched the process aimed at the Sustainable Development Goals, and on 17 July 2018, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia presented the First Voluntary SDG Report of Armenia at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The OGP initiative is definitely a well-established and supporting mechanism for the best implementation of the 17 SDGs. These two processes are further enhancing and consolidating the international community for tackling the challenges of the 21st century in the areas of ecology, economy, society, and equitable rights.
The Velvet Revolution has taken place in April 2018 was a turning point for the Armenian people. Democracy won in Armenia and that victory is irreversible. The people of Armenia proved that they are the carrier of fundamental conceptual values of democracy and justice. Today, fighting against corruption, establishing the rule of law, the transparency, and accountability of governance, strengthening the democratic institutions and civil society, creating equal competitive conditions for economic and political actors are among the primary objectives of our Government.
The Government Programme of the Republic of Armenia, adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia in June 2018, affirms the political will to overcome the obstacles for the development of Armenia, through the high commitment for the fight against corruption, for the rule of law and fair competition. The Programme is also aimed at enhancing economic growth, promoting exports, developing human capital, and overcoming poverty through balanced activities in the economic and social sectors, as well as stable improvements in public administration and environmental governance.
With great willingness, the Government of Armenia undertakes to fulfill the OGP principles, i.e. to further reinforce the culture of the citizen-state co-operation, ensuring the active participation of the citizen in the system of governance, the decision-making process, and the elaboration of policies.
STEPS UNDERTAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT
The commitments assumed under the Second and Third OGP Action Plans and not fulfilled within the prescribed time limits, continued and were mainly accomplished even after the expiry of the implementation period of those Plans. The Government of the Republic of Armenia has already implemented three Action Plans which have essentially improved the most vulnerable and closed sectors important for the State and citizens, improving the provision of public services, effective management of public resources, promotion of public confidence, as well as creation of safe communities. Progress is indisputable in sectors such as mining, healthcare, education, local self-governance, freedom of information, public procurement reforms, law-making activities, access to information, social access, State Budget, and so on.
The progress of the initiative was evaluated and appreciated by both the local and international partners:
- In September 2015, the Office of the Government of the Republic of Armenia was granted the Golden Key Award by the Freedom of Information Centre non-governmental organization, for best implementation of the commitments of the National Action Plan of Armenia within the scope of the Open Government Partnership international initiative.
- In October 2015, Armenia was granted a high award, receiving the Regional Champion title in the region (Asia-Pacific) within the scope of the global forum of the OGP initiative held in Mexico City, United Mexican States. During the award ceremony, Armenia introduced the Creation and introduction of community management information systems within municipalities of the Republic of Armenia initiative. The initiative wasreferred to as “Smart Municipality” during the competition. The project is aimed at raising the level of effectiveness of the activities of local self-government bodies in Armenia and improving, through open governance, the provision of public services to the people of the communities.
ACTION PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
On 19 February 2018, the session of the working group coordinating the works of the Open Government Partnership initiative in Armenia was held within the Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The start of the OGP/Armenia Fourth Action Plan and the schedule for the development of the new Action Plan were among the items on agenda. The Government of the Republic of Armenia had published the main criteria, guidelines, and format to be followed when drafting the Action Plan commitments.
All the interested bodies, non-governmental organizations, and citizens could submit their specific recommendations deriving from the OGP principles to the Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In March 2018, the Government launched the Action Plan awareness-raising campaign. The OGP Armenia team visited Gyumri, Armavir, Vanadzor, Lernapat community and Ijevan. The OGP Armenia team met with representatives of regional non-governmental organizations, educational and media organizations. It presented the mission of the Open Government Partnership and the achievements of past years.
The process of awareness-raising on launching a new OGP Action Plan and of collection of proposals from the public administration bodies was carried out by the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. As a result, 42 proposals were collected.
On 7-11 May 2018, 75 member states of the OGP were celebrating
the Open Government Week, within the framework of which events relating to the issues of open government, transparency, accountability, and participatory governance was held. On 10 May, within the scope of the Open Government Week international initiative, a meeting with students of the Faculty of Journalism of Yerevan State University was organized jointly with the Freedom of Information Centre (FIC). The aim of the meeting was to present to the future journalists the seven years' experience of the membership of Armenia to the Open Government Partnership international initiative and the achievements thereof, as well as to inform them about the launch of the new Action Plan. On 22 June, a discussion of the Working Group, organised by the FIC was held, the aim of which was to consolidate the forces of the civil society in the stage of elaboration of the new Fourth OGP Armenia Action Plan, as well as consider the new formats for the civil society-government co-operation.
On 30 June, a session of the OGP Working Group was held, during which the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia (OGP Co-ordinator in Armenia) and members of the civil society discussed and reaffirmed the course of the OGP-Armenia actions.
On 9 July 2018, the OGP Working Group met with Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership initiative Joseph Powell and Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator Shreya Basu, who were on a working visit to Armenia, and discussed the mechanisms for achieving more effective cooperation ahead of the drafting of the new Plan.
The Government of the Republic of Armenia, with the support of civil society partners, is calling for ideas for the purpose of supplementing the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Fourth Action Plan. Through the tool of crowdsourcing, all citizens could submit proposals, irrespective of restrictions on profession and age. For disseminating the process among servants and collecting more in-depth proposals, the tool was, upon the initiative of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, also put into circulation and disseminated among public servants of the subdivisions of all public administration bodies.
At the same time, regional meetings were held, which were organized with the support of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, “Freedom of Information Centre” NGO, and “Armavir Development Center” NGO.
“Freedom of Information Center” NGO:
Tavush, Lori, Aragatsotn, and Ashtarak — meetings with the local NGO representatives, pedagogues and active citizens; presentation of the OGP process.
On 17-18 September 2018, an outgoing working session was held in Aghveran with the participation of the OGP group members and international experts.
“Armavir Development Center” NGO:
Meetings were held with local NGOs and intellectuals, as well as 12 meetings with the public servants of state institutions were held in the 10 marzes (provinces) of the Republic of Armenia. A total of 170 participants took part in the town hall meetings held in 4 marzes of the Republic of Armenia - Armavir, Ararat, Aragatsotn, Kotayk, and in the capital of Yerevan. There were 4 sector-specific proposals that were discussed, as a result of which the advice and proposals received through feedback helped improve the goals of the commitments.
- not complying to the OGP values
- less ambitious for the OGP values
- improving the OGP values
- ambitious for the OGP values
The commitments of the draft of the Fourth OGP-Armenia Action Plan were discussed and approved during the session of the working group held on 17 October 2018. Six out of the eleven commitments of the Action Plan are the proposals submitted by citizens and NGOs.
The Republic of Armenia joined the movement of the Open Government Partnership (hereinafter referred to as “the OGP”) as heralded by the letter of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia addressed to the co-chairs of the OGP Steering Committee. In his letter dated 17 October 2011, the Minister noted that Armenia welcomes the idea of the Open Government Partnership, which must lead to the creation of a unified platform for countries, establishing governments that best address people's needs. In 2016, five years after the letter was addressed, we can firmly state that the Open Government Partnership is a success and that it has transformed from an idea to being one of the most effective instruments promoting democracy for over one-third of states in the world. Our State also values and appreciates this success, and evidence of this is the development of the Third National Action Plan.
The OGP ideology and instrumentation are definitely in line with the goals of a country like Armenia, which is small but is firmly and consistently implementing reforms and which has included in its agenda the objective to raise the level of effectiveness of the public administration system. Lacking the possibility to gear vast resources towards the solution to this problem, we have adopted another, yet more fundamental policy that is aimed at applying an open government doctrine for improvement of the administration system. The doctrine implies that access to information, increase in accountability and promotion of participatory behavior will lead to the shaping of societies that will be more mature, intelligent, developed and responsible. As a result, this will raise the level of effectiveness of the administration system and increase the level of intolerance towards defective phenomena such as corruption, injustice and ineffective use of public resources. These objectives derive from the 2015 constitutional amendments of the Republic of Armenia, the plan of the current Government, as well as from universal and sector-specific strategy papers, for the implementation of which target measures and projects are being undertaken.
Open government itself does not mean raising the level of effectiveness of governance, but it does provide the opportunity to introduce new instrumentation for oversight, raise accountability and make the activities of government agencies transparent. This will enhance the power of the people which, in its turn, will lead to effective governance. Based on the above, Armenia continues bringing the OGP principles to life with greater commitment, and this brings honor to each democratic state in the 21st century. What is also important is that a new culture of citizen-state partnership is being reinforced, ensuring citizens’ active participation in decision-making and policy-making processes.
STEPS UNDERTAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA TOWARDS OPEN GOVERNMENT
Between 2011 and 2016, the Republic of Armenia has implemented tangible reforms through its two Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plans in major sectors such as the budget system (i.e. program budgeting), the mining industry (i.e. the process of accession to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)), healthcare, education, local self-governance, freedom of information, public procurement reforms, law-making activities, access to information, etc. Through more than 20 commitments, targeted actions have been undertaken to meet the main OGP challenges, improving the provision of public services, the effective management of public resources, the promotion of public confidence, as well as the creation of safe communities.
Working even outside of the scope of the OGP Action Plan in a style that is in line with the OGP principles has become an approach that Armenia has already adopted. A brilliant example of this is the continuity of commitments that were assumed through previous Action Plans. The commitments assumed through previous Action Plans are continuously carried out, regardless of whether those commitments will be included in the next OGP Action Plans or not. Thus, for instance, the Mail-Armenia system has already been introduced and operates through the e-Citizen portal, and personal e-mail addresses are provided to citizens of the Republic of Armenia. Works are underway for sending official notifications through that system as well. The commitment of Ensuring transparency of the activities of local self-government bodies in communities will be implemented for Armenian communities with a population of less than 20 000. Increasing the level of effectiveness of activities of community administrations, exercising of the powers vested in local self-government bodies (hereinafter referred to as “the LSG bodies”) (heads of communities and members of the Council of Elders) will also continue through the opening of new offices for provision of services to citizens, as well as through training courses for the heads of communities and members of councils of elders. Armenia will complete the ongoing process of accession to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Moreover, commitments assumed through the Second Action Plan and not fulfilled within the prescribed time limit due to objective circumstances, will also continue and be fulfilled, regardless of whether they will be included in the Third Action Plan or not.
In addition to the above-mentioned, it should be stated that the Government has expressed willingness and is determined to work jointly and assist in the implementation of the proposals received during the development of the Action Plans and not included in the Action Plans due to their incompliance with the OGP format which, however, may help raise the level of effectiveness of governance.
The fact that the efforts of our country are being noticed and appreciated both by the civil society of Armenia and the international community is inspiring. In particular, in September 2015, the Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia was granted the Golden Key Award at the 13th annual Golden Key and Rusty Lock Award ceremony initiated by the Freedom of Information Center non-governmental organization for best implementation of the commitments of the National Action Plan of Armenia within the scope of the Open Government Partnership international initiative. The results of the annual international award ceremony for the initiative were summed up within the scope of the global forum of the OGP initiative held in Mexico City, United Mexican States in October 2015. During the global forum, Armenia, which had submitted an application for participation for the first time, was granted a high award, winning first place and receiving the so-called Regional Champion title in the region (Asia-Pacific). Armenia had introduced the Creation and introduction of community governance information systems within community administrations of the Republic of Armenia initiative during the award ceremony. The initiative was referred to as “Smart Municipality” during the competition. The project is aimed at raising the level of effectiveness of the activities of LSG bodies in Armenia and improving the provision of public services that they provide to the people of the community through open governance.
ACTION PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The unprecedented experience that was gained after developing and implementing the two previous Action Plans, the international network of the OGP and the proposals for the Independent Reporting Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as “the IRM”) became the cornerstones based on which the Government of the Republic of Armenia started the process of developing the Third Action Plan, in association with the civil society, international partnering organizations and, this time, with individual citizens and representatives of the private sector as well. Currently, guided by the conviction that a plan developed through multilateral cooperation and comprehensive discussions will lead to the achievement of qualitatively greater and more tangible outcomes, the OGP Third Action Plan (hereinafter referred to as “the Plan”) was developed according to this very logic. This means that importance was primarily attached to the issue of conducting the stage of Plan development in line with the OGP fundamental principles and that there should be a chain of influence on the whole process of implementation in the course of the next two years.
Call for Ideas and Open Competition
The stage of Plan development was launched back in January 2016 when the sequence and the timeline of the steps for developing the Plan were defined in advance. It was also submitted and discussed during the February 15 wide-format session of the working group coordinating the works of the initiative in Armenia (hereinafter referred to as “the working group”). During the session, the Government of the Republic of Armenia announced the start of the Plan development process. As a result, the day after the session, the agreed timeline was sent to the parties engaged in this process and posted on www.ogp.am. Then, the defined format for submitting commitments and the Armenian version of the guideline on the main criteria to be followed while developing the Action Plan commitments were published. The guideline contained information on four OGP fundamental principles and SMART standards. It was also announced that, in addition to complying with the OGP principles while developing the Open Government Partnership — Armenia Third Action Plan, preference would be given to the proposals which, besides complying with the specified Open Government Partnership principles, would also be targeted at the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations Organization and would be in conformity with the Anti-Corruption Strategy of the Republic of Armenia. The guideline had initially stated that proposals implying a requirement for drafting and adopting a draft law, as well as making amendments to existing laws would not be included in the Action Plan (the fulfillment of this requirement is beyond the scope of powers of the Government of the Republic of Armenia). Moreover, for the purpose of preparing the Plan, calls for proposals were sent to the civil society representatives who are members of the working group via e-mails, and relevant assignments were given to the government agencies. The NGOs actively engaged in the process have actively circulated the draft and the announcement on submitting proposals among other partnering NGOs and citizens.
The Government of the Republic of Armenia, with the support of Kolba Innovations Lab of the UN Development Programme, developed a new crowdsourcing online tool for the purpose of providing the opportunity of making proposals with regard to the OGP Plan to potentially wider circles such as citizens, businesspeople, companies, regardless of their legal and organizational form. As a result, an open call for ideas was announced, and 18 proposals were submitted through this tool.
In April 2016, for the first time in the history of the OGP process in Armenia, the Government also organized regional meetings for the purpose of engaging regional and specialized non-governmental organizations, as well as raising awareness about the OGP initiative and development of the Third Action Plan outside of the capital as well. The awareness campaign was launched with a meeting at the UN office in Yerevan, and the other meetings were held in Gyumri, Vanadzor, Dilijan, Armavir, and Goris, according to the previously announced timeline. In addition to the members of the working group, representatives of civil society and international partnering organizations also participated in the meetings.
New ideas have been generated in the form of ambitious commitments during meetings and discussions organized with experts from different fields.
As a result, more than 70 proposals have been received and developed. The Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia has submitted the summarized package of proposals to the members of the working group for discussion. The received proposals have been discussed in several stages. First, the vast majority of those proposals has been circulated among government agencies for the purpose of obtaining expert opinions. Then, the Staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia has organized a number of meetings and discussions with the authors of the proposals and representatives of relevant government agencies. The government agencies’ proposals have been discussed individually.
On 11-12 June 2016, Aghveran hosted a wide-format outgoing session of the working group titled Workshop on the OGP Action Plan for 2016-2018 with the support of the UNDP. For the purpose of discussing the proposals, the participants were divided into two sub-groups comprised of representatives of civil society and state bodies. Each group discussed the package of proposals individually. The sub-groups had to assess the proposals and decide to include (if they complied with the OGP criteria and principles) or not to include them (if they did not comply with the OGP criteria and principles) in the OGP NAP. Based on that, the sub-groups prepared shortlists that were acceptable for them. A general and consolidated shortlist was prepared through the combination of those two shortlists. The proposals that were included in the shortlist of only one sub-group were also discussed, and some of them were also added to the consolidated shortlist. It should be mentioned that, in addition to the members of the working group, representatives of other NGOs, international organizations, representatives of government agencies not acting as members of the working group, as well as highly reputable experts of a number of sectors were also participating in the activities of the sub-groups and in the general meeting.
The final version of the draft Plan was discussed and approved during the wide-format session of the working group held on 20 June 2016.
Overall, about 70 proposals were submitted, 8 of which were selected, complying with the OGP principles and format. Each commitment included in the Plan is goal-oriented and selected after comprehensive discussions.
When developing the OGP Third Action Plan, the Government of the Republic of Armenia was guided by the principle of incorporating relevant commitments aimed at meeting the OGP challenges, OGP principles, and the Action Plan development format available at www.opengovpartnership.org, as well as by the Sustainable Development.
Goals approved by the United Nations Organization and in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
A summary on the proposals received and not included in the Plan was prepared, stating the reasons and clarifying why they were not included in the Plan. The summary has been submitted to the members of the working group and posted at www.ogp.am for public access.
The Government of the Republic of Armenia highly appreciates the efforts of all the parties, particularly representatives of government agencies, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector, as well as experts and citizens engaged in the process of developing the OGP Third Action Plan. The organizations and individuals presented in List N1 have been engaged in the mentioned process.
Based on the proposals made in the report of the researcher of the Independent Reporting Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as “the IRM”) for the Second OGP-Armenia Action Plan, the Government of the Republic of Armenia made significant adjustments in the process of developing the Plan. Thus, for instance, the timeline for developing the Plan and the guideline in regard to the criteria for commitments in the Plan were drafted and published; more NGOs and, for the first time, citizens, were engaged; several regional awareness campaigns and meetings were held; several interesting discussions were organized, and experts of various sectors and representatives of the private sector were engaged. For the purpose of raising the level of public awareness about the process of developing the Plan, a TV program was taped and broadcast. The listed materials have been posted on and are available at www.ogp.am.
OGP-Armenia the Second National Action Plan was approved by the Government Protocol Decision N 32 of July 31, 2014.
Since the end of 2013, the Government has initiated the development of a draft OGP-Armenia Second Action Plan. The project is based on proposals that came from both the Government and Civil Society.
The program did not include proposals that did not meet the OGP values and principles. Proposals that intended the drafting and adoption of new laws, as well as the amendments to acting Laws, were also not included in the program, as the laws are adopted by the National Assembly, and the Government cannot guarantee their adoption.
Despite this, the Government has expressed its willingness to discuss the possibility of implementing and finding the mechanisms outside the OGP initiative for the not included proposals.
OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP
Second National Action Plan of the Republic of Armenia (2014-2016)
The Republic of Armenia, being declared a democratic country by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, always strives to achieve a functioning democracy through reforms. In the modern world, societies demand that their governments be open, accountable and effective, expecting more active civic participation in public administration. Based on this imperative, the Government of the Republic of Armenia continues to focus on increasing the efficiency of the public administration system. It's clear that our country could not stay out of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) process on this path. AND 2011 The decision of the Republic of Armenia to join the OGP initiative in the fall of 2011 demonstrates Armenia's readiness to ensure a higher level of transparency and accountability in the provision of public services. The OGP process is an important part of the Government's agenda, being under the direct control of the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The initiative provides an excellent opportunity to have institutions that will promote active citizen participation in decision-making and policy-making processes. The Republic of Armenia has successfully fulfilled its commitments under its first OGP-Armenia Action Plan for 2012-2013. Their main provisions were mainly aimed at improving the efficiency, transparency and accountability of the public administration system in Armenia, in particular, increasing the efficiency of public resource management, e-government development, improving the internal audit system, improving the public procurement process, ensuring transparency, improving the quality of public services. development, increasing the transparency of the tax administration, the fight against corruption, etc. In this context, it must be stated with certainty that Armenia occupies a leading position both in the volume of its obligations and the degree of its implementation. The support and efforts of all partners involved in fulfilling Armenia's commitments in this process are highly appreciated. The results of the implementation of the above program are summarized in the OGP Armenia Annual Self-Assessment Report, published in the fall of 2013. It should be noted that during these two years Armenia has significantly improved its position by a number of indicators. According to the World Bank և International Finance Corporation's October 29, 2013, Report on Settlement Perceptions for SMEs 2014, Armenia ranks 37th out of 189 countries in terms of doing business, up to three places from the previous year. In August 2013, Moody's rated Armenia as "stable" Ba2 instead of the "negative" of the previous year.
STEPS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA TOWARDS OPEN GOVERNANCE
The Government of the Republic of Armenia continues to adhere to its commitment to become more transparent and accountable to its citizens, as a result of which the system of governance is in line with their needs and aspirations. Strengthening the system of state institutions and effective management system is one of the priorities of the state և In the last decade the Armenian authorities have taken a number of measures in that direction, in particular: In the field of participatory, more transparent governance, posting of draft government decisions on the website is still under discussion.
Broadcasting of government sessions fo Posting the results of the control carried out by the RA Control Chamber on www.e-gov.am website.
Publication of declarations of high-ranking officials on the official website of the Ethics Committee of High-ranking Officials (www.ethics.am).
Review of regulatory legislation (Guillotine Regulatory Program) to alleviate the burden of regulatory business on citizens, reducing operating costs by at least two times. Introducing new principles and approaches to accountability in public administration
Any measure or program of measures submitted by a public authority must contain a clear formulation of the results of the program, and those results must be measurable;
Public administration bodies regularly submit performance reports, based on which the work performed by each of their employees is evaluated.
In the field of improving the quality and efficiency of the provided services
Issuance of a certificate of the country of origin
Conducting an examination. Currently, exporters of up to 2.5 tons of agricultural products submit only 4 documents. Receive a certificate within 1 working day.
Possibility of paying a fee or administrative fines for state duty, local duty, services provided by state or local self-government bodies defined by the RA legislation, as well as online taxes.
Reduction of the monetary term of urban development permit procedures, in certain cases, elimination of the design task, order of design documents պահանջ expertise requirement when building a residential house.
2012 Launch of the "Armenian Real Estate Information System" electronic system for managing the real estate cadastre from January 1 (www.e-cadastre.am).
In the field of traffic police, reforms in the registration of vehicles, issuance of driver's licenses, fines և introduction of an electronic payment system.
In order to facilitate the process of issuing certificates for import of medicines, pharmaceuticals, to ensure the quality of services provided to citizens;
As a result of the major reforms implemented in the field of tax administration, expansion of e-services, improvement of taxpayer service. It is noteworthy that the OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as the IMA) especially praised the implementation of software budgeting, improvement of procurement procedures, transparency of property and income declaration, standardization of the content of official websites, and improvement of public servants' knowledge of freedom of information. , promoting transparency and objectivity in tax administration processes, as well as steps to fight corruption.
Based on the IMF's call to develop these steps, taking into account the unprecedented experience gained in developing and implementing the first program, the Government of the Republic of Armenia, together with civil society representatives, has developed an OGP-Armenia Second Action Plan.
It should be noted that the final summary of the program դրա its approval by the Government of the Republic of Armenia coincided with the resignation of the Government of the Republic of Armenia headed by the Prime Minister և the formation of a new government. Therefore, the fact of approving and submitting the program by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia with a slight deviation from the established schedule is conditioned by the above-mentioned circumstance.
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Continuing its efforts to improve the efficiency of the public administration system, since the end of 2013, the Government of the Republic of Armenia has initiated the development of a draft OGP-Armenia Second Action Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Program). The project was developed based on the basic principles of the OGP initiative, as well as the lessons learned from the OGP-Armenia First Action Plan. The project is based on proposals from both the government and civil society, including in areas such as mining, health, education, local government, freedom of information, and more. Taking into account the fact that the improvement of public services, effective management of public funds, promotion of public trust are among the main challenges of OGP, the Government of the Republic of Armenia was guided by the principle of including relevant commitments to overcome the above-mentioned challenges. Each commitment included in the program is targeted և selected as a result of comprehensive discussions. The initial version of the program was developed on the basis of proposals submitted by government agencies. Then the project was posted on www.ogp.am to receive public awareness and suggestions from civil society. In parallel, the draft was discussed several times during the meetings of the relevant working group (in particular, September 9, 2013, November 26, 2013). In order to continue the public discussions, the Government of the Republic of Armenia, in cooperation with the Freedom of Information Center NGO, with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Program, in 2014. On April 5-6, Aghveran organized "OGP-Armenia. Transparency և accountability. Cooperation between the government և civil society աշխատանքային working discussion. During the event, both the draft program and the new proposals submitted by state bodies and non-governmental organizations were discussed. At the same time, in order to include new proposals in the program, to ensure public awareness, a number of meetings were organized by the Asparez Journalists' Club of Gyumri, as a result of which proposals provided by a number of non-governmental organizations were submitted to the RA Government. In order to discuss the above-mentioned proposals, to receive additional clarifications, in 2014 On June 5, a working meeting was organized in the staff of the Government of the Republic of Armenia with the participation of representatives of civil society and state bodies. The final version of the project was discussed and approved in 2014. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia held on July 15, 2014 During the meeting of the working group established by the decision N 656-A of July 15, 2010. The final public discussion on the project took place in 2014. The event was held on July 18 in Yerevan in cooperation with the Freedom of Information Center of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, as well as within the framework of an event organized with the financial support of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. In addition to the members of the above working group, the workshop was attended by representatives of a number of other civil society organizations and international organizations. The program did not include proposals that did not meet the OGP values. Proposals for the drafting and adoption of new laws, as well as for amendments to existing laws, were also not included in the program, as laws in the Republic of Armenia are adopted by the National Assembly, and the government cannot guarantee their adoption. Despite this, the Government of the Republic of Armenia has expressed its willingness to discuss with civil society the possible implementation mechanisms of the proposals not included in the program outside the OGP initiative.
OGP-Armenia's First National Action Plan was approved in 2012. It was presented at the State and Legal Ministerial Committee's meeting, on April 5, 2012: the Government's Protocol Decision on approving the National Action Plan of the Republic of Armenia within the framework of the Open Government Partnership Initiative. The main provisions of the program were aimed at improving the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the public administration system in Armenia.
The Open Government Partnership-Armenia National Action Plan was officially presented to the international community in 2012, during the OGP High-Level Annual Conference in Brazil (the capital of Brazil), which held on April 17-18. It was presented at the session dedicated to the countries of the South Caucasus by Deputy Foreign Minister Ashot Hovakimyan and Liana Doydoyan - an expert from Freedom of Information Center.
In September 2011, the Republic of Armenia joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative (https://bit.ly/3uGUtSR ). The main goal is to create a platform for solidarity in Reforms, where Governments, Civil Society and International Organizations and the ExpertS community will join forces to become and form a more transparent, accountable, innovative, inclusive and citizens-centered management system. The initiative was launched in 2011 through the UN General Assembly by Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. A Declaration (https://bit.ly/3ozjzSQ ) was announced, to which the acceding countries commit themselves to make efforts to apply the principles of OGP and form intergovernmental solidarity.
News and Updates
The OGP Support Unit developed the new OGP National Handbook: Rules and Guidance for Participants
The OGP Support Unit developed the new OGP National Handbook: Rules and Guidance for Participants
Access to data of “Real beneficiaries” in EU countries
Access to data of “Real beneficiaries” in EU countries
Statistic and graphs
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