OGP-Armenia National Action Plan 2022-2024
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). A number of 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 on-line and community meetings observing the pandemic rules.
STEPS UNDERTAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA TOWARDS OPEN GOVERNMENT
Since its membership to 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 decision-making process for all citizens, without discrimination on the basis of 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 in 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 co-operation 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 CSOs 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 programmes jointly with CSO partners: television programme “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 co-operation, 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;
● The 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 co-operation 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”.