Foica Continues Its Cooperation with Authorities
11.09.2014
11:00
The Freedom of Information Center of Armenia will award the golden key and rusty lock to officials at the annual award ceremony on the eve of International Right to Know Day, September 26. For the first time in Armenia, the transparency and Freedom of Information Index has evaluated the transparency levels of the state administrative bodies.

Among 37 administration bodies the top five agencies included: Armavir Regional Council with 80 points, Ministry of Justice with 78 points, Syuniq and Vayots Dzor Regional Councils with 76 points each and Ministry of Territorial Administration. The Ministry of Culture did not take part in the inquiry, subsequently having zero points.

The evaluation criteria developed by FOICA are divided into three core groups.

In the first section entitled, “Right on freedom of information”, there are questions that help evaluate how the Information Possessor performs its responsibility of providing information to people based on the FOI inquiries. The second section of the Index includes questions related to the proactive provision by the IP of freedom, transparency and accessibility of information. Given the importance of initiative from the state in ensuring publicity and transparency, this section includes the largest group of criteria and, therefore, provides the most points. The 3rd third section evaluates the appropriateness of the resources of IP according to two core groups of criteria: whether the IP has sufficient human (professional) resources, educated/trained employees, and to what extent the IP uses different tools for ensuring publicity.

Shushan Doydoyan, president of the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia noted that the Government National Assembly and President’s Administration were also evaluated. The center, however, did not limit itself with the responses sent by the officials and checked the responses through diverse instruments to ensure impartiality.

Doydoyan believes officials often act cunningly, sending responses but not providing the exact information needed. “They respond but it is not what we seek. In this regard officials are very skillful,” said Gevorg Hayrapetyan, lawyer at the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia, “In some cases the responses were unreasonable, or incomplete or even curious.”

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