Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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The Assurance of Freedom of Information in the


“We attach great importance to provision of public with true and verified information on the Prosecutor Bodies activities, and hope that this method of electronic communication will assist to the transparency of the Prosecutor's Office activities. Due to this site you can be informed on the struggle against crime and events concerning the Prosecutor's Office. Besides, you can be introduced to the statistical data and the changes of the legal field.” With these words of RA Prosecutor General Agvan Hovsepyan does the official website of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia welcome its readers -

If we were to evaluate the website according to the evaluation standards of the presence of information and publicity, we can fact that it is quite a successful website. Unlike the websites of a number of RA state bodies and ministries, the website of the prosecutor’s office is clearly structured , due to which even an Internet-illiterate person can easily search and find the information he/she needs. Almost all the laws, legal acts and documents related to the prosecutor’s office can be easily found on the website.

One of the advantages of the website can be considered the fact that all the information on the prosecutor’s office has the appropriate links, by clicking on which one can read the laws, decisions or orders, according to which matters are regulated. For example, although in the “Legislation” section of the website one can find the “Law on Prosecutor’s Office”, in the “Board of the Prosecutor's Office” section, too, one can read the abovementioned law. The advantage of this is that while getting information on any function of the prosecutor’s office, the reader is also easily informed about the normative legal acts, through which that specific function is realized.

In the “Working Procedure” section it thoroughly discusses the rules of discussing citizens’ applications and complains and citizen reception in the prosecutor’s office. It thoroughly explains what kinds of acts the prosecutor can use while executing his/her commissions – whether to do a first warning, pass a verdict, appeal, submit a petition or a request. This section also provides information about the methods of appealing prosecutor’s acts.

In the “Legislation” section of the website of the RA Prosecutor General's Office one can find the legal acts related the RA Prosecutor General's Office, as well as regulating the activities of the prosecutor office, including relevant international documents.

The “Documentation” section includes information about the following - “Departmental Documents” (petitions and orders), “Complains, Applications”, “Statements” on the activities of the RA Prosecutor General's Office and criminal state in the RA, and “Budget Allowances”. All subsections are saturated with the appropriate information. For instance, in the section “Budget Allowances” one can article by article learn what the money given by the prosecutor’s office has been spent on. However, here the budget implementation statements are missing, which would have made the public control over budget implementation more effective.

In the “News” section, besides the daily news, press releases, articles and speeches, one can also find information on the vacancies available in the prosecutor’s office. There is also an interesting subsection – “Discussions”, where it is stated, “In this website of the prosecutor’s office you can learn the outcomes, problems, achievements of the studies related to the spheres of activities of the prosecutor’s office and present your comments on them. We think that this discussion format will promote the involvement of a vaster group of society in developing and implementing criminal policy, and strengthening the prosecutor’s office - public link.” However, only one topic has been put to discussion – “Reference about crimes against sexual immunity and sexual freedom” – to which only one citizen has responded.

In the section “Corruption” one can get information about the types of corruption crimes, as well as reports on uncovering these crimes.

The website has a “Multimedia” section, where there are photo and video materials. The “Videos” subsection includes videos aired on different televisions about the activities of the prosecutor’s office. Besides, there you can also find videos and interview from the RA Prosecutor General’s meetings.

The website of the prosecutor’s office also has “Prosecutor’s School”, “International Co-Operation”, “Links” and “Hot Line” sections.

The website gives the opportunity to write to the prosecutor’s office via e-mail. To do this one is requested to fill in some information, giving one’s name, surname, country of permanent residence and an e-mail, which will assure a contact back. “Please, write your questions, suggestions and comments clearly, which will be proceeded according to the law. Incomplete references or those written not in Armenian are not subject to discussion,” – is written in this section. However, nothing is said about how many days it takes to respond the electronic inquiries, or what a citizen can do if electronic inquiries are left unanswered – who to turn to, how to prove that he/she has sent an inquery, who to complain to, etc.

Unlike some other official websites, all the sections of the website of the prosecutor’s office are active and include the appropriate information. One of the advantages of the website is that it is periodically and successively updated. Moreover, the website also allows the readers to learn the content of the website through the RA Prosecutor General's Office subscription.

The website is trilingual. Naturally, the armenian version is in the best state. However, same cannot be said about the website’s English and Russian versions. For example, both in the English and in the Russian versions there is a “Statistics” section, but they are both empty. Same can be said about the “Vacancies” subsection. Even more, this subsection is completely missing in the Russian version.

As for updating the news, the English and Russian versions of the website again yield the Armenian version. And if in August in the English version of the website one can find news from July, then in the Russian version the last news dates back to February.

Among the shortcomings of the website of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia should be mentioned the absene of a site map. There is not a separate section about the press secretary of the prosecutor’s office, officials responsible for the freedom of information and news and/or press departments. This information is in the “Territorial Sub-Divisions” subsection, together with the information about the Staff of the Prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Armenia. In general, information about freedom of information is missing from the website – e.g. the RA law “About the Freedom of Information”, the order of receiving information. There is no information on the data under the control of the prosecutor’s office, about their classification and status. The website does not provide an appropriate method for enquiring for information. Moreover, nothing is said about who to give the enquiries to. Another disadvantage of the website can be considered the fact that there are no forms for written inquiries, neither there are any directions for writing them, as well as information on statistical and brief data about the inquiries received, including the bases of dnials, and information on the person authorized to clarify the information subject to mandatory publication.

These shortcomings should be fixed in every official website, because it is the demand of the article 7, section 5 of the RA “Law about Freedom of Information”, and only after this demand is fulfilled can we say that the website of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia fully assures the availability and publicity of information.


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