Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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"Non-Freedom" of Information because of Officials


The educational center for freedom of information tries to solve this issue. Press secretary of the RA Civil Service Commission Gor Abrahamyan explains state and community servants how to handle unsatisfied citizens who turn to state bodies, how to alleviate the tension and find a common language with each citizen. In addition, officials listen to the speaker, participate in the lecture with their questions, and exchange professional experience.

“Practice shows that the majority of freedom  of information issues in Armenia are conditioned to unawareness of officials,” - says president of the FOICA Shushan Doydoyan, “Officials do not realize their obligations defined by the FOI Law. One of the main goals of this classes is to how them that open and transparent work is not only to the benefit of the citizens, but also it is to their benefit.”

Gor Abrahamyan – one of the spokespersons of the classes, who lectures at the Educational Center, in the topic of “Structure of Communication; Methods for Working with Unsatisfied Participants; Citizen Service”, strongly underline the importance of the implementation of this program in Armenia. He noticed that the classes pass in a frank atmosphere, and civil servants actively participate in the classes and are fully involved in the implementation of the program. “It is important that the classes are held not only with those who provide information, but also with state servicemen who are in immediate contact with citizens,” – says Mr. Abrahamyan.

How to receive and provide information? In which cases can a state body deny an inquiry? How to appeal in cases when information is not provided and what are the sanctions for violating the right to be informed? On this topics expert of the “Freedom of Information Center of Armenia” Gevorg Hayrapetyan reads lectures for civil servants. He tries through discussions to also define the issue with providing information. These issues are written down to be later studied and for possible solutions to be offered. In addition, the classes will continue until 22 April, 2012, educating more than 700 civil servants. Chief of the Science-Educational department of the ARM Civil Service Commission Gegham Sargsyan, president of the “Union of Armenian State Servants” NGO Vache Kalashyan, Press Secretary of the ARM Prosecutor General, expert of the “Freedom of Information Center of Armenia” Sona Truzyan, expert of the ARM National Assembly and “Freedom of Information Center of Armenia” Marine Hakobyan will continue to speak on the issues of the sphere.

The lectures pass in an interactive and warm atmosphere – this prove the civil servants. Deputy Chief of Staff of the Regional Administration of Kotayk Elza Hovhannisyan, who is going to receive a certificate of civil servant, underlines the importance of these classes, “It seems like we know a part of the material given during the course. Now it gives us an opportunity to think, exchange ideas, and exchange professional experience with representatives from other bodies. These classes also make us to attach more importance and responsibility to our work.”
By Hripsime Hovhannisyan 

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