Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

հայերեն | english

White and Black Lists



The Freedom of Information Center of Armenia annually publishes the “Black List” of those officials heading agencies that have violated the access to information right. The Black List includes the heads of central government, local self-government, and other state institutions, or heads of organizations of public importance that:

  • Do not respond to information requests,
  • Respond to information requests breaking the time frames defined by the RA “Law on Freedom of Information.” (While the “Law on Freedom of Information” defines a timeframe of 5 business days to respond to written requests, FOICA allows an additional 4 business days to allow time for postal delivery. Thus, a response is considered in violation of deadline if it is not received within nine business days after sending the information request. In case of electronic requests, FOICA considers 5 business days as in accordance with the law).
  • Do not provide proper justifications for denying a request.
  • Provide incomplete or false information,
  • Define and/or charge illegal fees for providing information.
  • Refer to improper information sources.
  • Do not properly publish information subject to mandatory publication in due times, in accordance with the RA “Law on Freedom of Information”, articles 3 and 7.

The head of the institution that violates the access to information right appears in the Black List because a) he or she represents that institution, both formally and practically; and b) the Law on Freedom of Information requires all public institutions to follow specified procedures and to uphold and promote the right of citizens to have access to public information, and as such, if the institution is not complying with the law, the ultimate responsibility rests with the official heading that institution.

In the past, the percentage of unanswered inquires was in the range of 30-36%. Currently, as the RA Law on Freedom of Information is in effect already for 17 years, this figure has improved significantly as a result of numerous trainings, litigations launched and public awareness campaigns organized by the FOICA: in 2020 the number of unanswered FOICA requests decreased more than 10 times, dropping to 3%, compared to 35% recorded in previous years.

The number of mute refusals has diminished, instead being replaced by largely incomplete or groundless replies or unjustified refusals. Thus, previously the officials tended to avoid providing information that could have shown their institution at a disadvantage and left the information requests unanswered. Currently, in response to “problematic” information requests the officials prefer to provide incomplete, evasive and unessential answers, rather than leaving them unanswered.

With all of this in mind, effective July 1, 2013 the FOICA introduces more rigorous criteria for blacklisting. Before including an official and the corresponding institution on the Black List, the FOICA takes the following steps:

STEP 1: After the deadline defined above is exceeded, the FOICA representative calls and checks whether the request was received and who is responsible for it. If the request is sent via the e-request electronic platform, FOICA follows the request only through the platform, and calls for corrections only if there are technical problems with the special code provided by the platform.

STEP 2: After receiving an incomplete answer, a groundless denial, or mute answer, the Center sends the second request.

STEP 3: After leaving the second request unanswered that specific body and its head appear in the Black List.

STEP 4: In exceptional cases, when it is clear from the content of the response to the request that the information holder may not have understood what information is expected, or has omitted the requested information as a result of obvious technical or acceptable response, the FOICA sends the second request to that body. In case of a negative answer, the head of the body holding the new information is included in the Black List.

The FOICA Black List is continuously updated. All those institutions that review their activities after being included in the quarterly Black List, and carry on reforms that improve information accessibility will be taken out of the Black List. The FOICA will note on its Black List page the progress made by such institutions.



Share |