Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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Government and ministry of finance ‘blacklisted’ by Freedom of Information Center of Armenia


YEREVAN, January 15. /ARKA/. The Freedom of Information Center of Armenia has ‘blacklisted’ the government and the ministry of finance for their failure to properly respond to information requests by citizens and organizations.

The head of the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia Liana Doydoyan said to a news conference today they did not publish the "white list", since no serious progress was made from this point of view last year.

"Provincial administrations are quicker to respond to citizens' requests than government ministries. Shirak and Vayots Dzor provinces serve as examples of this," Doydoyan said. She added that there are problems when a request to a government agency is submitted electronically as some of the agencies refuse to respond to electronic requests, arguing that a citizen wishing to submit a request needs to register by using his/her ID card.

"Otherwise, the request is not considered official, although according to the government's decision of 2015, electronic requests are equated to written ones. In many cases, the absence of an answer is explained by the fact that the agency did not receive the electronic request, but in the age of developed technologies such excuses are inconceivable," Doydoyan said.

According to the study made by the Center, the number of "silent" refusals (lack of answers) has reduced. In many cases, the answers to various requests are inadequate and incomplete.

"The reason for this is ignorance and fear. Many agencies believe that an unclear answer will help them avoid any liability in the future. But despite all this, there are also conscientious employees who, if they do not know something, turn to us for advice. Some agencies have something to hide, in particular, when the requests are about their budget spending," added Doydoyan.

She said in case the answer to the request is not received, the applicants should apply to court, since, according to the practice, 75% of such cases are resolved in favor of citizens. 

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