Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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State Bodies Have Spent Almost 156 Million AMD or 322 Thousand Dollars While Making New Year Preparations


On January 2018 FOICA submitted an electronic request to all 18 ministries, RA Government staff, National Assembly staff, Yerevan Municipality and 4 adjunct bodies asking to provide information on the amount of money spent on New Year preparations and whether the money is spent out of state budget or off-budget funds. The overall number of the requested bodies was 27. All the 27 bodies have provided answers to the request.
The most interesting answer is that of RA Government staff. The body mentions in the answer that 682,100 was spent on New Year postcards, but it did not provide any information about New Year reception expenses, since they are included in the procurement plan containing secret and cannot be publicized.
It is worth mentioning that Aleksandr Ghazaryan, the official responsible for FOI in RA Government, was included in the black list last year. 
Yerevan Municipality is the body that spent the most for preparations. 139,329,092 AMD out of community budget was spent by Yerevan Municipality when providing social packages to socially vulnerable people (89,864,892 AMD), preparing presents for 40422 children in the kindergartens of Yerevan (44,464,200 AMD) and organizing New Year reception (5,000,000  AMD).
Next comes Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which spent 4,403,460 AMD out of off-budget funds. 337,260 AMD was spent on postcards, 2,860,700 AMD on reception, 850,000 AMD on music services during the reception and 355,500 AMD was spend on buying chocolate for soldiers.
RA Police spent 4,169,000 AMD out of state budget on buying presents for children of employees. No money was spent on postcards and reception.
National Assembly spent 3,974,900 AMD out of state budget. 1,168,000  AMD was spent on postcards, 2,806,900 was spent on reception. No money was spent on gifts.
Ministry of Finance spent 3,337,590  AMD out of state budget. No postcards were bought. 376,000 AMD was spent on getting tickets to the theatre for children of employees, 3,299,990 AMD was spent on the preparations of the reception.
Ministry of Emergency Situations spent 1,801,000  AMD out of state budget on booking tickets to the concert.
Ministry of Culture spent 770,000 AMD on postcards (390,000 AMD) and special cakes with ornaments(380,000 AMD). Ministry has not mentioned out of which means the money was spent.

Ministry of Economic Development and Investments spent  695,590 AMD out of off-budget funds only for New Year reception.
Ministry of Nature Protection spent 385,000 AMD out of which 285,000 AMD was spent out of state budget and 100,000 AMD was spent out of off-budget funds. 60.000 AMD was spent on postcards, 40,000 AMD was spent on a medal, and the 285,000 out of state budget was spent on reception.
Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs spent 201,500 AMD only for postcards, but Ministry does not mention out of which fund the money was spent.
National Security Service spent 174.000 AMD on postcards, and Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources spent 115,200 AMD for the same reason.
State Urban Development Committee spent 90,000 AMD on postcards and Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development spent 73,500 AMD for the same reason.
Ministry of Education and Science spent no money out of state budget. The money spent on postcards was out of the means of Ministry employees. Gifts were prepared out of the means of trade union. No reception was organized.
The following bodies have spent money neither out of state budget, nor out of off-budget funds:
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
Ministry of Healthcare
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Diaspora
Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies
Ministry of International Economic Integration and Reforms
State Committee of the Real Estate Cadastre
State Property Management Department
State Revenue Committee
The Answers to Requests According to Timeframes:
Ministry of Justice was the quickest to provide the information within 1 workday. 
Ministry of International Economic Integration and Reforms and Ministry of Emergency Situations provided information within 11 and 10 workdays respectively.
Late responses were provided by Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and Ministry of Nature Protection. They provided the information 6 workdays after the request had been sent.
The other bodies provided the information within a 5-day period, as it is defined by the FOI Law.
Ministry of Defense sent an unjustified answer, asking for more time for the study of the information and its provision. Yet the information should have already been ready.
To sum up, we can state that 27 state bodies spent 156 201 932 AMD or approximately 322 740 dollars on New Year preparations.

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