Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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About us

General info

Freedom of Information Center (FOICA) was founded by journalists and lawyers on July 1st, 2001 in Yerevan, Armenia.

The mission of FOICA is to promote application of the RA Freedom of Information Law, contribute to the transparency and openness of the Armenian government system and to stimulate civic society's involvement in the governance system.

The main directions of the FOICA activities are:
 

Open Government Partnership 2011-2015

Freedom of Information Center of Armenia is a pioneer in fostering Open Government Partnership objectives in Armenia by setting up a productive dialogue and cooperation between the Government and civil society. On June 14, 2013, the FOICA jointly with the Government of Armenia organized “Open Government Partnership-Armenia” the first international conference in Yerevan. 

FOICA plays an active role in the development of the OGP Armenia Action Plans, implementation and monitoring of the implementation process against the commitments. Under 27 January, 2012 50-Ա decision of the RA Prime Minister about “Creating a workgroup in order to elaborate the Action Plan for Armenia’s participation in the OGP”, the FOICA was included in the working group. Taking into consideration the importance of the Action Plan and the necessity of actions ensuring its further implementation, the FOICA has developed more than 25 suggestions/recomendations, in order to include them in the Armenia’s Action Plan. Most part of FOICA’s suggestions has been included in the 1st Action Plan and in the 2nd Action Plan.

In 2013 FOICA launched OGP/Armenia web site www.ogp.am with USAID/Armenia funding to ensure access to OGP related information for the society, to provide regular updates on the progress of the Armenian government in meeting its commitments of Action Plan. The site provides information about ongoing projects and initiatives, as well as future plans of the government in promoting open governance, transparency and a greater degree of public engagement.

Throughout 2014 FOICA organized a series of public debates on the draft second action plan thus ensuring public participation in the development process of this important document. The debates and public discussions organized by the FOICA provided a unique forum for a constructive dialogue between the NGOs and the Government, where they engage in a collaborative debate..

In October 2014 the FOICA will launch monthly electronic newsletter on OGP/Armenia to regularly inform the public about international and local developments around OGP.

Fight against corruption - 2001-2015

Freedom of Information Center, using freedom of information as a tool to fight against corruption, is actively involved in the anti-corruption struggle since 2001.

The organization is involved in various anti-corruption activities, including providing trainings for civil society groups and public officials, organizing public education campaigns, supporting development of anti-corruption national strategies as well as monitoring of their implementation, monitoring political parties campaign financing and public procurement. In 2014-2016 FOICA is fully involved in the anti-corruption struggle through its 3-year "Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion" ongoing project funded by EU. 
 

Legal counseling, Advocacy and Strategic Litigation 2001-2015

During its 12 years of operation FOICA has provided legal consultations on FOI-related issues to more than 7000 persons (citizens, media, CSOs, journalists and legal persons). The FOICA helps civil society groups to appeal unjustified information refusals in courts, hence making positive court precedents in the FOI field in Armenia. In 2006-2014 the FOICA brought 42 court cases  with 80% positive outcome against national and municipal bodies for illegal refusals of information requests. 
 

Trainings 2002-2015

By organizing country-wide trainings for over 6914 people including 2843 civil and community servant on the implementation of the FOI legislation. Training modules developed by the FOICA team have been approved as mandatory by the RA State Civil Service and the Minister of Territorial Administration for ongoing trainings of civil and community servants. 
 

Public Campaign 2001-2015

FOICA actively advertises the public’s right to know and the Armenian "FOI Law". It exposes cases of violation of access rights through broadcast and print media, as well as Internet. Dozens of TV talk shows and programs, investigative articles, conferences, FOI Annual Award Ceremonies were organized. Since 2001 the center has been publishing the “You have the right to know” Bulletin which is the only Armenian periodical specialized in freedom of information. Each issue of the Bulletin contains a “black-list”of those officials who have violated the access to information right of citizens, journalists, NGOs and juridical persons. The FOICA’s website www.foi.am is a professional resource for everyone to get knowledge and news on freedom of information, including local and international practice. As a substantial part of public campaign, since the adoption of the Armenian FOI law in 2003, each year on September 28 – the International Right to Know Day, the FOICA organizes the Golden Key FOI Annual Award Ceremony since 2003 to assess the openness and transparency of the government and to criticize closed and secret work style.


Legislation reforms 2001-2015

The FOICA has played an active role in the elaboration and adoption of the Armenian law on “Freedom of information”. The FOICA has initiated the drafting and adoption process of the second generation of the freedom of information legislation reforms. The reform package was developed together with the Armenian Ministry of Justice; Member of the National Assembly Viktor Dallakyan and the civil society. At present the package is included in the agenda of the National Assembly’s session.

Improvement of mechanisms for proactive publication of information by the central and local government bodies 2008-2015

In 2008-2009 FOICA established mechanisms for log-in, tracking and addressing FOI requests in 5 regional central government bodies and 5 municipalities. In 2008- 2012 FOICA has placed 270 information billboards in the most crowded places of 57 targeted communities of Armenia to help local government administrations proactively publish information to be widely available for the community people.

E-Government Reforms 2009-2015

The FOICA implements a number of activities aimed at establishing new electronic government mechanisms in the government system. In 2011 the Freedom of Information Center has fully modernized the official websites of the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and the 10 regional administrations. The FOICA is also supporting the Government to effectively use “Mulberry” electronic documentation sharing system in the governance system. For this purpose a series of training sessions and working discussions were organized in 2009-2010. In addition to this, computers were provided to municipalities and regional administrations.

Monitoring 2003-2015

The FOICA carries out a constant monitoring of the implementation practice of FOI legislation in the state agencies and local self-government bodies. Every year the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia sends over 1000 information requests to state agencies and local self-government bodies, which makes the Centre one of the organizations that most actively use the Armenian Law on Freedom of Information. During past 10 years the FOICA carried out a number of monitoring projects to find out the state of freedom of information in Armenia.

In 2014 the Freedom of Information Centre developed and launched a Rating system to assess openness and transparency of information holders (particularly state and self governmental bodies) - the FOI Index. Based on the developed more than fifty criteria the Freedom of Information Center's experts will assess the level of transparency and freedom of information in state and self governmental bodies and every year will compile the annual FOI index.

FOICA is a member of:

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