In 2003-2012 over 6650 persons including 2763 officials received knowledge and skills on how to implement freedom of information legislation.
In November 2010 the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia established the aNon-formal Educational center for providing continuous training for public officials and civil servants. The educational center became a sustainable source for providing regular training for officials in the FOI field. Here selected public officials/institutions gain knowledge on how to comply with the FOI law, including electronic access to Information.
The trainings in the NFEC are conducted based on the training modules developed by the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia (FOICA) and Union of Armenian Government Employees (UAGE). These modules are: “Freedom of Information” and “Integrity and Moral Ethics in Civil Service”. They have been approved by the Council of Civil Service as per its decisions and the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration. According to the above mentioned decisions all information officers of government agencies and community servants are obliged to be trained according to the endorsed training Curriculum on FOI. The mission of conducting regular trainings on FOI for civil servants was officially granted to the FOI Center, NGO and to UAGE, NGO.
In 2003-2011 the FOICA organized dozens of training workshops throughout Armenia on the implementation of local and international standards of freedom of information. The training events were conducted for the representatives of state agencies and local self-government bodies, and of the civil society. They were intended to help participants improve their knowledge and skills in the sphere of freedom of information.
In 2008-2010 the FOICA organized 1-2 day working discussions on freedom of information for different target-groups – law enforcement bodies, journalists, staff representatives from regional administrations, representatives from administrative districts and others. During 2009-2010 a number of training events were organized on the utilization of “Mulberry” electronic documentation sharing system. Special two-day training workshops were organized for the employees of the 10 regional administrations, providing them with the skills on how to use “Mulberry” system.
The second video material is designed for the students as one of the most active group of the society. The material is called “Your right to know”. It is aimed at highlighting the main message for the students on the right of access to information. In a clear language and illustrative way it explains on how the students may use the FOI law provisions for getting access to government-held information, where to go if a refusal was received and/or access is denied and most importantly, how this right should be used to fulfill their other rights.
Training of Civil Servants
Since 2008 the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia, together with the Armenian Civil Service Council, has started the training of civil servants. The training was first launched within the framework of the “Freedom of Information Training for Civil Servants Responsible for Public Affairs” Project, which was supported by the OSCE Office in Yerevan. This project was aimed at promoting better information accessibility in Armenian governmental bodies and at increasing the level of the responsibility of civil servants in providing information. In the framework of the Project, during two-day training workshops 84 employees of information departments of governmental bodies and 10 regional administrations acquired necessary practical knowledge and skills for the implementation of the Law on Freedom of Information.
As a result of these trainings, with its decision N302-Ա, dated 17 April, 2008, the Civil Service Council included the “Freedom of Information and Public Relations in the Governance System” training program into the permanent training curriculum of civil servant information officers.
Another outcome of this cooperation was the revision of the job descriptions of civil servants responsible for public affairs in the Armenian civil service system. Their job descriptions have been revised to include their specific functions and duties in the FOI sphere.
The FOICA-Civil Service Council cooperation was continued in November 2010 when the training of civil servants restarted in the “Non-Formal Freedom of Information Educational Center”. Those were three-day training sessions devoted to the freedom of information. Following the training the participants received state-approved certificates. In November-December 2010 and March-June 2011, 301 civil servants took part in the trainings of the Educational Center.
The training sessions are held in accordance with the program on “Ensuring the Principles of Integrity, Freedom of Information and Public Affairs in the Governance System”, approved on 28 October 2010, by the Decision N 847 of the RA Civil Service Council.
Since 2011 the FOICA in collaboration with the RA Ministry of Territorial
Administration provides training in the "Non-formal Educational center" for public
officials.The trainings are held in accordance to the program on "Ensuring the
Principles of Totality, the Freedom of Information and Public Affairs in the
Governance System" approved by the October 20, 2011, N 129-Ա order of the Vice
Prime Minister, Minister of Territorial Administration Mr. Armen Gevorgyan. During
2011-2012 400 public officials from rural and urban communities of different regions
of Armenia were educated in the "Non-formal Educational center" of FOICA.