Politics 13:30 18/04/2024 Armenia

GRECO calls for stronger oversight and accountability in top executive functions and police in Armenia

The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), in a report published today, calls on Armenia to pursue its efforts to prevent corruption in respect of persons with top executive functions and the police.

GRECO notes the positive steps taken following the 2018 Velvet Revolution to boost the fight against corruption, including through the establishment of a specialised institutional framework. GRECO also acknowledges the comprehensive financial disclosure system in place. An Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan have recently been issued for the period 2023-2026. They envisage some promising developments, however, the implementation of these plans would need to effectively be put into practice.

Armenia needs a stronger system of accountability in government to prevent risks of undue influence, GRECO notes. Several large-scale investigations are on-going to prosecute high-level corruption cases and kleptocratic networks connected to previous regimes, but no convictions have been issued to date.  Post-employment provisions are weak in terms of their scope, as well as their monitoring and enforcement. GRECO also notes that more needs to be done to improve access to information and public participation in decision-making. Furthermore, effective lobbying rules are still to be adopted.

Regarding the police, GRECO notes that it lacks a well-developed ethics infrastructure: it has neither a dedicated anti-corruption policy/strategy, nor a Code of Conduct of its own, and no risk assessment has been carried out to date. Vetting procedures, upon recruitment and at regular intervals, must be stepped up. Internal oversight would benefit from additional staffing and a proactive, rather than reactive, approach. The representation of women in all ranks in the police should be strengthened, both at the recruitment stage and in the context of the internal promotions. More could also be done to improve the transparency of the police operations, and the relevance and timeliness of the information provided to the public. Finally, additional steps appear necessary to build trust in whistleblower reporting and advisory channels, as well as in the available protection measures for whistleblowers.

The authorities are expected to report back to GRECO on the implementation of its 22 recommendations contained in the report by 30 September 2025. GRECO will then assess the country’s level of compliance with these recommendations.



Source Panorama.am
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