2019 February 8

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Feb/8/2019: \ Pashinyan party to change the law to restrict salary bonuses, add performance requirements \ Former mayor's office investigated for hiding bonuses \ Kocharyan book vs His lawyer \ Land official charged \ edu-employer cooperation \ Troops land in Syria \ more below...
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.


SIS has denies the report by Hraparak paper that Serj Sargsyan has a status of a suspect in the March 1st investigation. Earlier he was called in for a questioning twice.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963637.html - - - - https://factor.am/122857.html


Robert Kocharyan had earlier denied having knowledge of order 0038, about illegal early morning raids of peaceful protesters, and the fact that he hired a Minister of Defense who was a foreign citizen. One of the illegal raids justification was that he was asleep in the morning of March 1st and only found out after arriving at work.

A member of a group that was tasked with evidence gathering has countered this claim, saying that "Kocharyan's immediate security chief was in the public square, coordinating the raids, and that he would not have left Kocharyan to take the task without his knowledge, which means Kocharyan was aware of it."

The investigator says the team is currently working without a political pressure from the higher ups or illegal actions, which wasn't the case during the initial March 1st investigation done immediately after the incident.



Kocharyan's own book (page 459-460) contradicts his lawyer's claims that Kocharyan said that he was asleep and unaware of the raids against peaceful protesters on the morning of March 1st.

In the book, he wrote that in the evening of the previous day, he met a law enforcement coordinator who told him about the upcoming raids.

Rob writes: Նախորդ օրվա երեկոյան [evening of February 29] ինձ մոտ ընդունելություն խնդրեց Պետական պահպանության ծառայության պետ Գրիշա Սարկիսյանը: [etc]: Ոստիկանությունից տեղեկանալով օպերացիայի մասին՝ նա հարցրեց՝ ի՞նչ պետք է անի, եթե Տեր-Պետրոսյանը հանկարծ հրապարակում լինի: Օրենքով Գրիշայի պարտականությունների մեջ էր մտնում պաշտոնաթող նախագահի անվտանգության ապահովումը:


Very cool.


QP Lena Nazaryan, deputy speaker of Parliament, says they plan to change the laws regulating the government employee salary bonus distribution.

Bonuses from off-budget funds, not dedicated ahead of time, will be eliminated. Defense Ministry could be an exception.

The overall bonus funds will be equal to 30% of the funds that are reserved for salaries. A worker cannot receive a bonus over 200% of the salary. Each position will have a newly calculated upper limit on how much bonuses can be earned by employees in that position.

Institute's chief will only receive a bonus if over 90% of the workers met the expected performance.

Worker's bonus must reflect the performance and cannot exceed 200% of the salary. Worker's immediate supervisor cannot issue the bonus. It'll be done by the institute's chief. No bonus will be issued to the workers if the performance was unsatisfactory.

Amendments to the law to allow bonus info to be published more transparently.

"More reforms have been done in bonus distribution in these last 3 weeks, than in the past 10 years combined", noted Nazaryan.



The NSS is investigating former Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan's cabinet for hiding salary bonus payments worth hundreds of millions. It was recently revealed that over 280mln went unreported on 2017.



The Media Ethics Observer has condemned the pro-Kocharyan misleading March 1st documentary.

The report found unethical conduct by the producers, instances of edited clips that twisted participants' words and excluded their other words that contradicted the producer's intended narrative, deceptive editing, lying to participants about the purpose of the film, refusal to include then-opposition members close to Pashinyan (who himself refused to participate) while dedicating the entire film as a talking piece for Kocharyan side, not including members from the March 1st investigation team, deliberately excluding some witnesses, broke copyright laws around materials belonging to A1+ news organization.

The committee has also condemned H5 news network for airing the film with disregard to the obvious ethics violations.

Committee noted that the Russian-language film can misinform the Russian audience even more because Russians are less likely to be aware of March 1st's actual details.



Official working at a land registration cadastre database is facing criminal charges for deliberate negligence and refusal to follow court order.

A Yerevan resident had earlier asked the cadastre to correct his land size information in the system. The official refused. The citizen took it to court and won. Official still refused. One criminal case is launched for abuse of power.



PM Pashinyan says 20% more mortgage loans were issued on 2018 versus 2017, as a result of the new government policies which encourage young families to buy a house.

Nov 2018 vs Nov 2017 - up 41%. December 2018 vs December 2017 - up 85%. January 2019 vs January 2018 - up 131%.

The interest rates went down.



Italian-Armenian factory owner says they have 200 job vacancies in Vanadzor factories but no one is applying. Pashinyan has urged the residents to go and apply.


(Just how bad is the business-education-worker connection in Armenia currently?)


Dozens of private companies have signed, and another dozen will soon sign, contracts with educational institutions to train students to be ready for work upon graduation. These companies also help to invest in the education sector, says Pashinyan



PM's office has finished discussing the new ministry list, and will soon send it to Parliament for adoption. Armenia will have 12 ministries:

Foreign, defense, emergency, justice, labor and social, education science and culture (all in one now), nature protection, healthcare, finances, economics, territorial and infrastructure, high tech.

As for the Ministry of Diaspora, it will be replaced by a special committee as part of PM's office. The chief will act as PM's ambassador.



Ministry of Economic Development and Investments has met with French dairy giant Sodiaal, which holds 25% of French market.

The company wants to establish a production business in Armenia, which can later link it to other EAEU and Russian markets.



Update: NSS chief Vanetsyan had earlier promised to join president Sarkissian's initiative to help April 2016 battle vets to find jobs. NSS has hired 3 5 wounded vets so far.



Every month, Yerevan mayor Marutyan accepts city residents in his office to hear suggestions and complaints. He said the city plans to ramp up the detection and destruction of illegal kiosks and trading budkas. The existing illegal buildings will no longer be legalized.



Mayor Marutyan says they have recently cooperated with the Ministry of Healthcare to ease the burden on the emergency departments.

There used to be 900 daily emergency visits in Yerevan. After improving the communication between hospitals and patients who are known to have chronic illnesses, the emergency calls went down to 740.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/265253/ ------ https://youtu.be/RUEplWgpodg?t=40


Pemzashen residents are boycotting Manvel Grigoryan's gas station.

It all started when Grigoryans sent an accountant to Pemzashen to find out why the business was doing bad. They then announced that they will fire the current workers who are from local Pemzashen, and bring new workers from Ejmiatsin if the business doesn't improve. The residents decided to boycott the service.



A group of 83 Armenian military servicemen have arrived at Syria. They'll provide humanitarian services and help the Syrian-Armenian community with land mine removal.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963596.html ----


FIP wrote that some of the members weren't allowed to be sent to Syria because the military rules don't allow military police to help civilians in these instances.



HHK Ashotyan has criticized the move. In response, PM's office replied that the group isn't going to participate in active war areas, and it has a humanitarian purpose as agreed upon by Syria and Armenia. The group members are contractors, not regular soldiers.



Defense Minister Tonoyan met his Russian colleague Sergey Shoygu in Moscow.

The latter thanked Armenia for sending humanitarian troops to Syria, and for being the first country to join the Russian initiative.

Tonoyan also discussed a possible purchase of precise preventative weapons, and more joint training. Another meeting was held with the Russian military tech giant Poctex (RosTech).



U.S. ANCA has welcomed the Armenian army's humanitarian aid to Syria



Russian internet censorship body RosKomNodzor will lift the ban on some Armenian news websites, after discussing it with the Armenian Foreign Ministry. The sites which continue to be blocked for specific articles containing content banned by Russian courts, are urged to contact the Armenian embassy for help.



The Azeri community in Georgia is rattled by the recent installation of a memorial statue to an Armenian officer Mikael Avagyan in a Georgian village. Avagyan was born in the village and had a memorial in past, and this latest installation was a renovation work.

The Azeris spread fake news about Avagyan allegedly participating in Abkhaz war against Georgia, which is provably false because he moved and lived in Armenia since 1990, before the Abkhaz war events.

As a response to Azeri protests, an Armenian group in Georgia now demands an Azeri soldier Jalil Safarov's memorial to be removed. Safavor was an Artsakh war participant who killed innocent civilians, and was given the status of Azerbaijan Hero for his participation.



Edit: Typos. NSS hired, not fired.

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/aokz35/anticorruption_feb82019_pashinyan_party_to_change/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports








2019 Daily Armenia Reports