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2018 October 22

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Oct/22/2018: IRS employees arrested for bribery; Ani municipality staff faces embezzlement charges; Hrazdan police department audit reveals corruption; Ministry of Health to tackle bad quality hospital service and corruption; HHK sabotages the Electoral Code reform bill (more...)
by ar_david_hh

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

The chief of IRS division of Sevan and two of its employees are arrested for allegedly demanding a bribe from a business in exchange for excluding it from audits and not causing problems for it. The business owner contacted the authorities instead of paying the bribe. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146781

An employee who worked at Ani municipality has informed the law enforcement that she was employed between 2008-2016 without a proper registration by the city. The authorities took her payment card and gave her cash instead, while embezzling part of the salary each month. Criminal case is launched against the city administration http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146719

Hrazdan police audits itself and finds that a boss of a local department has embezzled AMD 25mln and split it among 6 employees. Prosecutors launch a case http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146768

The police has detained the 4 brothers of former HHK MP Arakel Movsisyan, aka Shmays. Their houses were searched. They’re currently at SIS center as a “witness”. No more details. Shmays was earlier detained himself for illegal possession of weapons, before pinpointing their location and having the charges dropped against him for voluntary cooperation http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146731

Ministry of Health is making reforms to the way government subsidies are given to hospitals for patient care, in order to improve hospital service quality and reduce corruption. As of now, the government looks at each hospital’s records (sometimes rigged) to see how many patients they serve, then gives a specific amount of subsidies to be used for low income patients. It is proposed to change this.

A medical institution that has very low percentage of non-subsidized visitors, in other words few people who decide to voluntarily go there to pay with their own money, is most likely of a poor quality and untrustworthy institution. For example, first hospital’s only 7% of patients pay out of pocket, while second hospital’s 23% do, that’s when both hospitals provide the same services. This shows that either the first hospital provides poor service for the same money so people with money prefer elsewhere, or they are simply hiding the taxable income from out-of-pocket patients. The new system will encourage higher quality service while reducing corruption, by giving fewer subsidized funds to hospitals with poor performance. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146640

Pashinyan says it’s unprecedented when a government-backed candidate doesn’t win in mayoral elections. He is talking about QP’s loss in Kapan, where a popular independent businessman defeated QP’s man. Calls this a great achievement in the fight for democracy https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951783.html

Due to anti corruption tactics, IRS has collected 54% more income taxes in the past few months, compared to same period in 2017. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951687.html

All-Armenia telethon donation is on November 23rd. But before that, there is an annual donation festival in Toronto which took place yesterday. This year, participants donated $1.3mln which is almost twice more than on 2017. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146726

Trump lawyer and former NYC mayor Rudi Giuliani has visited Tsitsernakaberd. Calls the 1915 events a Genocide. Says the US-ARM administration should talk about the official recognition, and that he speaks the words as a matter of personal opinion http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146742

Parliament was voting for Electoral Reform bill today!

63 votes are needed for it to pass. At the moment, only 53 MPs are present. There were talks about stretching the session into a 3 day period, but it was rejected due to not enough supportive votes. HHK appears to be against the Reforms. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146700

BHK urges HHK not to sabotage the vote and bring enough MPs for a vote http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146709

HHK Arpine Hovhanisyan says the party is against the Electoral Reforms. Says not enough international bodies have given an approval in the changes. As a reminder, Venice Commission president has given a positive response to the changes. HHK says they were given only 2 working days to read the Electoral Code. Government says the bill was published several weeks ago. HHK says the published bill was later amended before being re-introduced 2 days before the voting. The amended version of the bill was simplified, having its clauses reduced from 86 to 69, so it is unclear why only HHK didn't find enough time to read it. BHK says they've been debating these clauses since this summer and there was enough time in recent days too, and that all the amendments were discussed with all parties as they were being adopted.

The vote is delayed again. HHK won’t provide enough votes to pass it. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146744

HHK Gevorg Kostanyan says he will vote in favor of the Electoral Reforms. Says the government had earlier accepted some of his amendments, and that he urged his colleagues to vote for the bill on the floor. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146752

The session resumes. QP takes a 20 minute break to negotiate with some of the missing MPs to carry their butts to the Parliament building and vote in favor. 69 MPs are present. Gagik Tsarukyan and Eduard Shawarmazanov are out of town. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146755

The resolution has failed. 54 in favor, 3 against, 10 didn’t vote, the rest of MPs, mostly HHK, never showed up. 63 votes were needed to pass the resolution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMdZgfTAbLU


http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146762

The list of 46 MPs who sabotaged the bill https://hetq.am/hy/article/97395

3 MPs voted against the bill: HHK Ashotyan, Babloyan and Khosrov Harutyunyan. 6 HHK MPs voted in favor, including Kostanyan who said he would. 4 BHK and 1 ARF members chose not to vote https://hetq.am/hy/article/97394

QP’s Allen Simonyan calls this an attempt by HHK to cause harm one last time. Says they’ll try to pass the bill in future again. All parties but HHK are in favor. Says BHK had done everything to have it passed https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951801.html

Yerevan’s Central District’s administrator resigns. He will be replaced by a QP member http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146775

Minister of Transport tells a police officer to pick up the cigarette butt that he threw on the ground. VIDEO: http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146712

Alaverdi Copper factory was earlier fined AMD 350mln and had the penalty funds redirected to the local communities as an environmental damage compensation. It was told to reduce emissions by 90% to meet the standards. To do so, they’d need to create a new plant that filters and processes wastes. They have an ongoing positive negotiations with a Chinese company for the plant construction. The copper factory also has financial disputes with their creditor bank. They have decided to suspend the operations until the financial problems are resolved https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951750.html

During Eurasian economic forum in Yerevan, Pashinyan encourages Iran’s closer cooperation with EEU. Says Armenia can serve as a bridge https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951688.html

... during the forum, an agreement was made with Russian big and small supermarkets to purchase Armenian products directly, without a middle-man https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951757.html

Armenia’s industrial production has grown by 12.6% compared to 2017. It is the highest rate in EEU countries https://hetq.am/hy/article/97394

EU provides a €50mln loan to boost agriculture, tourism and exports https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951765.html

Saudi Arabia sends condolences to opposition journalist Khashoggi family. Admits that they sent a group of agents to bring him to Saudi Arabia. When confronted, the journalist begin to scream and call for help. The men placed him on chokehold to silence him, but he died from asphyxiation. One of the agents then wore Khashoggi’s clothes and left the building to make it appear that the journalist was alive. Khashoggi's body was handed to a local ally in Istanbul. The Turkish police is searching for the body. If found all in one piece, it will be a blow to Turkish authorities’ theory that Saudis tortured then dismembered the journalist’s body. Saudi authorities have fired dozens of intelligence agents https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951715.html

Sasun Mikaelyan has a new joke for you https://youtu.be/YjD2g0J1Kbc?t=51

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9qh14q/anticorruption_oct222018_irs_employees_arrested/

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