Creation of State Body to Coordinate Anti Corruption Campaign Discussed

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A major condition of carrying out an effective anti-corruption strategy in Armenia is the presence of a state body to coordinate anti-corruption struggle. This was stated at a roundtable discussion organized within the framework of the "Anti-Corruption Strategy Development Program" on July 11.

The experience of the work of anti-corruption agencies in various countries and possible variants of establishing such a body in Armenia were submitted for discussion of representatives of the legislative and executive branches of power.

Under the program–the decision about the structure and functions of an independent anti-corruption body is to be made by the government. At the same time–those who advocate the establishment of such a body are convinced that the current variant of the inter-departmental commission without a secretariat is not enough for the realization of the program of anti-corruption struggle. They think that this structure must be outside the law-enforcement system–as "corruption is not a phenomenon of criminal origin–but has social-political and economic aspects."

To prevent the body from turning into an instrument–the roundtable participants agreed the country must have an effective system of governance and justice.

According to Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Commission for NationalSecurity and Defense Affairs Vahan Hovanessian–the public and authorities realize the need of anti-corruption struggle–as corruption may threat the country’s independent statehood.

According to him–the law "On Corruption Prevention," which is now in circulation at the National Assembly–provides for the creation of a state-run but independent agency. At the same time–the chairman of the National Assembly Surveillance Chamber Ashot Tavadian spoke against the idea of creating such a body. In his conviction–this structure will further become politicized and will become a seat of corruption itself.

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