YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Some form of corruption exists in all countries," declares a statement issued by the "Unity of Armenian Tax Payers" public organization–"but in some countries–corruption has ‘seized’ all government structures. Such is the case in Armenia–where we have seen a government crisis in the political–economic and social spheres."
The statement read in part:
"Corruption prevents the government from fulfilling major tasks. In fact–current problems are becoming more complicated–and the crisis is deepening. Our Constitution and Criminal Code do not account for the punishment of authorities that violate ordinary citizens’ rights. One of the shortcomings of the current laws is that they allow the executive office to make joint decisions. Therefore–no particular politician is held responsible such actions as–for example–ineffective use of the budget. The long struggle against corruption can be considered a failure unless the fight is supported by the state-run and privately owned mass media. The state-run mass media must not any longer be subordinate to the executive power–but must be placed under the authority of a consultation-supervisory council which may consist of representatives of the government–political parties and public organizations."
The UATP Board believes the effectiveness of the struggle against corruption is conditioned by the simultaneous existence of the following three directions: revision of all the laws of Armenia from the Constitution to normative and legislative acts and decisions; intensification of the activities of state-run and privately-owned mass media in their coverage of activities of government officials; and government support of public organizations whose activities are aimed at ensuring oversight of government institutions.
As an initial step in this direction–the UATP urges authorities to start a large-scale process of "declaring [their] property" so that the standards of transparency of a government official’s activities be established in Armenia.