Armenia should take vigorous measures to tackle entrenched corruption and widespread conflict of interest, according to a new OECD report.
Armenia has continued to reform its anti-corruption legislation and institutions over the past four years. A comprehensive legal framework for the civil service and public service integrity, including regulations on ethics and conflict of interests, was adopted; trading in influence and illicit enrichment criminalised; and laws on whistleblower protection and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption introduced, as well as the legal provisions on asset declarations and public procurement enhanced. The report also welcomes the introduction of various e-governance tools and services, a system for the publication and verification of asset declarations, and the expansion of e-procurement.
However, a lack of enforcement of anti-corruption laws, together with a monopolised economy, remains a serious concern, according to the report. Armenia should take bold measures to ensure judicial and prosecutorial independence and integrity, and step up efforts to detect, investigate and prosecute high-profile and complex corruption cases using diverse sources of detection and analytical tools.
The report further recommends that Armenia:
- Ensure the transparent and objective selection of members of the Corruption Prevention Commission;
- Implement in practice the newly adopted laws on civil service, public service and whistleblower protection;
- Provide systematic and objective scrutiny of asset declarations with a focus on high-level officials and a subsequent follow-up on violations;
- Ensure a participatory and transparent process of the election of the Prosecutor General and increase the independence of individual prosecutors;
- Introduce, without delay, corporate liability for corruption offences, ensure its effective enforcement in practice, and ensure that sanctions for corruption offences are proportionate;
- Ensure the integrity of state-owned enterprises and promote business integrity;
- Increase transparency and strengthen the monitoring of public procurement. Further reduce the use of non-competitive procurement procedure.
The report also provides an analysis of the higher education sector with recommendations focusing on anti-corruption policy, prevention of corruption and effective enforcement.
The full report and recommendations is available here.
The report is published under the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan, an initiative launched in 2003 under the Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), which is a part of the OECD Working Group on Bribery’s outreach work.