YEREVAN, October 30. / ARKA /. Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center has revealed a string of serious problems in Armenia’s procurements administered by various government agencies, Varuzhan Hoktanyan, the executive director of the Armenian office of the Center for Regional Development and Transparency International, said today when presenting the preliminary findings of a study it conducted late last and this year.
"Together wit the Open Society Foundations - Armenia we studied government procurements from 2011 November to October 20 this year. The results showed that this area is not perfect", he said.
An expert of the Anti-Corruption Center, Artak Manukyan, said the monitoring has revealed the unavailability of information and lack of transparency on the official website of the Ministry of Finance at gnumner.am and on the e-gov.am/transparent.
"For example, many sections on both websites were not updated since 2011, including reports on procurements and data about purchases from one person", he said. Manukyan also named lack of involvement of public organizations as another flaw in the procurement system.
According to Manukyan, that the procurement system is imperfect is evidenced by the reduction in the percentage of satisfied complaints from 73.7% in 2011 to 47.4% in 2012.
Manukyan mentioned also a low level of awareness among economic entities. He said only 690 companies of 140,000 across the country are registered on the electronic site of the Center to Support Procurement (armeps.am), which make only 0.49% of all companies.
“This suggests that the private sector is either not aware of e-procurement system, or does not give it particular importance ", he said.
He said the revealed problems in the procurement system do not stem from imperfect law. According to him, they indicate that some government agencies "are unable to implement what is provided by law."
During an emergency meeting with top government officials in September President Serzh Sargsyan berated the government for widespread bribery and nepotism in state procurements. Sargsyan cited the findings of an inquiry conducted by the presidential Oversight Service, which showed that contracts were awarded to private firms in violation of the law.-0-