YEREVAN, September 26. / ARKA /. President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, held a meeting today with top army brass to discuss a string of abuses revealed in the process of procurements for the armed forces, the presidential press office reported.
The head of the presidential Oversight Service, Hovhannes Hovsepyan, presented the findings of a study of the procurement process and the conclusions.
The first problem, he said, is the transparency of tenders and ensuring a competitive bidding environment. He said the study has revealed numerous cases when one and the same people participated in the tenders. Some of the companies not only supplied food, but also spare parts, fuel and lubricants, and offered also construction work. Mr. Hovsepyan said an analysis of the last two years’ procurements agreements shows that the composition of these organizations did not change.
The second problem is the prices of goods purchased for the needs of the ministry of defense and prices of similar products on the market. It was noted that a random examination of purchase agreements the Oversight Service established that the situation has greatly improved, and the cost of the goods mainly corresponds to prices for similar goods in wholesale markets. However, according to the conclusion, some products could be purchased at lower prices.
Another problem, voiced at the meeting, was about companies that won the tenders and signed contracts with the ministry of defense, which are connected with certain people. The President considered this unacceptable and strongly condemned those that demonstrate this approach.
"It is bad when I do not see a tough struggle in the ministry against such people. And the minister of defense and the chief of the staff must be attentive to people who are fighting against such things, so that they have no problems tomorrow ", said Sargsyan, stressing that when the commander of a battalion, regiment or company sees that his superiors protect dishonest people, the situation changes to worse affecting the moral and psychological atmosphere of the armed forces.
Defense minister Seyran Ohanyan assured the president that the ministry will give more attention to this problem and will tighten control at all stages of the process, including the organization of competitions and pricing and delivery of purchased goods.
"Mr. President, we will pay attention to every detail, and we will do everything possible to ensure that the ministry of defense becomes exemplary in the implementation of procurement," Ohanyan said.
After the meeting, the head of state separately discussed with the minister of defense and chief of the staff issues related to military training and weapons. -0-