Final Round Table Discussion of the “Identification of Corruption Risks in Customs Clearance of Imported Cars to Armenia” Project

The “Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Center” (ACRPC NGO) started the implementation of the “Identification of Corruption Risks in Customs Clearance of Imported Cars to Armenia” project on April 1, 2016. Within the framework of the project it was planned to raise awareness among beneficiaries, carry out sociological research, development of constructive recommendations to the RA Government and RA State Revenue Committee for anti-corruption reforms, journalistic observations, a survey, online thematic discussions, preparation of reports and their publication.

The project aims to contribute to the implementation of the Action Plan of the RA Government's 2015-2018 Anti-Corruption Strategy. The project is implemented with financial support of the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO and its partner “Freedom of Information Center” NGO in the scope of a small sub-grant allocated in the framework of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project funded by the EU and co- funded by the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

The final round table discussion will be held in the Hall of the Lori Governor’s Administration on July 29. Mr. Alessandro Zanotta, the Internation Aid/Cooperation Officer at the EU Delegation to Armenia, Mr. Arthur Nalbandyan, the Governor of the Lori Region, Mr. Mher Martirosyan, the Deputy Head of the Customs Control Department of the State Revenue Committee adjacent to the RA Government, Mr. Gevorg Manukyan, the President of the “Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Center” NGO, and Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the President of the Armenian Lawyers' Association and the Coordinator of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia, will give opening remarks at the event. Other civil society representatives and journalists have been invited to the meeting, too.

Mr. Aharon Adibekyan, the Director of the independent Sociological Center “Sociometer” will present the results of the sociological research. Mr. Gevorg Manukyan, the President of the “Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Center” NGO, will present the final report on the journalistic observations and the survey. Mr. Mher Martirosyan, the Deputy Head of the Customs Control Department of the State Revenue Committee adjacent to the RA Government, will give a presentation on the “Process of Implementation of the Activities under the RA Government's 2015-2018 Anti-Corruption Strategy”, and Mr. Arsen Grigoryan, the Head of the Customs Clearance Section of the Noragavit Customs Office of Means of Transport, will speak about the “Problem of Corruption Risks in the Sphere of Customs Clearance of Cars”.

Recommendations and suggestions aimed at improving the situation based on the project results will be presented to the RA Government and the RA State Revenue Committee. The participants of the round table-discussion will be free to add their comments and suggestions, too.

For more information please call (+374 322) 2-29-67 or e-mail acrpc@acrpc.am, info@acrpc.am.

The main goal of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project is to increase the role of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in promoting anti- corruption reforms and their implementation. In the framework of the project the capacity of CSOs and the media to engage in monitoring and watchdog activities has been enhanced. Thus, 100 CSOs and media organisations have strengthened their understanding of corruption issues and freedom of information as well as their ability to monitor and engage in watchdog activities. Small sub-grants have been allocated to 15 CSOs and media organisations for raising the effectiveness of public monitoring and the implementation of appropriate monitoring, watchdog and investigative activities. In 2014 the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia was established in the scope of the project. The Coalition now comprises more than 80 CSOs and media organisations and plays a key role in the sustainable CSO-Government dialogue developed in the scope of the project. The joint work of the Government and the Coalition on the issues of the criminalisation of illicit enrichment and the establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency has been a particularly remarkable achievement in the scope of the project.

The project is funded by the European Union and co-funded by the OSCE Office in Yerevan. It is implemented by the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO – Applicant and “Freedom of Information Center” NGO – Partner. The project duration is 3 years (January 2014 – December 2016) and the budget is 650,000 EUR, of which 585,000 EUR was contributed by the EU and 31,117 EUR was contributed by the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Armenian Lawyers’ Association (ALA) was established in 1995 with a Mission to promote to the establishment of the rule of law, democracy and formation of the civil society in Armenia, where the people are aware of their rights and where their rights are protected. Before February 2016, ALA was called Armenian Young Lawyers Association.

Freedom of Information Center (FOI) operates over 10 years. The Mission of FOI is to promote application of the RA Freedom of Information Law, contribute to the transparency and openness of the Armenian government system and to stimulate civic society's involvement in the governance system.