“Golden Key and Rusty Lock” awards | EUNewsletter

“Golden Key and Rusty Lock” awards

29 September 2014
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The “Golden Key and Rusty Lock” awards took place in Yerevan on 26 September dedicated to International Right to Know Day. The event was organised by the Armenian NGO “Freedom of Information Centre” in cooperation with the Armenian Young Lawyers Association, and was funded by the European Union within the scope of the “Multi-faceted Anti-corruption Promotion” project.

Prime Minister of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan spoke on the Armenian government’s dedication to freedom of information: ‘The Armenian government is constantly seeking ways out to raise the efficiency of its administrative systems. The Open Government Partnership, which has entered its second stage, is a vivid example of our activity in this area. This project gives an opportunity to establish institutions that will promote citizen’s participation in decision making and policy development. Freedom of information in our country is ensured by law, and we will implement consistent efforts so that administrative transparency can be achieved’.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, focused his comments on corruption: ‘Corruption within the public sector continues to be a large Armenian, indeed a global, challenge. According to recent reports, the world’s poorest countries are deprived of at least $1 trillion each year as a result of the siphoning of cash through money laundering, tax evasion and embezzlement. This is cash that could be spent to enhance citizens’ living standards and provide better and cheaper services and goods’. He added that, in recent years, the political leadership in Armenia had regularly expressed its readiness to fight corruption in public statements, various programmes and strategic documents, as well as through legal reform. On behalf of the European Union he expressed the hope that both an independent oversight system and new anti-corruption strategy would be established in Armenia.

An independent jury awarded institutions noted for transparency and significant anti-corruption activities over the last year with “Golden Key” prizes. Winners included the official website of the Armenian Police (the best official website in terms of access to information), Public Radio of Armenia and yerkir.am portal (contribution to freedom of information in the media). Additionally, the jury awarded two “Rusty Locks” to opaque institutions with poor transparency records: the State Economic University of Armenia (for the most ridiculous official answer) and the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre of Armenia (the institution that provided the tardiest responses to citizens).

The “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project is funded by the EU with a budget of €650,000. It is aimed at building the capacity of civil society organisations to engage in monitoring and watchdog activities, increase the effectiveness of monitoring of anti-corruption reforms, and strengthen anti-corruption institutional mechanisms. As an overall objective the project planners intend to increase the role of CSOs in promoting anti-corruption reforms.

“Golden Key and Rusty Lock” awards

The “Golden Key and Rusty Lock” awards took place in Yerevan on 26 September dedicated to International Right to Know Day. The event was organised by the Armenian NGO “Freedom of Information Centre” in cooperation with the Armenian Young Lawyers Association, and was funded by the European Union within the scope of the “Multi-faceted Anti-corruption Promotion” project. Prime Minister of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan spoke on the Armenian government’s dedication to freedom of information: ‘The Armenian government is constantly seeking ways out to raise the efficiency of its administrative systems. The Open Government Partnership, which has entered its second stage, is a vivid example of our activity in this area. This project gives an opportunity to establish institutions that will promote citizen’s participation in decision making and policy development. Freedom of information in our country is ensured by law, and we will implement consistent efforts so that administrative transparency can be achieved’. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, focused his comments on corruption: ‘Corruption within the public sector continues to be a large Armenian, indeed a global, challenge. According to recent reports, the world’s poorest countries are deprived of at least $1 trillion each year as a result of the siphoning of cash through money laundering, tax evasion and embezzlement. This is cash that could be spent to enhance citizens’ living standards and provide better and cheaper services and goods’. He added that, in recent years, the political leadership in Armenia had regularly expressed its readiness to fight corruption in public statements, various programmes and strategic documents, as well as through legal reform. On behalf of the European Union he expressed the hope that both an independent oversight system and new anti-corruption strategy would be established in Armenia. An independent jury awarded institutions noted for transparency and significant anti-corruption activities over the last year with “Golden Key” prizes. Winners included the official website of the Armenian Police (the best official website in terms of access to information), Public Radio of Armenia and yerkir.am portal (contribution to freedom of information in the media). Additionally, the jury awarded two “Rusty Locks” to opaque institutions with poor transparency records: the State Economic University of Armenia (for the most ridiculous official answer) and the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre of Armenia (the institution that provided the tardiest responses to citizens). The “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project is funded by the EU with a budget of €650,000. It is aimed at building the capacity of civil society organisations to engage in monitoring and watchdog activities, increase the effectiveness of monitoring of anti-corruption reforms, and strengthen anti-corruption institutional mechanisms. As an overall objective the project planners intend to increase the role of CSOs in promoting anti-corruption reforms.