Blatant Nepotism

Corruption is a well-known long-term problem in Armenia. While Armenia has been making incremental improvements, the amount of blatant nepotism, especially in the regions, is astonishing. Hetq recently publicized multiple instances of no-bid contracts being given to family members of the people in power. This obvious conflict of interest is exactly what Armenia needs to fight against.

In the first link, the mayor’s brother’s company got the no-bid contract because his company was “one of the biggest road construction companies around and best capable to get the job finished on time.” First, if you primarily give contracts to only one company, then of course they’ll be one of the biggest company. Second, even if they are the best to get the job finished on time, require documented proof, especially when there is a clear conflict of interest. Here’s the list so far:

In yet another setback, the police have not investigated another small town mayor six months after Hetq reported on the 1.2 million AMD spent on gas on a car that doesn’t run, among other petty embezzlements. The media can only do so much, it’s up to the police and prosecutors to act to stop this blatant corruption.

To end on a positive note, the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia (an NGO that I just recently learned about, but I believe does great work) helped organize the Open Government Partnership Conference here in Armenia. The Partnership is an international agreement between a number of states to “promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and use new technologies to strengthen governance.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Corruption

2 responses to “Blatant Nepotism

  1. Hi Gabe, YES, The Freedom of Information Center is very important for citizens to become aware about. I cover them near the end of this 41 minute film we produced to inspire future activists in Armenia – https://vimeo.com/46556793 Have a look and please share widely!!

    • Gabe Armas-Cardona

      Thanks for the info Robert. I suspected they did good work and I appreciate the confirmation. FOIA requests are one of the most powerful tools in the US because pretty much anything involving government funding has to be released. I’m glad it’s also being used in Armenia.

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