Congress main co-operation partners in Armenia met remotely on 8 December 2020 to take stock of the results achieved in fighting corruption at local level, as well as making local governance and public procurement more open and transparent.
Representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Open Government Partnership Secretariat and the Swiss Development Co-operation Agency heard expert presentations of the tools developed for members of the Community of practice on public integrity and ethics in local governance in Armenia since its launch in March this year. They included, among others, a detailed methodology for a corruption risk assessment in local self-governing bodies, a local anti-corruption action plan model and the Roadmap for involving local authorities in the development of the National Action Plan on Open Government.
The participants identified priority areas to be addressed under the Congress project in Armenia in 2021, stressing the importance of synergies between the different tools, their practical application on a pilot basis in local communities and incentives for local engagement, as well as the need for further expert work to address the existing institutional, procedural and regulatory gaps in the field of public ethics, open government and anti-corruption action. It was stressed that the work of the Community of practice under the exigent circumstances of the pandemic and the recent armed conflict reflected the commitment of this group of municipalities and institutional stakeholders to fight corruption, promote public integrity and improve citizen trust in public institutions and local elected representatives.
The meeting was organised as part of the project "Strengthening the Communities Association of Armenia and Transparent, Participatory Local Governance in Armenia”, implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019‑2022. The aim of the Project is to improve the quality of local democracy in Armenia through establishing a formal, effective consultation mechanism between the Government and the association of local authorities of Armenia, and enhance citizen’s confidence and trust in local authorities through greater voice, accountability, effectiveness and inclusiveness of the local self-government bodies.