Corruption Prevention Commission of the Republic of Armenia

In the first semester of 2022, the Commission conducted a study of the integrity of 261 candidates

03.08.2022


In the first half of 2022, the Department of Research Integrity of the Corruption Prevention Commission conducted a study of the integrity of 261 candidates for public office. Mariam Galstyan, a member of the Corruption Prevention Commission, presented the work done in a question-and-answer format.

How many studies did the Department of Research Integrity conduct on candidates for public office in the first half of 2022?

In the first half of 2022, the Department of Research Integrity of the Corruption Prevention Commission conducted a study of the integrity of 261 candidates for public office, as a result of which 257 advisory conclusions were submitted to relevant bodies. A study was carried out on 4 persons but in conclusions of the advisory character of conduct, a final evaluation of the integrity of persons was not given because of the lack of essential data in the questionnaires submitted by them.

Out of 261 conclusions, 149 were positive, 29 were negative, and 78 were positive with reservations. No decision was made regarding 1 person as a result of the equal distribution of the votes of the members of the Commission.

Which positions was an integrity study conducted and a conclusion presented?

34 of the presented conclusions refer to candidates for judges of the Anti-Corruption Court, 14 to candidates for judges reviewing judicial acts subject to appeal in anti-corruption civil cases in the appellate civil court, 20 to candidates for judges reviewing judicial acts subject to appeal in cases of corruption crimes in the Criminal Court of Appeal, 45 to candidates for judges of the Court of Cassation, 100 to candidates for inclusion in the list of candidates for prosecutors, 15 to candidates for prosecutors aspiring to be included in the promotion list of prosecutors, 1 to a candidate for the Prosecutor General, 32 to operative-investigative activities of the Anti-Corruption Committee to appoint aspiring candidates to the positions of the implementing positions.

In which cases were positive with reservations conclusions on candidates’ integrity presented?

Conclusions with positive reservations regarding the integrity of candidates were mainly presented in the following cases:

· Data submitted in the integrity questionnaire and declarations, as well as with the results of combining information obtained from other official sources available to the Commission, certain inconsistencies regarding the property status of the Candidates were brought out, which were not considered as a negative factor, but in their combination, they formed unreliability and risk regarding the property status of the Candidate and his family member. At the same time, in all cases when the candidates' explanations regarding recorded property discrepancies did not dispel the Commission's concerns but were also not sufficient to form a negative assessment, the Commission also assessed them as a factor affecting the assessment of goodwill.

· The candidates were subjected to administrative or disciplinary responsibility. In each case, the Commission specifically studied their number and nature, the terms of the disciplinary penalty, based on which it evaluated the mentioned circumstances as a factor influencing the evaluation of good conduct. The candidates were subjected to administrative or disciplinary responsibility. In each case, the commission specifically studied their number and nature, the terms of the disciplinary penalty, based on which it evaluated the mentioned circumstances as a factor influencing the evaluation of integrity. At the same time, the Commission considered the number of administrative offenses, violations of road traffic rules and their nature, as a rule, by combining information on other factors that influence integrity.

· The available information regarding the behavior of the candidates during their working activities, the number and nature of mass media publications about them, as well as the possible perceptions of an impartial observer about them have created certain risks for the Commission regarding the vulnerability of ensuring the independence, impartiality and non-political requirements of the candidates.

In which cases were negative conclusions on candidates’ integrity presented?

Negative conclusions regarding the integrity of candidates were mainly presented in the following cases:

· In the declarations submitted by the candidates and their family members, as well as in the questionnaire of integrity, incomplete data of significant importance regarding the property status of the candidate were presented, and in some cases, the data presented were not confirmed by information obtained from other official sources, as a result of which inconsistencies regarding the property status were brought out, which formed incredulity regarding the sources of origin of their property or the legitimacy of their incomes. In cases where the existing inconsistencies and, especially, the clarifications provided by the candidates regarding the sources of origin of the property did not dispel the concerns of the Commission, forming unreliability and risk regarding the property situation, the Commission evaluated them as a negative factor affecting the assessment of integrity. The Commission's concerns regarding the property status of the candidates' family members were more emphasized in the context when the latter's family members held mostly government positions for years. The Commission also assessed the fact of not submitting declarations of persons living together with the candidates, mainly spouses and parents, as a factor that has a negative impact on the evaluation of integrity except for the cases when the Commission was not deprived of the property of the candidates and their family members by submitting all declarations in accordance with the law from the opportunity to make a full study of the situation.

· In the case of the candidates being subject to disciplinary liability and not providing data on them in the questionnaire, especially taking into account the number of disciplinary penalties, the nature of the violation, the severe type of the penalty, as well as the circumstances of the disciplinary penalties being applied in recent years, the Commission assessed it as a factor influencing the assessment of the conduct.

Does the Corruption Prevention Commission have the authority to investigate the integrity of the investigators, who hold autonomous positions in the Anti-Corruption Committee?

In accordance with the provisions of the law on the "Anti-Corruption Committee", a study of the integrity of investigators, who hold autonomous positions in the Anti-Corruption Committee, will also be conducted in the near future.