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If You Did not Come We Would not Read the Law

“How can we utilize the Freedom of Information Law if we have not read it?”, frankly confessed one of the members of Sarukhan village council. “We do not receive even Land and Civil Codes, so nobody will send us the Freedom of Information Law. How could we know what the law requires?”

How to utilize the RA Law on Freedom of Information workshop was organized on July 7, 2006 by Freedom of Information Center and RTI for 34 officials representing the regional and municipal governments of Gegharkunik Region, heads of village administrations and village elders. The main speakers – Mrs. Shushan Doydoyan, FOICA President, Ms. Marine Hakobyan, RA National Assembly Expert, and Ms. Lilit Simonyan, FOI Expert, represented in details the Freedom of Information Law, its mechanisms and practice of utilization, obligations of state and local governments’ representatives in this sphere. “Why should local government work openly and transparently?”, one of the Gavar Municipality representatives asked. Ms. M. Hakobyan answered that, first, it is the requirement of the law and they should comply with it, and secondly, local government decisions will lose their legal force if they were not published. Ms. M. Hakobyan also represented in details the 13 groups of information which local government should publish periodically. Mr. Sergey Avetisyan, Member of Lanjaghbyur Village Council, complained that sometimes not only citizens but village council members are not informed about timely about the place and date of the Council meetings. “We publish the information, even inform the council members personally, but only a few people are present when the meetings begin”, Mr. Davit Badoyan, representative of Hayravank community, objected.

FOICA distributed FOI materials to workshop participants, including the legal acts and comments of the FOI sphere. Participants thanked the organizers at the end of the meeting. Member of Sarukhan Village Council even stressed out, “If you did not come we would not read the law”.


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