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Provision of information

1. WHAT IS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE INFORMATION?

Freedom of information is exercising one’s right to seek information in accordance with the order prescribed by legislation and the right to receive information from the person/entity possessing the information (RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 3).

Every person has the right to get acquainted with the information sought and (or) with the aim of receiving information to submit an inquiry to the person/entity possessing the information in accordance with the order prescribed by law and receive that information (RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 6).

According to Article 51 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, “everyone has the right to receive information on the activities of the state and local self-government bodies and officials and to get acquainted with documents”.

2. WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION DOES THE RA MINISTRY OF ECONOMY POSSESS?

The RA Ministry of Economy possesses information on the activities of the Ministry: the structure, functions, information on development and realization of the policy in relation to the areas of competence of the Ministry, the legal acts regulating the activities of the Ministry or related to the areas of competence of the Ministry, information related to officials, speeches, announcements, charters of subdivisions, projects on implementation of the annual programs of the Ministry and sectoral events, reports on the activities of the Ministry, presentations, information on cooperation with international organizations, budget, analyses, information on study outcomes, information on applications received and vacancies, etc.

3. HOW TO APPLY TO THE RA MINISTRY OF ECONOMY TO RECEIVE INFORMATION?

In order to receive information, one can submit a written or oral inquiry.

Written inquiry

The written inquiry shall indicate the applicant's name, surname, citizenship, location of residence, employment or educational institution. The written inquiry shall be signed (in case of a legal entity it shall have its name and location) (RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 9, item 1).

Oral inquiry

The applicant with an oral inquiry is obliged to state his/her name and surname in advance (RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 9, item 5).

4. WHAT IS THE TIMEFRAME FOR RESPONDING TO AN INQUIRY?

The response to a written inquiry is provided within the following timeframe:

  • If the information specified in the written inquiry is not published, a copy of that information is provided to the requestor within 5 days after receiving the inquiry.
  • If the information specified in the written inquiry is published, the response containing the details on the means, location, and date of this publication are provided to the requestor within 5 days after receiving the inquiry.
  • If provision of the information specified in the written inquiry needs additional work to be performed, the response with that information is provided to the requestor within 30 days after receiving the inquiry, of which the requestor is notified in writing within 5 days after receiving the inquiry on the reasons for delaying the response and the latest date the response will be provided.

(RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 9, item 7)

The response to an oral inquiry is provided:

  • orally immediately upon hearing the oral inquiry or within the possibly shortest timeframe, if:
  • provision of the requested information can prevent a threat that endangers the state, public security, the public order, public health and morals, the rights and freedoms of other people, the environment, property of individuals, 
  • it is necessary to verify with the person/entity possessing the information the fact of availability of respective information,
  • it is necessary to clarify the order of discussions of written inquiries by the person/entity possessing respective information.

(RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 9, items 5, 6)

 

5. IN WHICH CASES PROVISION OF INFORMATION CAN BE REJECTED?

Provision of information can be rejected, if it:

  • contains a state, official, banking, commercial secret,
  • violates the secrecy of an individual’s personal and family life, including the secrecy of correspondence, telephone conversations, mail, telegrams and other means of communication,
  • contains non-disclosure preliminary investigation data,
  • discloses information that requires restricted access due to professional activity (medical, notary, attorney secrecy),
  • violates the copyright and (or) related rights.

(RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 8)

 

Response is also not provided to written inquiries, if:

  • the requirements for the inquiry are not fulfilled,
  • it turns out that the author’s identity data are false,
  • this is the second inquiry submitted by the same requestor within the last 6 months requesting the same information,

(RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 9, item 3)

 

Response to an oral inquiry can be rejected, if:

  • the requestor of an oral inquiry does not disclose his/her name and surname, and (or) the oral inquiry does not comply with the requirements stipulated by items 1, 2, and 3 of Article 5 of the RA Law on Freedom of Information (RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 9, item 6).

 

6. IN WHICH CASES PROVISION OF INFORMATION CANNOT BE REJECTED?

Provision of information cannot be rejected, if:

  • the information relates to the  extraordinary cases that endanger the safety and health of citizens, as well as to the natural disasters (including the officially predicted ones) and their consequences, 
  • the information represents the general status of economy of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the current real situation pertaining to the sectors of nature and environmental protection, healthcare, education, agriculture, commerce, and culture,
  • non-provision of information may have a negative impact on implementation of the state programs for the socio-economic, scientific, technical, spiritual, and cultural development (RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 8, item 3).

 

7․ INFORMATION SUBJECT TO MANDATORY PUBLICATION

RA Law on Freedom of Information, Article 7: ensuring accessibility and publicity of information: 

     1) works and services that are being implemented (are subject to implementation) for the public, 

     2) budget,

     3) a written inquiry template and guidance notes on their completion,

     4) the staff lists, as well as names, surnames, education, profession, position held, work phone number, email address of officials (Ministry structure), 

     5) the staff hiring procedure and job vacancies, 

     6) impact on the environment (has none), 

     7) public events programs (has none),

     8) the procedure for receiving citizens, the date, time, and venue (see the order), 

     9) the pricing policy in the sector of works and services, prices (tariffs), 

     10) the list of possessed data sets and the procedure of possessing thereof,

     11) statistical and summary data on inquiries received, including grounds for rejection, 

     12) sources of data processing or receiving, 

     13) details of the person authorized to clarify information.

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