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Presentation of Issues on Access to Information and Public Participation to Municipal Servants: Kapan
From October 24 to November 3, a 9-day training course was held for staffs of community administration of Syunik region in Kapan Aarhus Center, which was attended by municipal servants of Kapan, Kajaran, Sisian and 20 rural communities.
On November 2, the theme of the penultimate meeting of the 9-day training for municipal servants in Syunik region was dedicated to information and freedom of information.
Mr. Ashot Avagyan, Aarhus Center Coordinator presented what the information is, the methods to receive and provide information, the reasons for rejection, and the application of the Aarhus Convention to increase the efficiency of providing information and information technologies.

The Aarhus Center Coordinator presented the above mentioned issues, based on the RA Law on “Freedom of Information” and the pillars of the Aarhus Convention. It was observed that especially the municipal servants of Kapan and Kajaran are familiar with the Convention; some other participants were also informed due to the participation in the similar information seminars organized previously by the Aarhus Center.

An issue was raised whether it was appropriate to provide information in response to numerous inquiries made by NGOs, regarding in particular to the community budget. The coordinator clarified that if the draft budget will be available via community’s website, than will not be so many written inquiries, with regard to the analyzes of various expenses, those are not available, it is necessary to present relevant arguments or simply mark that the community has no such analysis on budget.
The most activity was displayed during the presentation of the Aarhus Convention’s pillar on the public participation.

The participants got acquainted with the achievements of the Aarhus Centre with regard to the process of public engagement in finding solutions to mining industry, sewerage sanitary waste management and other issues. In particular, they talked about the absence of a sewage pipeline in Kavart district, which is a serious threat in terms of outbreak of epidemic in the district; especially the kindergarten and school are located distance of 30-40m.

The Coordinator informed that the Aarhus Center submitted a written recommendation to the municipality regarding the problem.

Ashot Avagyan
Coordinator of Kapan Aarhus Centre
Editor: Mari Chakryan
Translated by Anush Beybutyan