On August 27, the second president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan’s YouTube channel published “Economy requires solutions: Discussion with Robert Kocharyan on economic issues”, in which Kocharyan discusses a number of topics with economic experts, criticizing the work of the current government.
Referring to the issue of corruption, Kocharyan, in particular, stated. “Over the past two years, procurements from one source have increased by 72%. In public administration, public procurement is the most tempting space for corruption. And here it has increased by 72%. How can we believe that there is fight against corruption? How can we believe that there is no systemic corruption?”
Taking into account the fact that public procurements from one person, i.e. without a tender, and the corruption risks involved in them are always a subject of public discussion, the Fact Investigation Platform decided to fact-check Kocharyan’s statement and its correspondence to reality.
The total number of procurements from one person has decreased
Public procurements are published on armeps.am and gnumner.am websites. And the statistics on these sites contradict Robert Kocharyan’s statement.
Thus, according to Armeps.am, during the eight months of 2020, about 10 thousand contracts were signed following “from one person” and “urgently from one person” procurement procedures.
The number of contracts signed in 2019 according to the mentioned procedures was about 24 thousand. Before the revolution, in 2017, the number of contracts signed with the aforementioned procedures was about 38 thousand. In other words, compared to 2017, the number of procurements from one person decreased by about 37% in 2019.
It should be noted that this list includes information on procurement procedures carried out by public administrations, local self-government bodies, closed joint-stock companies and foundations.
Procurements without tenders have not increased in public administration sector either
The picture is almost the same in the case of public procurements. However, in this case it should be noted that in the first eight months of 2020, the number of procurements from one person has increased significantly. However, it can also be assumed that this is related to the coronavirus pandemic and time constraints related to announcing tenders.
E-gov.am informs that in January-August 2020, 3226 procurement contracts from one person were signed, which is about 35% more than the number of contracts signed in 2019. However, the difference compared to the pre-revolutionary period is noticeable. In 2016, a total of 5739 procurement contracts were signed, in 2017 – 4648.
Thus, Robert Kocharyan’s statement that procurements from one person have increased by 72% does not correspond to reality.