During a question-and-answer session between the National Assembly and the Government on November 18, Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan stated that part of the money donated to the Hayastan All Armenian Fund during the war had been transferred to the Government.
According to him, it was decided to make the health, social and infrastructure expenses jointly, in cooperation with each other to ensure efficiency.
Mher Grigoryan also said that part of the money donated to the fund has not been spent yet.
The statement of the Deputy Prime Minister stirred heated debate. Issues were raised about the expediency of transferring the donated funds to the budget.
During the nationwide fundraiser “We are, our borders. All for Artsakh”, more than 170 million USD were collected.
The Fact Investigation Platform sent an inquiry to the Ministry of Finance, asking to specify to what extent the donation of money transferred by the Hayastan All Armenian Fund to the government was lawful, how much of the transferred money was donated to the Government, how much was spent and for what purposes.
How much money did Hayastan All Armenian Fund donate to the state budget?
According to the Ministry of Finance, the amount donated by the fund to the Republic of Armenia was transferred to the joint treasury account in order to finance the additional budgetary needs arising from the war.
Accordingly, on the basis of the donation agreements signed between the fund and the Republic of Armenia, the fund transferred about 52 billion 703 million AMD (about 105.5 million USD) to the treasury account as a donation.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the donation was made on the condition that the amount will be used for the infrastructure, social and health expenses arising from the state of martial law.
“Moreover, the funding of the costs referred to in the account of the donation amount has enabled the government to direct the funds envisaged for the financing of those expenses by the 2020 state budget to the financing of the newly emerged expenses arising from the martial law, which made up about 100 billion 978 million AMD (about 202 million USD) as of 19.11.2020”, the ministry said in a written response.
As for how much of the donated money was spent for what purposes, the Ministry of Finance states that the funds were allocated by the relevant decrees of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to finance the newly incurred expenses arising from the state of martial law. “Reports on their use will be published in the framework of budget execution reports in the manner prescribed by law,” the response reads.
Is the donation to the government lawful?
Referring to the media reports on whether the donation agreements were lawful, the ministry notes that the entire amount was transferred to the joint treasury account in accordance with the requirements of the Law on the Budget System of the Republic of Armenia and the Law on the Treasury System.
According to the Law on Foundations, the beneficiaries of the fund are the founders of the fund, the members of the bodies of the fund, as well as the employees of the fund.
“According to Clause 5 of the Charter of the Foundation, the founder of the foundation is the Republic of Armenia, on whose behalf the President of the Republic of Armenia acts.
According to Clause 23 of the Charter, the foundation owns, uses, manages the property owned and acquired by it, including the financial means in accordance with the goals of its activity and the significance of the property.
Pursuant to sub-clause “f” of Clause 38 of the Charter, the Board of Trustees of the Fund is authorized to approve the procedure for managing the Fund’s property.
According to Clause 10 of the Charter, the goals and objectives of the Fund are as follows:
- a) Support the socio-economic development and reforms in Armenia and other countries;
- b) Contribute to the improvement of science, education, culture, social system and healthcare […]
In fact, the funds were transferred to the Republic of Armenia as follows:
- On the basis of donation agreements concluded in accordance with the established procedure;
- On the condition of using the amount for infrastructure, social and health expenditure arising from the state of martial law.
- On the condition of using the state, infrastructure conditioned by the circumstances of declaring martial law, for financing social and health expenses, with the consent of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.