UNDP supported public discussions to review Armenia’s regulations field

20 Jun 2013

imagePublic discussion participants in Ijevan, Tavush region

Armenia has over 25,000 rules and regulations that are there to promote socio-economic development in the country. Many are sensible and well designed, but many of them have contradictions and inconsistencies that create a heavy administrative burden for citizens and businesses. The hidden costs of these contradictions and inconsistencies are high in Armenia and could become even higher without concrete action.

In order to address this issues and try to revise and cut regulations that impede investment and overall development, a National Center for Legislative Regulation was founded in October 2011, with the support of the OSCE, Government of Armenia, Austrian Development Agency, UNDP, the EU, and the World Bank.

UNDP supports the Center in specific public outreach and communications components, such as strategic planning of communications activities, as well as the production of project website, social media platforms, public consultations and public service announcements. These activities are intended to inform and engage citizens, including civil society, NGOs and business groups, in the reform process.

As part of this initiative, public consultations titled “Regulatory Guillotine Project in Armenia,” were held in May-June 2013 in Tavush, Shirak, Lori, Vayots Dzor, and Syunik regions. These forums targeted beneficiaries outside Yerevan and were aimed at presenting the Guillotine project to ordinary people, business communities, NGOs and local government representatives, and receiving their feedback on the challenges of current legislation, as well as hear their suggestions on possible improvements through interactive discussions.

Varsha Redkar-Palepu, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative said successful implementation of this project in other countries has yielded 3-4 percent increase of GDP. “This initiative stands out by the fact that some 25,000 legislative acts will be reviewed and guillotined, and besides, it is designed to help businesses to operate saving time and money,” she added.

During the public consultations representatives of business communities, NGOs and local government were presented a glossary of legislative acts regulating business processes, with their respective definitions, drafted by the National Center. Then the participants were divided into teams to discuss issues such as tax and customs legislation, entrepreneurship, community development, etc. The teams later presented their conclusions to the Center, which will consider them during the overall review and amendment processes of Armenia’s legislative and regulations fields.