Accessibility to information of Armenia’s state authorities (1st stage, February-April 2011)

ACCORDING TO MONITORING DATA OF OFFICIAL WEBSITES

Summary

In February-April 2011, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression implemented monitoring of the official websites of Armenia’s state authorities to estimate the level of information transparency.

The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia guarantees that everyone has the right to receive official information from state authorities on the basis of personal and/or public interests, and the RA Law “On Freedom of Information” regulates this field. The information administered by state authorities is public property and, therefore, is subject to be presented to the public, including the websites.

These websites should serve as source of information for the country’s citizens to obtain full information about the activities of power structures. The results of the monitoring show how they manage to solve this issue.

The same methodology was used to monitor 39 websites of state authorities (see the corresponding section of the report), which can conditionally be divided into three groups. The first group includes the websites of 24 ministries and state authorities at the government of the Republic of Armenia. The second group includes the country’s 10 marzes (regions) that have united “Territorial administration system” of the official websites (later in the text – websites of regional administrations). The third group includes the official websites of the RA President, RA National Assembly, RA Government, RA Constitutional Court and RA Prosecutor General’s Office.

Quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the publicized information became the estimation criteria of these websites; these are, in particular:

  • Availability/absence of the required information;
  • Integrity of the information;
  • Timeliness;
  • Accessibility (from technical point of view).

Thus, there are 177 parameters for monitoring the websites of state authorities (SA), 150 of them refer to the content of the websites, and 27 to technical issues. With the help of a specially worked out formula and based on the data of the parameters, qualitative and quantitative coefficients of the information were calculated, then the total weight coefficient and the main index – coefficient of information transparency. Sorting this coefficient as “descending,” the rating of websites of state authorities was formed.

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