From May 1 to August 15, 2013, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) conducted another regular phase of monitoring of the official Armenian government websites to assess their level of information transparency. This was a logical follow-up of the work that the CPFE has been doing in the last three years. However, unlike in the past, this monitoring was conducted on the basis of a new methodology based on an automated information system EXMO, developed by our partner organization – Institute for Information Freedom Development (Saint Petersburg, Russia) – and provided to CPFE for use in Armenia.
This methodology is described in a separate section of this report. It was used to analyze 51 official websites of various government entities, divided into three groups. The first group included the websites of 34 ministries, central government bodies and agencies. The second group included the official websites of the 10 marzes (provinces) of the country, connected through the Territorial Administration System network (henceforth referred to as the marzpetarans’ websites). The third group consisted of the websites of the RA President, the RA National Assembly, the RA Government, the RA Constitutional Court, the RA Prosecutor General’s office, as well as the Yerevan Municipality and the RA Human Rights Defender’s office.
All these websites were evaluated in accordance with the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the published information, in particular:
– the existence of the required information or the lack thereof;
– completeness of information;
– accessibility (from a technical point of view), which included ease of navigation, HTML accessibility, accessibility of files and graphics.
Monitoring was conducted in accordance with 152 parameters, of which 131 were related to the content and 21 were technical. The collected data was used in the specially developed formulas to calculate quantitative and qualitative coefficients for information, followed by the final weighted coefficient and the information transparency coefficient, which was the main indicator. The websites of state agencies were then rated in the descending order of this coefficient.
Given the comparability of the received data, the websites in the first two groups (central government agencies (ministries, government bodies and other state agencies) and marzpetarans’ websites) were rated separately. As for the websites in the third group, they were not rated at all, because the functions of these bodies and, consequently, the data collected during monitoring, were not comparable. Their data will be presented in the hierarchical order, as prescribed in the RA Constitution.