On November 21-22, two-day conference on the theme ‘Regional Dialogue on Media and Civil Society Engagement in Public Financial Management was held in Yerevan Paris Hotel. The event was organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation) Armenia Office and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The representatives of the Staffs of the parliaments of Armenia and Georgia, as well as the specialists of the parliamentary communication and public financial management of the United Kingdom took part in it.
In his opening remarks the Programme Director of the “Public Financial Management in the South Caucasus” Jens Petersen-Thumser expressed hope that the conference would be a platform of the regional best exchange of experience for the officials of the communication and public financial management sub-divisions of the parliaments of Armenia and Georgia. In the effective organization of the legislative work the Programme Director highlighted the parliamentary oversight, the work with the public and touched upon the role of the parliament in the budget process. Jens Petersen-Thumser expressed his gratitude to the parliaments of Armenia and Georgia for effective cooperation and wished fruitful work to the participants of the conference.
The RA NA Chief of Staff - Secretary General Ara Saghatelyan made opening remarks. See the full speech here.
The Programme Manager for South Caucasus and Central Asia at Westminster Foundation for Democracy Magdalena Randall-Schab had an opening speech.
In their speeches the representatives of the National Assembly of Armenia and the Parliament of Georgia touched upon the works being done in the media and the civil society engagement in the two countries’ legislative bodies.
The RA NA Acting Head of Media and Public Relations Department Hrayr Zoryan presented the directions of the sub-division’s activities and the peculiarities of the work with the media. According to Hrayr Zoryan, the transparency of the state administration bodies becomes topical in parallel with the deepening and establishment of the democratic processes, the provision of the public awareness and participation in the decision making and the administration processes, which more relates to the RA National Assembly, as a main legislative body having prior mandate. The speaker has presented how the parliament provides the transparency and publicity of its activities.
The representative of the Public Relations and Information Department of the Parliament of Georgia shared with their experience and presented the work of the department in the provision of strengthening of relations with the public and transparency of work with media. To her assessment, in this respect the department has an important role in the organization of the effective work of the parliament.
The representatives of the Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs of the parliament of Armenia and the Committee on Budget and Finance Committee of the parliament of Georgia have detailed their activities and work done, underlining that they focus on financial and economic analyses in their activities. It has been noted that the effective inner and external communication is of great importance for the complete realization of the process. The latter strengthens the three main functions of the parliamentary work: legislation, representation and oversight. According to the speakers, the qualitative communication is of key importance for the adoption of the legislation, the citizens’ engagement, disputing the political agenda items and in solving the issue by mutual consent.
In the format of Q & A, thematic discussions the participants touched upon the media engagement international experience in the parliamentary and public financial management and the steps taken for the improvement of the relations with the media.
The experts of the UK parliamentary communication and the public financial management presented the international leading experience.
In recent years within the framework of the cooperation with the GIZ “Public Financial Management in the South Caucasus” the Westminster Foundation for Democracy supports the RA National Assembly and the Georgian Parliament in financial oversight, strengthening of budgetary processes and study of financial methods.