The Armenian government asked the parliament on Thursday to classify information about personal and travel expenses of Armenia’s president, prime minister and parliament speaker covered from the state budget.
Such data has until now been accessible to mass media along with many other facts relating to the work of various state institutions. A government-drafted amendment to an Armenian law on public procurements would declare it state secrets not subject to publication.
Finance Minister Vartan Aramian cited security considerations when he presented the amendment to the National Assembly.
“We believe that those expenditures required for ensuring the normal work of these three top posts must be regarded as procurements containing state secrets,” Aramian told lawmakers. He said the government looked into international experience before proposing the measure.
With the ruling Republican Party of Armenia enjoying a comfortable majority in the parliament, the government should succeed in pushing through the amendment.
Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) already advocated such a measure two years ago. Opposition deputies criticized it at the time, saying that the authorities want to eliminate a safeguard against corruption.