Hovhannes Hovsepyan heads the Presidential Oversight Service (POS) in Armenia, a watchdog agency answerable directly to the chief executive and tasked with routing out all manner of official misconduct, abuse of power and financial corruption.
Hovsepyan, like all state officials in Armenia, is required by law to file a financial disclosure. Lusineh Mkrtchyan, who heads the press desk at the POS, told Hetq that Hovsepyan has been filing the disclosures since 2002 and that he reported US$1.5 million in revenue the first year.
In 2013, Hovsepyan declared 131.2 million AMD (US$317, 252) and US$400,000 in revenue. His salary was 3.4 million AMD (US$8,225).
When we asked Mkrtchyan about the wide discrepancy between Hovsepyan’s salary and total revenue, the press official said that the difference was due to family business operations.
$100,000 of the $400,000 was in the form of interest from loans Hovsepyan had provided. The remaining $300,000 was declared as gifts and contributions.
Such a discrepancy between annual revenue and salary isn’t anything new.
In 2011, Hovsepyan declared 29.6 million AMD and $US$1.7 million in revenue. In 2012, his revenue was 137 million AMD and US$350,000.
Hovsepyan’s cash holdings for 2013 amounted to 185 million AMD (US$448,000) and US$2.735 million.
Last year, Hovsepyan purchased a Mercedes-Benz 500S for around $44,000.