All of the 660 million AMD (US$1.4 million) the Armenian government earmarked to solve the most pressing problems in the province of Shirak went to contractors on a negotiated basis; that’s to say, without any tender bids.
As a result, government procurement contracts went to companies owned by members of the ruling Republican Party or to those owed by close associates.
296.4 million was targeted to renovate schools and 363.6 million to fix the roads in the country’s northern province.
Oustian Ltd., a company owned by husband and wife Anoushavan Simonyan and Elmira Karapetyan, received a 20 million contract to renovate the schools in the communities of Basen and Karnout.
Anoushavan Simonyan is president of the Republican Party’s Akhouryan regional office and his wife was the principal of the Akhouryan elementary school.
The company also received a 7.4 million contract to renovate the municipal building in Azatan.
Shinkarkas Ltd., owned by Dshkhouhie and Avetik Haroutyunyan, received a 620,000 AMD contact in 2014 to renovate the roof of the school in Haykavan. Avetik Haroutyunyan is also the director of HATM Ltd (formerly the Armenian-American House Construction Unit) and is on friendly terms with the government.
Levon and Lilit Ltd., founded by Derenik Hovhannisyan (a former member of the Artik Municipal Council and director of the Artik branch of Northern University), won a 9.3 million contract to repair the roof of the cultural center in Vardakar.
The company is 100% owned by Derenik’s son Levon.
Akhouryan Koopshin Ltd. is the most active company in Shirak when it comes to receiving government procurements.
In 2014, it received a 120 million contract to repair Shirakatsi Street in Gyumri.
In 2012, the company won a 179 million contract to repair a few other streets in Gyumri.
Hetq first wrote about the questionable government procurement process in Shirak in 2007. It appears that not much has changed since. The same ‘connected’ companies keep feeding from the public trough.