Armenian Minister of Justice Davit Harutyunyan believes that distributing several thousand dollars’ worth of salami and vodka, donated by anonymous donors, to ministry employees poses no corruption risk.
In February, Hetq revealed that that AMD 2.267 million ($4,700) in gift packages had been given to justice ministry employees and that the ministry balked at revealing who donated the salami, ham and vodka.
“Where’s the corruption risk in giving gifts to my own staff?” Harutyunyan has since replied.
When asked if the ministry was in the practice of accepting gifts from donors and then passing them on to employees, the minister replied, “We’re talking about a miniscule gift.”
Harutyunyan also refused to name the person who donated the salami and vodks..
While the ministry, in its response, went out of its way to assure Hetq that no taxpayer money was used to acquire these holiday parcels, it overlooks the fact that public servants are not allowed to receive any gifts. It’s a violation of Article 29 of the Law on Civil Service.