"Armgyughshinnakhagits" LLC has addressed a letter to David Dole, Country Director of Asian Development Bank, which is reply to the letter by Arshavir Khalapyan, President of “Regional Monitoring Institute” NGO, addressed to David Dole, Country Director of Asian Development Bank in regard with the event of "Armgyughshinnakhagits" LLC held in Kapan Town, Syunik Region, on 18 September. "Armgyughshinnakhagits" LLC Director V. Hovasapyan’s letter particularly says:
"Armenia Resident Mission
Asian Development Bank
Director Mr. David Dole
Dear Mr. Dole
This is to focus your attention on some inaccuracies of the letter addressed to you by Arshavir Khalapyan- Director of “Regional Monitoring Institute” NGO of Kapan that we would like to deny. We learned this information from the website of EcoLur NGO (September 29, 2015):
The letter concerns the event held in Kapan town on 18.10.2015 in the scope of public awareness campaign planned under Component B: Civil Work Implementation “Capacity Building and Public Awareness Campaign” of the “Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project-Additional Financing” curried out by the ”Armenian Water and Sewerage Company” CJSC and funded by ADB. In reality, the actual aim of the meeting was to provide the beneficiaries with information on the construction works and give the participating parties a chance to have Q&A session and hold a discussion.
Below, there is some clarification in regard to the organization and process of the event:
- On September 8 of current year, Mrs. Hasmik Aslanyan- PR specialist of Project Consultant HGSN LLC, contacted the deputy mayor of Kapan town Mr. Rudolf Sargsyan (the mayor was on holiday) Asking him organize an event choosing a day between September 14-18 or 23-25, for informing the beneficiaries on the works of construction phase of “Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project-Additional Financing”. By recommendation of Mr. Rudolf Sargsyan Kapan municipality was chosen as the venue and September 18, at 14:30 as the time of meeting. Mr. Sargsyan was reminded about the event on September 18 in the morning, afterwards Mrs. Hasmik Aslanyan had a meeting in municipality in person and made arrangements to organize the event. The deputy mayor informed that he would invite media representatives, NGO representatives and the householdshaving complaints about the project implementation.
- The municipality has probably informed some of the NGOs and media representatives on the same day, contrary to the fact that the deputy mayor had been acknowledged 10 days earlier. Obviously this has raised reasonable concerns of NGOs.
- On the above mentioned date the head of Projects and Public Relations Department of Kapan Municipality, Head of Kapan branch of AWS CJSC, Chief engineer, foreman and constructors of “Kapan CHSHSH” LLC Contractor Company, Coordinator of Kapan Aarhus center, Presidents of «Khustup» Environmental NGO and «Meghu» NGO, representatives of Kapan «Kentron» condominium, «Basalt-M» LLC, Khustup TV, «Syunyats Yerkir» regional newspaper, community inhabitants, Technical supervisor and PR specialist of HGSN LLC were among the participants of the meeting.
- As it has been mentioned in the letter, the attendants were provided with information leaflets and event participants' Registration Form with the following title «Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project Component B. Capacity building and public awareness campaign». At the beginning of the meeting a statement was made, that public awareness and discussion (question and answer) would be hold on the construction phase of the project. Some of the NGO representatives capitalizing on the phrase «public discussion», associated it with the term «public notice, discussions and hearings», and required to postpone the meeting reasoning that they hadn't been informed early enough and were not ready hold a discussion. They misinterpreted public awareness campaign discussions for public hearings and discussions, thus expecting its performance according to the law requirements.
- Despite of the claims of HGSN representative, that they were invited to the public awareness meeting, representatives of NGOs and coordinator of Kapan Aarhus center left the hall without taking the opportunity to bring up their questions and issues.
- This was a good opportunity for the participants to meet at the same time the designer, constructor, technical supervisor and operator. They had the chance to get details on the process of the works planned by the project, its quantities and quality, as well as discuss the works in construction phase and clarify the issues they are concerned about, since all the parties involved in the project were present-the Client, Consulting Company, Heads and the foreman of Construction Company.
- For the information of Kapan population, representatives of public sector, as well the local households, they can present their questions, observations and f concerns to the Client and Consulting Company any time. The organizational shortcomings of the meeting (due to both objective and subjective reasons), cannot be reasonable grounds to discredit the quality of the works planned by the project and effective use of financial resources.
- In addition to the above mentioned, we would like to state, that almost for a year since construction works have started in Kapan town, neither the Client, nor the Consulting Company have received any inquiries from Kapan beneficiaries. Obviously, we consider the allegations of Arshavir Khalapyan, the head of "Regional Monitoring Institute" NGOsaying that it is not possible to get complete and unbiased information regarding the process, volume and quality of the works planned by the project groundless.
- Not efficient use of financial resources does not relate to the issues raised in the letter of Mr. Khalapyan. Financial resources have been spent and are being spent based on the figures stated in the financial and economic justification section. Other opinions on the effective use of financial resources should be justified by financial and economic calculations.
Director of HGSN LLC"
17:18 October 20, 2015