Issue not politicised by other oppositionist media
– Mr. Poghosyan, according to the statistics, the number of enforcement proceedings and the amount of levied funds has increased considerably. What’s the reason for this?
- During the ten months of the current year, the Service received around 39000 writs of execution with a claim to levy around AMD 22 billion. If we add to these also the cases of securing claims, we will have an unprecedented figure. For example, only in last September-October more than AMD3,5 billion were secured in claims. In my opinion this situation is connected with the decrease in solvency of individuals and organisations. To put it simply, of before the debtors accumulated debts maliciously, now they are simply insolvent or bankrupt.
- Did the high number of cases affect the execution quality?
- Good question. But the answer is "no". And I will tell you why. We initiated automation of the work of the Service back in 2008. Before that we had issues with delaying execution of cases, the officers were confused with the number of cases that needed to be dealt with, and we lacked a viable reporting system. This caused a reasonable flow of complaints. We were tasked with addressing the issue through introduction of information technologies in order to raise the efficiency of the performance of the Service. Internal circulation of documents and record keeping were automated within the framework of the project, which helped in saving time and resources. Every employee was provided with a personal computer, and the capacities of the servers of the Service were considerably increased. Moreover, an automated system of inquiries was also introduced. Through this system the compulsory enforcement officers got an opportunity to send inquiries to all trade banks, the State Depository, State Cadastre, State Register, Committee of State Revenues for imposing an attachment, levying in execution or lifting the attachment. Previously, a separated division was tasked with this function, and the mentioned instances were separately contacted for inquiries. Due to the introduction of the system, the timing and the spending of funds for implementing the works were cut down.
As a result, the number of terminated and completed proceedings doubled. The flow of enforcement proceedings in the first semester of 2009 equalled around 43000 cases as against 31000 in the previous semester. Thus, we have reached a situation where the number of cases pending from the period when we did not yet have an automated system does not make up even 10% of overall cases; moreover, the most part of this 10% are those that were terminated. That is to say, certain complaints of citizens were dealt with once and for all.
- Yet, there are still remaining complaints. For example, delay in execution of cases. Also, one of the latest problematic cases referred to double levying of sums in favour of road police.
- It would be naïve to exclude delays. Yet, these may be conditioned either by legislative gaps or failure of officers. As to the first point, we are in the process of preparing a package of legislative amendments; whilst with regard to the second point we continue the application of organisational and supervisory measures aimed at exclusion of such drawbacks. After all, one can see or be reluctant to see the positive shift, yet the tendencies that I specified are in place and irreversible.
I would also like to comment on the issue of double levying of fines in favour of road police. If the driver pays the fine and does not submit the receipt of payment to the police, the latter does not have a chance to record the fact of payment and applies to court, as a result of which JACES receives a relevant writ of execution. If a citizen cannot prove the fact of having paid the fine, i.e. present the receipt, the Service naturally enforces the court judgment and levies the execution. So I would advise our citizens to submit receipts of payment to the police.
- As to the case of "Chorrord Ishkhanutyun" newspaper: do you consider the actions of JACES of banning the publication and distribution of the print media as lawful?
- JACES carries out its function - executes court decisions. Now, you should take my word for it - it is not essential whether the given party is an LLC printing an oppositionist or pro-governmental newspaper, or a large factory, a state institution or an individual. JACES has enforced the claims of the printing house where “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun" newspaper is being printed against other organisations publishing opposition newspapers - related with debts. Examples of this are newspapers "Hayq” or "Hraparak". Yet none of the mentioned media politicised the issue, accepted the facts of their indebtedness during judicial proceedings, and everything was settled. I here leave the conclusions to you.
- When the compulsory auction became electronic, "Aravot" expressed its distrust about its viability. How did it justify itself since its inception?
- Completely. Since its introduction, some 120,000 items were auctioned electronically. All the lots were auctioned with minimal interference of a human factor. That is, with the help of information technologies we exclude corruption risks, and the process of auction is simple and transparent. I would like to see much wider introduction of such systems in state institutions.
Interview by Ruzan Minasyan