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Official News

Thursday, 18 January 2018

“Each unit must clearly formulate its tasks” - Karen Karapetyan visits Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs









Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan called at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.

Minister Artem Asatryan reported that the Ministry’s activities were implemented in three main directions in the reporting year, the first of which was the increase of cost-effectiveness of budget programs. In 2017, the welfare system was allocated 408.9 billion drams (30.1 percent of total State budget expenditure), with 365 billion drams earmarked for the actual funding of 91 expenditure programs. Spending efficiency rose to nearly 8.5 billion drams, of which 1.7 billion was spent to support specific welfare projects, conditioned by objective necessity, and about 6.8 billion drams – to finance expenditure programs mediating the Reserve Fund.

According to the Minister, the second direction was the better targeting of social programs. The practice shows that the programs aimed at assisting the vulnerable groups of the population, curbing extreme poverty and poverty need continuous improvement both in terms of monitoring, evaluation and standards.

The third direction was to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of social services. Minister Asatryan advised that several online services were introduced and digitalization was carried out. Chief of Ministry Staff Artak Grigoryan reported that the procedure for handicapped carriages and hearing aids radically changed in 2017. Now a person can obtain a wheelchair or hearing aids in accordance with his / her individual needs and specifications through State certificates. A bonus system has been introduced to prompt beneficiaries to make an efficient use of different items that will result in 25% annual savings.

First Deputy Minister Araik Petrosyan gave details of the introduction of integrated social services and the process of developing an operational basis for the management of individual social cases. The family vulnerability assessment system has been revised. The draft law on social works is under discussion, which should define the legal basis for the institution of social work.

Prime Minister Karapetyan noted that any project should imply a clearly defined task and, in this respect, the institutionalization of the social work system should lead to qualitative changes and concrete results, otherwise it can become an end in itself.

Head of State Social Security Service Hovhannes Sahakyan reported that the measures taken in the sphere of pension security in the reporting year were aimed at expanding the range of online services. On January 1, 2017, a system of online applications for 1st and 2nd child birth allowance application has been introduced since January, which allows the parents to apply online and receive the amount of the allowance without leaving home. The online application system for 3rd and next childbirth allowance and 2-year-old child care allowance will be introduced from this January.

An information subsystem is being commissioned for making electronic photocopies of service records and workbooks and their incorporation into the State Pension System’s database. According to the Head of State Social Security Service, 4 or 5 out of a total of 17 services will be provided online by this yearend.

Highlighting the need for expanding the range of social services offered by the State, Prime Minister Karapetyan instructed to work more actively in this direction and consider the possibility of going beyond the planned 4-5 services during this year.
Underway is the process of reorganizing orphanages and boarding schools into children’s day care centers, where services are provided for children with disabilities.. The care of about 620 children without parental care has been organized in 6 orphanages of the system. Under the Family Reunification Program, 40 children were returned to their biological families in Lori and Shirak Marzes, with 60 others prevented from being sent to similar institutions.

Prime Minister Karapetyan prioritized the provision of appropriate conditions for children from vulnerable groups and instructed to keep the aforementioned program in the spotlight.

As part of the introduction of the Unified Monitoring and Evaluation system, 41 programs (State Employment Regulation Program 2016, Disability Issues, Retirement Benefit, Social Assistance, etc.) were monitored and evaluated in 2017.

Information was provided on the results of the ongoing employment programs and the activities of regional employment centers. Karen Karapetyan stressed the need for examining the effectiveness and targeting of the programs aimed at ensuring employment for the population based on relevant analyses.

Summing up the discussion, the Head of Government instructed those responsible to clearly define the targets. “There is a very simple rule in business and management: if you can not figure out what you want to achieve, then you have no chance to do it. Each unit must clearly formulate its tasks. You must set the bar as higher as possible.”
 

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