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Official News

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

PM to present Hero of Our Times award as part of 28th anniversary celebrations

The main events dedicated to the 28th anniversary of Armenia’s independence will be held in Gyumri this year. Eduard Aghajanyan, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said at a press conference at the Government Press Center, adding that the festivities dedicated to the Independence Day of September 21 will start in Gyumri Central Park at 11:00.

“Seven musical platforms will be erected in different parts of the city, particularly for those who love vinyl, electronic, rock, pop, classical and Armenian folk music. Hovhannes Shiraz House-Museum will host a public debate, referred to as “Vision of Equitable Community Development, involving political, public and cultural figures. Works by famous Gyumri-born artists and craftsmen will be displayed on Shahumyan Street. Regional pavilions will be set up on Rustaveli Street. Vardanants Square will be transformed into a kindergarten where events will be held for children of all ages,” Eduard Aghajanyan said.

Gyumri-based filmmaker Sona Simonyan’s “Great Expectations” documentary will be screened in October movie-house, and a photo exposition dedicated to Armenia’s independence will be up at Aslamazyan Sisters Art Gallery.

Famous bars and cafes from Yerevan will run their individual stands in Gyumri Central Park until 11:00 pm. A gala-concert with the participation of Armenian and foreign artists will kick off in Vardanants Square at 7 pm. The events in the city will end at 23:00 with festive fireworks.

On September 21, Independence Day-dated festivities will also be held in Yerevan and in the provinces.

At the same time, the Chief of the Prime Minister’s Staff noted that within the framework of the events dedicated to the 28th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia, the Prime Minister will hand the Hero of Our Times award for the first time. The prize will be awarded to one of our compatriots who has created his own business and linked his future with Armenia.

“For the first time, an award ceremony will be held this year, entitled The Hero of Our Times. The first edition will bring together the participants of the Hero of Our Times show, aired last year. During the event, officials and guests will hand out awards to the heroes, while the main prize will be presented on behalf of the Prime Minister,” Eduard Aghajanyan said, adding that such a large-scale event demonstrates that the State honors its citizens and their work.

At the bottom of the statue intended for the winner is the inscription “The Hero of Our Time” and at the top is the inscription “And that one is you,” where the winner will see himself. The event will be held in Gyumri’s Black Fortress.

The Hero of Our Times program is produced by the Information and Public Relations Center of the Prime Minister’s Office.

During the press conference, Eduard Aghajanyan touched upon the process and procedure of procurements associated with the Independence Day. In this connection, he stated, in part: “Taking into account the peculiarity and importance of the events dedicated to the Independence Day of September 21, 2019, the Government of the Republic of Armenia has decided to carry out the process of organizing the events dedicated to the Independence Day of Armenia through the procurement procedure of one person as stipulated by the Republic of Armenia Procurement Legislation Paragraph 2 of Article 23 (1) of the RA Law and Procurement approved by the RA Government Decree 526 N of May 4, 2017 23 Sub-paragraph 5 of the provisions set out in paragraph B of the Process class.

During the celebration of the 28th anniversary of Independence, the Prime Minister's staff faced many problems. If the event had been organized through a competitive procedure, we would have lost control of the event, meaning both the technical and the content of the event would not have been controlled. While the procedure allows you to clearly specify what technical requirements the customer wants, nevertheless, according to the RA Law on Procurement, the features of the subject matter of the purchase should not contain a requirement or reference to any trademark, trade name, or model, country of origin, specific source or manufacturer, unless it proves impossible to identify the item without them.

When it comes to references, the technical specifications must contain the words “or equivalent.” It appears to be obvious that in the event of a failure to indicate the details of technical means (sound, light, etc.) when procuring under a competitive procurement procedure, the winning bidder may provide poor services by using poor equipment or inadequate staffing in the field, which can lead to unpredictable consequences for the Client and, as a result, to failures during the event or part of it.

It is also noteworthy that if the Prime Minister’s Staff had conducted a competitive procedure on the occasion of the 28th Anniversary of Independence, there would not have been a large number of economic entities involved in the organization of the events, but one or more winning entities. Over the past few months, the Task Force conducted a series of negotiations resulting in the selection of approximately 75 large, small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, in this case, the organization of the process is considered de jure as a “one-person purchase,” but about 75 business entities are involved in organizing the event. In this case, the term “one person” may be given different interpretations.

Given the peculiarity and the importance of the events dedicated to the 28th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia and the obligation to organize it accurately and qualitatively, it was necessary to carry out certain selection of companies. At the same time, I consider it worth noting that in the past, independence-dedicated or similar festive events of sometimes smaller scale were earmarked as much or even larger amounts from the State budget.

I would like to add that no event with such format and content has been organized in Armenia so far. I would also like to inform you that we have studied the experience of neighboring Georgia, which has recently hosted concerts by many famous artists. In particular, within the framework of concerts of famous musicians and responsible events, the Georgian National Tourism Administration has applied to the government requesting that it be temporarily exempted from the procurement procedures. As a result, a competition is announced and a competition is held between some of the best companies selected by the organization, from which an organization with experience in the relevant field is already selected.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that if we had applied a competitive procedure in organizing these events, it would have been impossible to determine the content of the concerts.

Following operational discussions, it was decided to organize the final part of the September 21st Independence Day gala-concert with special foreign guests and local partners to build the best stage and other local partners in the field of staging and other technical issues. Organizing concerts at a high level implies a series of components, including services, installation of equipment and other issues that call for professional experience and high quality work. When organizing such an event, one must take into account the fact that the course of the event and the expected outcome should be predictable.
One important circumstance: competitive bidding implies that many organizations may submit the required qualification documents and, as a result, each of them can be recognized as a winner without sufficient de facto experience and technical equipment. As a result, there would be no guarantee that an event of great importance would be properly organized.

When holding a competitive bidding procedure, we can also face the problem of having a technical profile due to the lack of professional experience, which implies that the Client must have to invite a professional team to compile a technical profile that is already risky in terns of corruption. In such an event, any professional team that has developed the technical specifications can take part in the competition and become the winner.

Finally, it is obvious that competitive bidding would rule out foreign artists’ participation in the events of September 21, as any artist has his or her own specific technical requirements that the inviting party can obtain only after concluding the contract. The same applies to the supply of goods, services and work done throughout the event.”

Information regarding the events dedicated to the 28th Anniversary of Independence was also provided by Head of Information and Public Relations Center SNCO Hovhannes Movsisyan and Assistant to Chief of Prime Minister’s Staff Lucy Dayan.

May 2020