Armenian Government Chooses U.S. Firm to Probe Electricity Networks

The Armenian government hired Deloitte & Touche after massive public outcry over the raising of electricity prices, thought to be the result of corruption and mismanagement (Source: Photolure)
Armenians demonstrate on Yerevan's Marshal Bagramian Avenue against a controversial electricity price hike (Source: Photolure)

Armenians demonstrate on Yerevan’s Marshal Bagramian Avenue against a controversial electricity price hike (Source: Photolure)

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Armenian government has selected Deloitte & Touche to determine whether a decision by Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to allow Armenia’s national power distribution company to raise electricity price was economically justified or resulted from alleged corruption and mismanagement.

Deputy Prime Minister Vache Gabrielyan said that the government had sent requests to top international consulting companies to take part in a tender that would select one of them to conduct a probe of the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA). Two firms—McKinsey and Deloitte & Touche—responded to the request. Deloitte & Touche was chosen because they reportedly offered a lower commission price for their service.

“Deloitte and Touche is an internationally renowned company, and I think that after their conclusions we will have sufficient grounds to move forward,” Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian said at a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

The decision to conduct an audit of the company was reached on June 26 during President Serzh Sarkissian’s meeting in Yerevan with Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov, the Russian co-chairman of the joint Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.  The following day, Sarkissian said the government will keep electricity prices unchanged for consumers by subsidizing their increased cost at least until the release of findings of a future audit.

Earlier, Sarkissian said that an audit would find out whether the price hike approved by state regulators was economically justified or resulted from alleged corruption and mismanagement in the ENA.

The government has yet to select a foreign consulting firm that will conduct the audit. Abrahamyan said on Thursday that it is still negotiating with “the Russian side” on the matter.

The PSRC’s decision on June 17 to increase the electricity price for consumers by 6.93 drams (16.7%) sparked a vigorous public backlash and street protests against the increase.


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One Comment;

  1. Mkhitar Yepremyan said:

    I just feel amazed! Serz Sarkissian is playing dump here! Oh, the poor guy is in search of the truth! Give me a break Serz, you want some outsider tell us that you and your corrupt bodies in our government are angels and you have had no hand in the TALAN of our government?
    Serzh plays no see, no hear and do not know game. And also who is paying the bill for this investigation? Yes you guessed it right my friends the angel Serzik and he is going to tell them to tell the world that his hands are clean.
    And we stupid naive Armenians are going to trust our Tananchi Serzik! God help us.