In 2014, a 32.2 million AMD (US$62,000) contract to pave a road in the Gegharkounik community of Yeranos went to a company 95% owned by the brother Artoush Ghukasyan, a well connected member of the ruling Republican Party with long years of service in the Gegharkounik Provincial Government.
Artoush Ghukasyan served as the Deputy Provincial Governor of Gegharkunik from 2003 – 2012.
The road construction contract went to Shant Seryan Ltd., a company owned by Artoush Ghukasyan’s brother Armen. The selection process, by law, is basically a behind the doors affair of wheeling and dealing; no prior public announcements are made.
The $62,000 contract was funded from the 771.3 million AMD ($1.6 million) Gegharkounik received from the national budget in 2014 earmarked to fix the province’s most pressing issues.
Shant Seryan Ltd. has been singled out by Armenia’s Oversight Chamber (akin to the U.S. General Services Administration) for shoddy work and cost overruns.
Despite these questionable practices, the company continues to participate in government procurement processes and to receive non-tender national budgetary funding.
In 2013, the company “won” a 30.2 million AMD contract to pave Broshyan Street in Martouni.
2012 was a particularly windfall year for the Ghukasyan family. Shant Seryan Ltd. signed 7 work contracts with the Gegharkounik Provincial Government that year totaling some 417 million AMD.
A company 70% owned by relatives of Vardenis Mayor Volodya Kloyan has also profited from the largess of the Gegharkounik Provincial Government.
In 2014, Ara Ltd. won a 14 million AMD contract to repair the roof of the high school in Ayrk.
Photo (from left): Artoush Ghukasyan, Volodya Kloyan