YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The first 12 citizens of Armenia received personal number cards on June 17. In a solemn ceremony in the town of Abovian–Prime Minister Andranik Margarian issued the cards to their owners. The premier said that the government attaches high importance to the introduction of the personal number system–which will serve as a basis for the establishment of a database for solving problems not only in the sphere of social security–but also in the tax–healthcare spheres and for the country’s economic security. Margarian also emphasized that the system will become an important base for the implementation of political reforms in the future.
Social Security Minister Razmik Martirossian said that the measure is the result of an experimental program on the establishment of the personal cards system. The program was launched in March of this year in the town of Abovian and its suburbs at the expense of USAID and World Bank. Starting next year–the numbers will be issued to residents of other regions of Armenia.
A personal number is a ten-sign figure including day–month and year of birth–sex–regular and control numbers. The goal of the introduction of the system is to improve the process of exchange of information among different information systems collecting personal data–and the creation of a single system of information about citizens in the social security sphere. All citizens of Armenia and foreign citizens having residence permit as well as Armenian citizens based abroad have the right to be issued personal numbers.
USAID social programs director Marshal Fisher pointed out that the system will make it possible to input data about citizens into computers. It will essentially reduce the red tape connected with welfare benefits. The allocation of personal numbers throughout Armenia will take 18-24 months and at least $3 million.
The "Nemrut" state-run CJSC operating at the Armenian Ministry of Social Security is now creating the system of data on the basis of personal numbers.