From Harford County government:
County Executive David R. Craig welcomed 10 public information officers from the Republic of Armenia during their recent visit to America. The 10 public affairs professionals represent mayors and governors of various provinces in Armenia.
The group is visiting the United States in an effort to learn how public information officers work in this country, and to get first hand exposure to of information management and crisis communication. Additionally the delegation from Armenia also learned how Freedom of Information requests are managed in the U. S. compared to their country where a “Law on Freedom of Information” was adopted by the Armenian government in November 2003.
The Armenian FOIA is not publicized nor actively used for the public’s advantage. The mere existence of the FOIA neither enables ordinary citizens to successfully practice their rights to seek information, nor does it effectively obligate public officials to provide inquirers the requested information in a timely manner.
“We were delighted to host a group of public information professionals from the Republic of Armenia,” County Executive David R. Craig stated. “The information we shared with them was well received and hopefully they will put it to good use when they return home,” Craig remarked.
The U. S. State Department arranged for the group to visit the United States. The World Trade Center Institute administers the Community Connection program for the State of Maryland on behalf of the U. S. Agency for International Development. The objective of the program is to contribute to economic and democratic reform, as well as promote mutual understanding by providing foreign professionals with a broad exposure to the United States and create personal and professional connections with Americans.
The Armenian delegation was accompanied during their visit by two interpreters. Following welcoming remarks and a brief statement from County Executive Craig, the group received a briefing from Robert B. Thomas, Jr., spokesperson for Harford County Government and the Office of the County Executive, Teri Kranefeld, Manager of Communications for Harford County Public Schools and Monica Worrell, Public Information Officer for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally the group received a briefing about the mission, objectives and services provided by the National Information Officers Association which is headquartered in Tennessee, and how they may implement best practices in their duties and responsibilities from the information they received during their visit to Harford County.