Georgia Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (G-ALAC)
The Anti-corruption and Legal Advice Center (ALAC) is designed to assist citizens in resolving corruption related problems. It aims to:
- inform citizens about the available methods to combat the problem of corruption;
- ensure the effective communication between citizens and state institutions responsible for dealing with those problems;
- ascertain the sectors in which instances of corruption are most common; and
- highlight and resolve the legislative and systemic weaknesses that foster corruption.
A free hotline allows people to inform the ALAC about cases of corruption. Based on information generated and analyzed through TI ALAC database, it reveals:
- the sectors, state institutions and regions in which corruption related complaints are the most common; and
- The state institutions which respond to citizens’ complaints most rapidly and those that did so most belatedly (or not at all).
ALAC will publicize this data periodically as part of its advocacy. Advocacy will be carried out to raise awareness about the sectors and institutions which are the subject of most complaints and in highlighting attention to specific institutional and legal vulnerabilities. Good practice on the part of institutions will also be publicly recognized.
As part of its work, ALAC will prepare legislative recommendations for the government and civil society. The basic strategy will be to use information from individual cases to identify problems at the system level. In cases where the government, or at least some parts of the government, is open to reform and genuinely interested in improving the situation, advocacy will take place directly through meetings and conversations. Where there is less openness the advocacy will be more public. If the cases will not be adequately resolved and/or the investigation will not be undertaken properly, ALAC may link clients with investigative journalists who are able to raise cases in the public eye in a way that would not be appropriate for TI.
One strength of the ALAC’s advocacy approach is that the issues will not be based only on the opinion of ‘experts’ (let alone foreign experts) or of studies, the methodology of which can be challenged in order to divert attention from the findings. Rather, it will be a simple way of saying that these are the areas and issues about which citizens themselves are concerned.
Within a month from ALAC's inauguration, it received almost 100 calls and visitors and opened 22 cases. 31% of hotline users were invited for preliminary consultation with ALAC legal staff. So far the majority of corruption related complaints concern corruption in the judicial sector and property rights violations.