GEO

Transparency of the legislature has improved but parliamentary oversight remains insufficient

13 July, 2015

 

Today at the state legislature in Tbilisi, Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) presented the assessment of the work of the Georgian Parliament in 2014.

TI Georgia’s 2014 report on the performance of the Parliament is based on information researched, observations made and statistical data obtained from the Parliament by our team. The report analyses the activities of the Georgian state legislature in 2014 such as important events, legislative amendments, work of the committees, activities of individual parliamentarians and findings of public opinion polls on work of the legislature.

Important events included in the report:

  • Ratification of the Association Agreement with the EU;

  • Changes in the parliamentary majority and minority;

  • President’s address to the Parliament;

  • Temporary Parliamentary Investigatory Commission Studying the Activity of the Georgian National Communication Commission;

  • Sakdrisi-Kachaghiani gold mine;

  • Reform of the Public Broadcaster;

  • Postponing entry into force of Laws.

Important legislative amendments:

  • Regulation of secret surveillance;

  • Law on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, so-called anti-discrimination law;

  • Local Self-Government Code;

  • The Law on Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless person;

  • Law on commercial banks.

TI Georgia has formulated recommendations in the report based on the research findings. These recommendations predominantly address the improvement of the legislative process, strengthening functions of parliamentary oversight and boosting civic engagement in parliamentary activities, as well as raising accountability of MPs.

Following the presentation, MPs and parliamentary staff with exemplary performance in 2014 will be named:

  • David Usupashvili – member of the Parliament whose activity was assessed most positively in 2014 (based on the public opinion polls);

  • Vakhtang Khmaladze – author of most laws in 2014 (16 laws);

  • Davit Onoprishvili – author of most laws in 2014 (16 laws);

  • Sergo Ratiani – highest number of speeches during plenary sessions in 2014 from the parliamentary minority (165 speeches);

  • Zakaria Kutsnashvili – highest number of speeches during plenary sessions in 2014 from the parliamentary majority (122 speeches);

  • Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee – discussed the most number of draft laws in 2014 (144 draft laws);

  • Nino Goguadze – most impressionable speech in 2014 (on the anti-discriminatory law);

  • Eter Svianadze (Head of the Organization Department of the Parliament) – for contribution to the improvement of parliamentary openness and transparency in 2014.

TI Georgia’s recommendations on several important issues:

  1. Strengthen the parliamentary oversight function and create a more effective elections system – Make MP inquiries to government ministers public, strengthen parliamentary oversight over government activities, selecting and appointing candidates to government bodies within legal deadlines;

  2. Improve the legislative process – Postponing the enforcement of laws must not become routine, expedited discussion of laws must be substantiated, draft law explanatory notes must be argumentative and improved, committees should set up working groups composed of experts and civil society members;

  3. Accountability and responsible performance of MPs – MPs attendance at plenary sittings,  proper use of official parliamentary emails, correctly filling out asset declarations;

  4. Increase transparency of parliamentary activities – The Parliament’s website must be regularly updated with annual reports and action plans of all committees, all conclusions made by committees must be made available on the Parliament’s website, the website must include a thematic archive of video recordings of committee and plenary sessions;

  5. Greater public participation – Committee meeting discussions must be limited to the list of issues predefined by the agenda, the Parliament’s website must include legislative proposals in addition to legislative initiatives, entry to the Parliament buildings should be simplified for ordinary citizens;

Activities of Majoritarian MPs – Contact information of all majoritarian MPs must be made available; information about the statements made, public meetings held, and surveys conducted by majoritarian MPs must be made available on their individual websites.

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