10 companies that received the most money in 2020 from simplified public procurement
Transparency International Georgia studied 10 Georgian private companies that received the most money from simplified (direct) public procurement in 2020. Last year, all 10 companies received contracts worth a total of GEL 165 million.
Out of 10 companies, 6 are donors of the Georgian Dream and its supported presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili. The owners and/or directors of these companies donated a total of GEL 668,000 to the ruling party and Salome Zurabishvili in 2016-2020. In addition, two companies (In-Si LLC and Anagi LLC) are involved in Bidzina Ivanishvili's Co-Investment Fund projects. These 6 companies received a total of GEL 54 million through direct public procurement contracts in 2020, and GEL 149 million in 2013-2020.
In general, obtaining a high-value contract through direct public procurement is permitted by law and, in some cases, is an urgent need. Donating money to the ruling party is also legitimate. However, when government institutions give direct public procurement contracts to the donors of the ruling party, it raises logical doubts about possible corruption and inefficient spending. The State Procurement Agency, the State Audit Office, and the investigative agencies should be interested in such cases.
Detailed information on the mentioned 6 companies whose owners and directors are the donors of the Georgian Dream and/or Salome Zurabishvili is provided below.
In-Si LLC - GEL 15.7 million
In-Si LLC received 4 contracts worth up to GEL 15.7 million in 2020 through simplified public procurement. Tbilisi Development Fund gave all four contracts to this company for various infrastructural works.
Prior to 2020, In-Si has received GEL 105 million through simplified public procurement contracts, of which GEL 85 million came from the Tbilisi Development Fund. The company started getting public contracts in November 2015.
Moreover, In-Si has won public tenders of GEL 46 million from 2011 to 2020. The company won the largest tender – valued at GEL 34 million - in May 2020. The procurer was still the Tbilisi Development Fund.
Nikoloz Chikovani is the 100% owner of In-Si, and the director is Zviad Toidze, who donated GEL 50,000 to the Georgian Dream in October 2016.
In-Si is the implementer of Tabori-Resorts - one of the projects of Panorama Tbilisi. Panorama Tbilisi in turn is a project of Bidzina Ivanishvili's Co-Investment Fund.
G-T Group LLC – GEL 12 million
G-T Group LLC received 104 contracts worth up to GEL 12 million in 2020 through simplified public procurement.
The largest contract – valued at 3 million euros - was signed with Tbilisi Transport Company in March 2020 for the repair and maintenance of buses. A prerequisite for simplified procurement in 2019 was the delivery of 220 buses worth GEL 65 million to the Tbilisi City Hall. In general, the Law on Public Procurement allows for exceptions, in order to guarantee the quality of goods and services, to use direct procurement, and receive services from the company from which you purchased the main goods (in this case buses).
Prior to 2020, the direct public procurement contracts worth up to GEL 3.5 million have been signed with the company. Moreover, G-T Group has received more than GEL 100 million through public tenders.
The owners of G-T Group are Giorgi Gvelesiani, Giorgi Tavdishvili, and Temur Ustiashvili, who is also the director of the company. Ustiashvili donated GEL 60,000 to the Georgian Dream in September 2016. Giorgi Gvelesiani donated a total of GEL 120,000 to the Georgian Dream and Salome Zurabishvili in 2016 and 2018, correspondingly. Until June 2020, Levan Gogsadze was the director-general of the company, who donated GEL 38,000 to the Georgian Dream in 2016.
Alpha LLC – GEL 9 million
In 2020, Alpha LLC received 3 large contracts worth up to GEL 9 million through simplified public procurement. The $ 2,808,400 contract signed with the Rural and Agricultural Development Agency was noteworthy. According to this contract, the company should have provided 5,000 tonnes of sugar and 400 tonnes of noodles from the Russian Federation and Belarus.
Prior to 2020, the direct public procurement contracts worth GEL 15,000 have been signed with Alpha, and it has received up to GEL 2 million from public tenders. The company has been receiving government contracts since 2015.
Alpha LLC donated GEL 120,000 to the Georgian Dream in July 2016. Koba Kurdghelashvili is the owner of 100% of the company, and the director is Guram Brodzeli. Koba Kurdghelashvili was a majoritarian MP of Kaspi from the United National Movement at the parliament convened in 2008-2012.
New Road LLC – GEL 6.8 million
New Road LLC received one contract worth GEL 6.8 million in 2020 through simplified public procurement. This contract was signed with the Roads Department of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure for the disaster relief work in Oni Municipality.
Prior to 2020, New Road has not signed any simplified public procurement contract but received up to GEL 190 million through public tenders. The company has been winning tenders since 2011.
Davit Zhgenti is 100% owner and the director-general of New Road. He donated GEL 30,000 to the Georgian Dream in 2017.
Universal Spirits LLC – GEL 5.7 million
Universal Spirits LLC received 19 contracts worth GEL 5.7 million in 2020 through simplified public procurement. 18 of these contracts were signed with the state-owned company Akura.
Prior to 2020, Universal Spirits has received contracts with a total value of up to GEL 6 million through simplified public procurement. In previous years, contracts were mainly signed also with Akura. Universal Spirits has been getting simplified public contracts since 2015. It has not participated in public tenders.
The 100% owner of Universal Spirits is Georgian Spirits Distillers’ Association LLC, and the director is Vladimer Potolashvili. Irakli Bekauri is the director of Georgian Spirits Distillers’ Association LLC. Bekauri donated GEL 30,000 to Salome Zurabishvili in 2018, and a total of GEL 60,000 to the Georgian Dream in June 2019 and March 2020. The owners of Georgian Spirits Distillers’ Association are Vakhtang Karichashvili (80% share) and Giorgi Ghambashidze (20% share). According to Studio Monitor, Vakhtang Karichashvili is a business partner of Bidzina Ivanishvili's cousin, Ucha Mamatsashvili.
Vakhtang Karichashvili and Giorgi Ghambashidze also own K & Georgian Spirits LLC., whose director is Irakli Bekauri. The company received 2 contracts worth GEL 65,000 from the Ministry of Defense in 2020. The first contract was awarded on March 16. Irakli Bekauri donated GEL 20,000 to the Georgian Dream three days earlier, on March 13.
Mziuri LLC – GEL 4.5 million
Mziuri LLC received 8 contracts worth GEL 4.5 million in 2020 through simplified public procurement. The $ 1,424,400 contract signed with the Rural and Agricultural Development Agency was worth mentioning. According to this contract, the company should have provided 1.5 million liters of sunflower oil from the Russian Federation.
Prior to 2020, Mziuri LLC has not had much experience in public procurement. It has not participated in any public tenders and has received 8 low-value contracts (up to a total of GEL 55,000) in 2012-2019 through simplified public procurement.
Akaki Akhvlediani is the 100% owner of Mziuri. The director of the company is Shota Basilashvili, who donated GEL 50,000 to the Georgian Dream in 2017, and GEL 30,000 - to Salome Zurabishvili in 2010, correspondingly. Dimitri Ramishvili, a member of Mziuri's supervisory board, donated the same amount of money to the Georgian Dream and Salome Zurabishvili. These individuals contributed a total of GEL 160,000 in favor of the ruling party.