Business partner of the Chairperson of Sagarejo City Assembly received GEL 1.4 million through public procurement of Sagarejo Municipality
Transparency International Georgia continues to monitor the state procurement process. Due to the presence of possible signs of corruption, this time our attention has been focused on simplified procurement of Sagarejo Municipality, where Otar Buzariashvili, the business partner of the Chairman of Sagarejo City Assembly Otar Chalatashvili, wins tenders and simplified procurement contracts.
Otar Chalatashvili was elected as a Chairman of Sagarejo City Assembly after the 2017 local self-government elections. In June 2018, Otar Buzariashvili, the director of Chalatashvil’s company - Chalius LLC (ID: 404988019), founded New Company 2018 LLC (ID: 438115479). In 2019, the company received 23 simplified public procurement contracts in the municipality of Sagarejo, totaling GEL 1,336,748.77. Moreover, in September 2019, it won a public tender (NAT190017588) valued at GEL 67,248.36 without competition.
There is a well-founded assumption that activation of Otar Buzariashvili is directly linked to Otar Chalatashvili's appointment:
Otar Buzariashvili's business activities became connected with public procurement after Otar Chalatashvili was elected - Buzariashvili's company, New Company 2018 LLC (ID: 438115479) has no other activity except Sagarejo municipality public procurement. It has not participated in any public tenders and simplified procurements in other municipalities.
Otar Chalatashvili's business partner received GEL 1,403,997.13 from Sagarejo municipality in 2019, while Otar Buzariashvili and his companies have not participated in public procurement in other years.
In 2019, Sagarejo City Hall spent 3,470,955.62 GEL on simplified procurement, while the total value of simplified procurements related to construction works amounted to GEL 2,638,959.8, 50.65% of which was received by Buzariashvili's company.
8 out of 23 simplified procurement contracts received by New Company 2018 LLC was valued at more than GEL 50,000 and 5 of them – at more than GEL 100,000. Furthermore, it is noticeable that Otar Buzariashvili's company received several simplified procurement contracts on the same day, with very little time intervals.
In addition, Buzariashvili's company won the tender of the Sagarejo Municipality (NAT190017588) on September 30, 2019, which was valued at more than GEL 67,000. The goal of this procurement was to buy outdoor lighting works in Sagarejo and its villages.
It is likely that Otar Buzariashvili's company will win the tender announced by Sagarejo Municipality on November 15, 2019 - NAT190021717, which will have to do outdoor lighting works on Satave Street in Sagarejo. New Company 2018 LLC has only one competitor in this tender and on December 5, 2019, it was disqualified.
Asset declarations incorrectly completed by Otar Chalatashvili
Apart from the aforementioned, a violation was detected in the asset declarations of Otar Chalatashvili. Namely, in the declarations filed in 2018 and 2019, as part of his business activities, he has listed three companies: Chalius LLC (ID: 404988019), CFJ & Partners LLC (ID: 205284002) and Nazvrevi LLC (ID: 405034074). Regardless of the requirements of the law, he did not transfer his shares in these companies to another person. We call on the Civil Service Bureau to study this issue.
Transparency International Georgia calls on the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service and the Prosecutor General's Office to investigate the activities of New Company 2018 LLC to detect possible corrupt transactions in Sagarejo municipality’s public procurement.