The government concealed 531 decrees in 2023 - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

The government concealed 531 decrees in 2023

24 January, 2024

In 2023, the Government of Georgia considered at least 531 draft decrees at 48 meetings. None of these decrees have been made public. In addition, the government did not publish the agenda for 4 out of 48 meetings. It has been impossible to obtain these documents through public information requests.

For more than three years now, the Government no longer considers itself accountable to the public and makes decisions behind closed doors. With this approach, the Government not only loses public trust but also raises doubts that the goal is to conceal problematic decisions.

23% of government decrees issued in 2023 – 122 out of 531 – dealt with the transfer of state property to specific entities or the revision of terms agreed upon with the state, which contains clear corruption risks. These risks are strengthened considering cases of alleged unlawful transfer of state property identified by investigative journalists in the past.

In addition to giving a bad example to other public institutions, by failing to publish its decrees the Government violates several laws as well:

  1. The right of access to public information guaranteed by Article 18 of the Constitution of Georgia.
  2. The articles of the General Administrative Code on the availability of public information;  The principle of publicity in Article 10 of the General Administrative Code, the rules established for issuing public information defined by the third chapter of the same Code.
  3. The Rules of Procedure of the Government with regard to uploading decrees to the website within 3 days at most.
  4. The Government’s ordinance on proactive publication of information.

We call upon the Government Administration to abandon the harmful practice of concealing the decrees, fulfill the requirements of the law and publish all documents both on its official website and on that of the Legislative Herald, as well as to resume giving out public information upon request.