In just six months, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti municipalities issued bonuses worth more than half a million GEL

05 September, 2013

<p dir="ltr">Transparency International Georgia releases a third report on the <a href=" issued in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti municipalities. This time the study covers amounts issued from 1 April to 1 July 2013. The statistics show that despite several appeals from NGOs, the situation basically remains the same. From 1 April to 1 July 2013, 610,409 GEL were issued. In total, bonuses worth 1,385,737 GEL were issued over a 6 month period to the civil servants employed by the municipal authorities of the region.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Information obtained shows that the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti municipalities issue bonuses pursuant to Articles 37, 74 and 75 of the Law on "Civil Service". Article 74 of this law stipulates that issuing a single monetary award to a civil servant is possible if the servant has shown exemplary performance while discharging official duties. It is also possible to issue the aforementioned award for long-term and bona fide service, and for fulfilling an assignment of special complexity or significance<sup>1</sup>.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Despite the instructions of the cited article, the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti municipalities have not provided concrete explanations on the grounds for deciding to award certain civil servants with a bonus. Bonuses are usually issued during the holidays (New Year, Easter, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, etc.).</p>
<p dir="ltr"><a href=" the first three months of 2013</a>, bonuses were issued to the employees of the regional administration in the second quarter as well, as they received an additional half of their standard salaries. In total, employees of the regional administration received bonuses worth 21,920 GEL.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Remarkably, bonuses have still not been issued in the Chkhorotsku Municipality, Tsalenjikha Sakrebulo and the Poti City Hall, while only one employee was awarded a bonus in the Tsalenjikha Gamgeoba.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Bonuses issued in the first and second quarter can be found in the chart below:</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><img title="" src=" alt="" height="108" width="580"></p>
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<p dir="ltr">Further, Transparency International Georgia has inquired with the self-government units in writing, about whether they have established the procedure for issuing bonuses. Only five municipalities (Zugdidi, Senaki, Chkhorotsku, Khobi and Poti) have responded, and none of them positively.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Although the legislation does not prescribe the procedure for issuing bonuses, a decision on issuing a bonus, as an individual administrative-legal act, should be accompanied with respective justification indicating all circumstances having substantial importance for issuing an administrative-legal act<sup>2</sup>.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Within the exclusive powers determined by the Law on Local Self-Government, local municipal governments are authorized to establish the procedures, conditions and amounts of bonus payments, as this will fix the problem and enhance transparency. Sakrebulo (city halls) should issue the respective resolutions in order to considerably fix the existing faulty practice, and uphold the transparency of spending the municipalities' financial resources.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Representatives of local self-government authorities often <a href="">state</a> that the issuing of bonuses is triggered by low salaries, and by the attraction of qualified cadres to the civil service. We believe that these circumstances should not serve as grounds for issuing bonuses unjustifiably.</p>
<p dir="ltr">Transparency International Georgia offers to local authorities concrete recommendations for regulating the system of awarding bonuses to civil servants:</p>
<li>Criteria for assessing the work performed by civil servants should be set, so that the bonus issued to a servant is commensurate to the quality of work performed by him/her;</li>
<li>Only those employees who cope with their duties exceptionally well should be encouraged. Decisions on awarding bonuses should be made on an individual basis, in regards to each servant.</li>
<li>To ensure transparency in the process of awarding bonuses, in case of reasonable public interest, public institutions should publicize the decisions on awarding bonuses to civil servants.</li>
<li>Submitted reports on the activities of public institutions should provide more details on the grounds and methodology of awarding bonuses to employees. Usually, in the reports provided by public institutions, only the sum of the bonuses is issued.</li>
<p dir="ltr">We believe it would be effective to set up a working group which includes representatives from all &nbsp;of the municipalities of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, and the NGOs. Transparency International Georgia expresses readiness to cooperate with the local self-governments, and to develop the procedure for issuing bonuses in view of the best international practices.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><span><sup>1</sup>The Law provides for the following forms of incentives as well: a note of appreciation; awarding with a valuable gift; upgrading a remuneration category. Several forms of incentives can be applied simultaneously.</span><br><span><sup>2</sup>The General Administrative Code of Georgia, Article 53, Paragraphs 1, 2, 4.</span></p>

Author: TI Georgia