GEO

Member of communications regulator has not declared company ownership

09 March, 2016

 

Member of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) Kakhi Bekauri has not listed all the companies he owns in his asset declaration.

Bekauri was elected as a commissioner in January 2014. He submitted asset declaration twice, in 2014 and 2015. In both documents Bekauri has stated that he is the partner of LLC Ori Nabiji. According to the National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR) he owns 33.3% of the company.  Bekauri indicated that his income from Ori Nabiji, a supermarket chain which owns 41 stores in Tbilisi, is zero.

According to the Public Registry Bekauri is also a shareholder of three other companies listed below:

  • LLC Skhva Arkhi (100%) – Registered on January 5, 2015. Bekauri is also a director of this company.

  • LLC Retail Properties  (25%) – Registered on August 17, 2009;

  • LLC Megapolis Klasiki – Registered on August 26, 1998. Information about this company has not been updated for many years in the registry.

TI Georgia is not informed about the status or the area of operation of these companies. However, a public official should disclose his links to a company regardless its current status. Membership of the GNCC is one of the highest-paid positions in Georgian public sector.  We call on the commissioner to show higher degree of accountability to the public and fulfill his legal obligations.

Article 355 of the Criminal Code of Georgia stipulates that “failure to submit a personal property declaration after an administrative penalty has been imposed for such an act, or intentional entry of incomplete or incorrect information therein, - shall be punished by a fine or corrective labour from one hundred and twenty to two hundred hours, with deprivation of the right to carry out a particular activity for up to three years.”

TI Georgia has published information about number of similar cases, nevertheless, investigative authorities have never launched an inquiry. Georgia does not have efficient verification mechanism for asset declarations of public officials. This indicates that anti-corruption legislation and its enforcement remains weak in the country.

Author: TI Georgia