N(N)LE of the City Hall of Chkhorotsku procures fuel from the brother of MP Jumber Izoria in a simplified manner
N(N)LE Center for Mechanization, Cleaning, Municipal Improvements and Maintenance of Cemeteries of the Chkhorotsku Municipality under the City Hall of Chkhorotsku procures fuel in a simplified, direct manner from Badri Izoria (sole entrepreneur), the brother of Jumber Izoria, an MP and former police chief of Chkhorotsku.
The municipal non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity (N(N)LE) has been concluding simplified procurement contracts with Badri Izoria since July 2018. The legal entity has concluded 17 contracts in total; in 16 cases it procured fuel, and in one case – motor transport services. The legal entity procured fuel directly three times in 2018, 12 times in 2019, and once in 2020. And the total value of the contracts has amounted to GEL 145,966.
The process of direct procurement of fuel by N(N)LE Center for Mechanization, Cleaning, Municipal Improvements and Maintenance of Cemeteries of the Chkhorotsku Municipality involves several problematic circumstances:
- Jumber Izoria got embroiled in a scandal related to the smuggling of fuel and cigarettes while he worked as the chief of the Chkhorotsku police. Specifically, in October 2018, the Rustavi 2 TV station reported that the Izoria family was selling fuel and cigarettes smuggled from the occupied Abkhazia. A week after the report was aired, Mr. Izoria resigned from office, though he was reinstated to his former position two months later. And in December 2019, Jumber Izoria became a member of the Parliament of Georgia, replacing former MP Akaki Zoidze in the legislative body;
- It should be noted that the N(N)LE has not announced a tender for fuel procurement on a single occasion; it used the method of simplified, direct procurement in every case;
- Simplified procurements are mainly justified on the grounds of an urgent need or an event of state and public significance. As a rule, procuring organizations know what amount of fuel they will have to procure in every following year, and, save for rare exceptions, use mechanisms of consolidated and/or electronic tenders to procure it.
It should be noted that Badri Izoria is a business partner of Gela Izoria, Jumber Izoria’s son: he is the owner of a 15% stake and director of Taiguli LLC, while Gela Izoria owns a 32% stake in the same company.
In the opinion of TI Georgia, the said circumstances raise doubts regarding the transparency of the process and a biased approach on the part of the procuring organization.
It is unclear why N(N)LE Center for Mechanization, Cleaning, Municipal Improvements and Maintenance of Cemeteries of the Chkhorotsku Municipality concludes contracts to procure fuel in an accelerated manner. In the event of correct planning, a competitive tender should be announced, which would decrease the price of the product and eliminate the risk of possible covert deals.
Therefore, we call upon both the State Procurement Agency and the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service to study the lawfulness of the process of procurement of fuel by N(N)LE Center for Mechanization, Cleaning, Municipal Improvements and Maintenance of Cemeteries of the Chkhorotsku Municipality.