Officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Public Broadcaster
Transparency International Georgia continues to investigate the practice of the appointments of security officers, the so-called ODRs (“ОДР” – офицер действующего резерва; lit. Active Reserve Officers) - in the state institutions and other organizations by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In our previous posts on the blog, we wrote based on facts about the MIA’s employees who simultaneously work in different institutions such as: the Georgian National Communications Commission, the National Assessment and Examination Center, the Tbilisi City Hall and the State Chancellery. This time we present the confirmed information about the ODR Irakli Tsibadze employed in the Georgian public broadcaster.
Last year, the former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the GPB Emzar Goguadze revealed that one of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ employee works in the GPB. As Goguadze admitted, he was offered a high-level job by the MIA employee - Irakli Tsibadze in exchange for the vote of no confidence against the director Giorgi Baratashvili.
The acting general director of the public broadcasting - Tamaz Tkemaladze confirmed that Irakli Tsibadze was the adviser on security issues to the general director and added that he did not intend to dismiss him. According to the Head of Public Relations of the MIA - Nino Giorgobiani, Irakli Tsibadze was not employed by the MIA.
According to the 2012 asset declaration, Irakli Tsibadze, born on 4/06/1977 was the Head of the Primary Department’s Third Division’s Fourth Sub-Division at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the 2013 and 2014 declarations Irakli Tsibadze was the Head of the Department of Security Officers in the Counterintelligence Department.
After Transparency International Georgia presented the photo displayed on the website of the Central Election Commission, the member of the Public Broadcaster’s Monitoring Council Emzar Goguadze and his two colleagues identified Irakli Tsibadze, born on 04/06/1977. According to the information provided by them, Irakli Tsibadze still works at the Public Broadcaster.
The information agency Media.Ge lost a case concerning Tsibadze in the first instance Tbilisi City Court. Media.ge demanded the information about Irakli Tsibadze from MIA and addressed the court after it did not receive the information from the Ministry. The Court did not support the argument of the head of GYLA Media Legal Protection Center stating that there was a public interest towards Irakli Tsibadze and that the MIA should publish the information. It should be noted that Irakli Tsibadze’s asset declaration, as that of a public official, should be open to the public and posted on the civil service bureau’s website, but it is not.
General Information about the Institution of Security Officers (“ODRs”)
The ODRs was established by the Ministry of Security during the Soviet Union and was widely used in the presidential eras of Eduard Shevardnadze and Mikheil Saakashvili. Unfortunately, this illicit practice has been preserved by the Georgian Dream Coalition. This was confirmed by the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Some Members of Parliament have an open discussion about this issue.
According to the Government Resolution №337 of December 13, 2013, which validated the new regulation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Minister is authorized to appoint security officers in bodies and institutions particularly important to the state.
The democratic states rejected the illicit practice of the ODR institution long time age. Transparency International - Georgia calls the Georgian parliament again to initiate the process of creating a special commission which will investigate the legitimacy of the security officers.
Transparency International Georgia will continue the research concerning this issue and will inform the public about the existence of any representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affair, so-called ODRs, in any public institutions. If you have any information related to the issue, please contact us via email or phone (firstname.lastname@example.org, +995 32 292 14 03).