Assessment of the work of the Third Convocation of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara (2012-2016)

26 July, 2017

The following is the first assessment of the work of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in 2012-2016 prepared by Transparency International Georgia. The assessment was made in several different areas, specifically:

  • Process of legislative activities and adopted amendments;
  • Oversight functions carried out by the Supreme Council.

The following information has been included:

  • Activities of the Supreme Council members (number of initiated and adopted laws and their authors);
  • Supreme Council members' participation in plenary and commission sessions;
  • Work of commissions;
  • Expenses related to the work of the Council, Council members' business connections.

During the period covered by the report:

  • The Supreme Council of Ajara held 64 plenary sessions, of these 37 were extraordinary sessions; the Bureau sessions were held 157 times; the number of commission sessions was 425;
  • There were 153 draft legal acts registered; two resolutions were passed; 169 legal acts were adopted;
  • Of the 169 legal acts, 34 amendments to various laws were passed, 21 amendments were made to the Rules of Procedure;
  • The Supreme Council passed 112 resolutions and two resolutions-addresses;
  • Six legislative initiatives were discussed in three hearings, the rest were discussed using a simplified procedure, no initiative was fast-tracked;
  • Two legislative proposals were made;
  • One draft law was returned with the chairperson's critical remarks.

As concerns the legislative activities during the reporting period, the Supreme Council passed 34 amendments to eight laws. It should be noted that most of the amendments with a few exceptions were of editorial, technical nature.

  • Eleven out of 34 amendments were made to the Law on the Budget;
  • The Supreme Council presented the total of 19 legislative initiatives to Parliament of Georgia with Parliament passing six of them. Three legislative initiatives were withdrawn by the Supreme Council.

With regard to exercising the right to oversight, the Supreme Council did not use some of the oversight mechanisms at all while in other cases the implementation of its oversight functions was weak.

  • The chairperson of the government was summoned to faction sessions three times (attended once), the minister of finance and economy was summoned once (and attended);
  • The Supreme Council members used their right to pose questions at plenary sessions three times; their questions were answered;
  • The Government Hour was never held;
  • An issue study group was formed at the Supreme Council twice;
  • The government presented the republican budget implementation review (gross total) within one month after the completion of each quarter, and a report on fulfilling the republican budget within two months after the completion of a budget year annually, all in accordance with the existing schedule;
  • The Council did not provide any information on oversight over the enforcement of normative acts.

Out of 21 members, seven exercised their right to legislative initiative. Fourteen members of the Supreme Council of the Third Convocation did not propose any legislative initiative.

  • Aleksandre Chitishvili (the Georgian Dream Faction) was the author of the highest number of legislative initiatives proposed to the Supreme Council;
  • Most of the initiatives proposed to Parliament were authored by Petre Zambakhidze (United National Movement) – 4, and by the Constitutional, Legal and Procedural Issues Commission – 4;
  • Supreme Council Chairman Avtandil Beridze attended all of the 64 plenary sessions that were held; Sulkhan Ghlonti missed the highest number of sessions – 28, which amounts to 46 percent of all sessions held;
  • The Budget, Finance and Economic Issues Commission held the highest number of sessions (103); the Human Rights Commission was the most passive one in this regard – it held 43 sessions;
  • Two commissions proposed legislative initiatives: the Budget and Finance Commission initiated three draft laws while the Constitutional, Legal and Procedural Issues Commission initiated one;
  • The Budget, Finance and Economic Issues Commission discussed the highest number of normative acts, held the highest number of sessions and initiated the highest number of legal acts (three initiatives, 335 acts, 103 sessions);
  • According to the information received from the Supreme Council, the Agrarian and Environmental Issues Commission received the highest number of applications from citizens (912), while the Constitutional, Legal and Procedural Issues Commission received the lowest number of such applications (161);
  • According to the report on the fulfilment of the budget of the Supreme Council of Ajara, GEL 21,759,746 was spent. During the reporting period, the total of GEL 430,848 was spent on domestic and international business trips; from 1 October 2012 until 1 July 2016, the Supreme Council of Ajara spent GEL 567,113 on fuel and means of transportation; GEL 127,191 was spent on mobile and internet communication; according to the 2016 information, the Supreme Council of Ajara, which comprises 21 members, had a staff of 104 employees; the number of non-staff employees in 2015 increased to 122.