Bonuses of the penitentiary department officials
On May 16, the Minister of Corrections, Sozar Subari, told journalists that bonuses issued in the Penitentiary Department were "absolutely unjustified".
The Minister's statement relates to the information disseminated by the "United National Movement" on May 10, concerning the bonuses that certain officials of the Penitentiary Department have received in December 2013.
Georgian legislation obliges state officials to provide annual property declarations together with a full list of their income for a previous year, including bonuses and salary. We have searched for declarations of persons with the highest income under the list published by the "United National Movement". Remarkably, the incomes received in 2013, as recorded in the property declarations filled in 2014, substantially differ from the data in the document published by the party; which, as they allege, reflect salaries received by certain officials in December 2013.
Under the released document, Gogi Gakharia has received the largest amount – 39,130 GEL in December 2013. Pursuant to the declaration filled on 13 March 2014, in 2013 he has received a salary, as the Deputy Head of the Penitentiary Department, in the amount of 2,125 GEL only. During the same year he served as the Senior Operative Staff/Inspector in the Ministry of Interior, where his salary has amounted to 14,941 GEL, i.e. according to the 2014 declaration, his total salary equaled to 17,066 GEL.
According to the published list, Simon Machaidze's income, as the Head of the Penitentiary Department, was 38,733 GEL, while pursuant to the declaration filled in 2014, during the previous year as the Deputy Head of the Penitentiary Department, his income amounted to 2,175 GEL. Also, in 2013 his salary, as the Head of the Organizational-Analytical Service of the Tbilisi Chief Department of the State Security Department, amounted to 22,000 GEL. Hence, pursuant to the income declaration, he has received a salary in the amount of 24,175 GEL.
The released information claims that while working in the Penitentiary Department, Vladimer Bunturidze has received a salary in the amount of 38,390 GEL in December 2013 only. According to the property declaration filled in 2014, his salary in 2013, as the Deputy Head of the Penitentiary Department, was 2,670 GEL only. Notably, his 2013 income in the broadcasting company, "Rustavi 2", was 43,592 GEL, while his total salary during 2013 was 53,662 GEL.
Currently Georgian legislation does not provide a cap on the bonuses in the civil service, which can lead to abuses. The bonuses potentially received by the employees of the Penitentiary Department are an example of such abuse. The Minister of Health, Davit Sergeenko, talked about solving this problem, stating that "the unified bonus system may be possibly introduced, the logic of which will be – a maximum upper threshold". Further, as the declarations we have checked illustrate, the high officials of the Penitentiary Department have not included full income-related information in the declarations submitted in 2014, which by itself is a breach of law.