Georgian Government’s Stalled Anti-Corruption Policy
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) analyzed the implementation of the national anti-corruption policy in 2020-2021 and the efficiency of the corresponding institutional model.
- The current institutional model of combating corruption in Georgia does not include all functions (corruption prevention, investigation, implementation of anti-corruption policy, awareness-raising) necessary to curb corruption. Some roles are either completely absent from the scope of responsibility of any of the institutions or are scattered between several agencies which are unable to properly fulfill them.
- There is no independent anti-corruption service that would effectively investigate corruption cases, improve the practice of enforcement of legislative norms concerning prevention of corruption and conflict of interest in public service, and create an effective system of prevention, detection, and response to the violation of these norms.
- The infrastructure necessary for the implementation of anti-corruption policy – the Anti-Corruption Council and its Secretariat – is not currently operational. The most recent meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council took place in 2019, while the Secretariat does not exist at all.
- No accurate analysis of actual corruption challenges is conducted, which is why none of the documents of the national anti-corruption policy adopted so far address the issue of high-level corruption. No strategy or action plan recognizes the existence of this challenge and, correspondingly, includes concrete activities to address it.
- The activities envisaged by the Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plans are not implemented properly (low rate of implementation).
- The mechanism of monitoring and evaluation of the anti-corruption reform implementation is weak.
- The recommendations issued by international organizations and monitoring missions, as well as commitments made by the government at various platforms, including the commitments made under the Association Agreement, are not properly fulfilled.
- Georgia has not had a valid Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan since December 2020.
In order for the country to implement a result-oriented anti-corruption policy, effectively combat high-level corruption and ensure the introduction of the principles of integrity in the public sector, the current anti-corruption model needs to be updated:
- Creation of an Independent Anti-corruption Agency (service) which would unite and be responsible for fulfilling three out of four key anti-corruption functions: corruption prevention, awareness raising and investigation of corruption crimes; also, it would be involved in the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy documents, in monitoring the implementation of the Strategy and in the work of the Inter-Agency Council.
- Resumption and remodeling of the operation of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council and its Secretariat in order to ensure the proper fulfilment of the fourth key anti-corruption function – the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of anti-corruption policy.
In addition, the latest National Integrity System Assessment clearly demonstrated the need for strengthening the capacities of oversight bodies – the Parliament of Georgia, the judiciary and the State Audit Office, as well as the need for equipping them with a high degree of independence.