Why adopting a verification system for public officials’ asset declarations is essential for Georgia: A policy brief from TI Georgia - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Why adopting a verification system for public officials’ asset declarations is essential for Georgia: A policy brief from TI Georgia

22 June, 2015

In order to prevent future instances of corruption and end any current ones, Georgia urgently needs to reform its policies regarding the verification of asset declarations. Currently, Georgia has a system for public disclosure of the assets of public officials, but it does not have the ability to confirm that these declarations are accurate. Our evidence suggests that the lack of such a process allows for public officials to submit incomplete or incorrect forms and to neglect mention of any relationships with private companies. This loophole results in a greater risk of conflict of interest and corruption in public service. Based on research of best international practices, we have outlined suggestions as to what would be the simplest and most effective method of verification, with modifications for long term improvement. First, there must be a method of selection to decide which declarations to verify, as verifying the declaration of every government employee would be a tremendous challenge. Second, there needs to be a consensus as to the scope of the verification. Lastly, an agency must be chosen or developed to conduct this process.

Six Georgian civil society organizations have been monitoring Georgia’s anti-corruption reform commitments that are requirements of the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union and the corresponding Association Agenda, which guides the implementation of the AA. Additional  areas monitored include judicial reform and protection of human rights – women’s, children’s, trade unions’ and prisoners’ rights. TI Georgia’s policy brief covers the anti-corruption reform commitments -- namely the verification of public officials’ asset declarations.

The goal of the monitoring effort is to enhance accountability of the government of Georgia to implement the Association Agreement and push for more reforms and is funded by the Open Society Georgia Foundation.

 

print