Tbilisi City Council Performance Report - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Tbilisi City Council Performance Report

06 October, 2017

Transparency International Georgia has concluded its evaluation of the 3 year performance of the 5th convocation of Tbilisi City Council. The report examines: important legislative acts adopted by the City Council, including those on transfer of municipal property; business ties of Council officials; activities of its members and structural units, oversight activities and access to information.

Key Findings

Positive Trends

In the last 3 years, the 5th convocation of Tbilisi City Council:

  • Held 200 meetings, with not a single meeting being canceled due to lack of quorum;
  • Adopted 419 resolutions and 1,570 decrees;
  • Approved three important documents: Gender, Environment and Marketing Strategies;
  • Approved the Tbilisi Land Use Master Plan.
  • In most cases, public officials of local government bodies accountable to Tbilisi City Council answered its summons and attended Council meetings. However, there were cases when summons from the opposition were ignored.

Negative Trends

Business ties of City Council officials

  • 10 of the 24 City Council public officials have business ties.
  • A number of Council officials failed to properly declare their business shares, which is a finable violation of the rules for filing asset declarations: 5 officials failed to declare their business shares: Giorgi Tkemaladze (Faction: Georgian Dream - Industrialists), Giorgi Akhvlediani (Faction: Tbilisians), Giorgi Muskhelishvili (Faction: Tbilisians), Lia Jakhveladze (Faction: Tbilisians), Guliko Zumbadze. 2 officials partially declared their business shares: Vladimer Dzneladze (Faction: Georgian Dream - Industrialists), Levan Darakhvelidze (Faction: Georgian Dream - Industrialists).
  • Three Council officials hold the position of a director in corporate legal entities, which is legally incompatible with the status of a Council member. According to the Public Registry, these officials are: Giorgi Tkemaladze (Faction: Georgian Dream - Industrialists), Levan Darakhvelidze (Faction: Georgian Dream - Industrialists), Lia Jakhveladze (Faction: Tbilisians).

Transfer of municipal property

  • The City Council allowed the City Hall to transfer property to natural persons or legal entities of public law using the direct or competitive selection procedures on 58 occasions.
  • During the reporting period, the City Council allowed the City Hall to transfer 183,414 square meters of land to the Georgian Orthodox Church. In most cases, the condition for privatization was building a church, but also a square, a cultural-educational center, as well as landscaping and amenities. The Georgian Orthodox Church was given real estate for a symbolic GEL 1 through the direct procedure on 28 occasions.

Low levels of transparency and accountability

  • Important information about the activities of the City Council is not published proactively (including questions sent to accountable bodies for oversight purposes). The City Council also refused to disclose information about submitted initiatives, attendance and speakers, which made it impossible to assess its performance using these components.
  • Oversight activities of the City Council are lacking.
  • Tbilisi Mayor ignored the summons of the opposition to report to the City Council at its extraordinary meeting.

We hope that the next convocation of Tbilisi City Council will introduce a more open, transparent and substantiated decision-making process, including in relation to the transfer of property, and will make a more effective use of its oversight mechanisms.

The report is based on information that was requested from Tbilisi City Council or obtained from its official website, and observations made by Transparency International Georgia.