Transparency International Georgia issued a comprehensive report providing a thorough evaluation of country’s anti-corruption efficacy, and highlighting key shortcomings in different branches of government.
“According to the National Integrity System (NIS) assessment which was published by Transparency International Georgia (and covers the period between 2015 and 2020), most of the country’s key institutions presently do not perform effectively their role in terms of facilitating democratic governance and preventing corruption.
Only three of the 12 institutions assessed in the study have a high or relatively high final score: the Public Defender, the State Audit Office, and the Electoral Administration.
The significant problems identified in the report include:
An extremely high degree of the concentration of power and the ruling party"s almost total control over a majority of public institutions. Undue informal influence over the government’s activities.
The legislature’s and the judiciary’s lack of independence which reduces their ability to exercise effective oversight of the government"s and the law enforcement agencies" activities.
Weak political competition, caused by the ruling party"s privileged access to resources, as well as the inability of the State Audit Office and the law enforcement agencies to deal effectively with violations of campaign financing rules and voter bribing.
The growing pressure by the authorities on the media and the business sector.
Attacks by the representatives of the authorities on the Public Defender and the civil society organizations.
Transparency International Georgia prepared the following recommendations based on the study’s results:
In order to reduce the concentration of power and end the informal influence on public institutions, it is necessary to promote political competition, inter alia, through the reform of the electoral system.
Enforcement of the legislative provisions designed to prevent conflict of interest and corruption in public administration must improve, which requires the establishment of an effective system for detecting the violations of these provisions and responding to them.
Since the existing law enforcement system is incapable of investigating the cases of high-level corruption effectively, Georgia must establish an independent anti-corruption agency that will be protected from any type of undue interference in its activities. It could be a multi-functional agency, combining the investigative role with corruption prevention and policy planning roles.
In order to establish a genuinely independent and professional civil service, the government must refrain from any type of undue interference in the work of civil servants and must ensure that employment and promotion in public administration are based exclusively on the professional criteria established by the law.
The so-called clan’s influence must be eliminated in the judiciary, which requires the dismissal of its members from the system.
The authorities must refrain from any kind of pressure on the Public Defender, the media and nongovernmental organizations, cease the attempts to discredit members of civil society and the disinformation campaigns against nongovernmental organizations.