Corruption with its essence is the abuse of power for gaining the personal benefit. Corruption reduces trust of public towards the state, creates hazard to the supremacy of the law, increases poverty and weakens institutional capacities. Eradication of the corruption is necessary for main¬tenance of the economic stability and development, for safety, human rights and environment protection for reduction of poverty and offence.
Development of sound anti-corruption policy and its successful implementation is one of the prerequisites for securing the public administration reliability and efficiency.
It is notable that Georgia has made significant progress towards fighting the corruption, what is reflected in many international ratings and surveys.
in 2018 Georgia has become the chairman country of the “Open Governance Partnership” one of the key priorities of which is to fight corruption.
State audit organizations can significantly contribute to corruption prevention by reinforcing fiscal transparency, ensuring compliance of the budget process with the law and making audit results public.
In the scope of the subject audit, 2 key institutions have been studied according to anti-corrup¬tion framework, which, within the scope of own competence, are responsible for implementing anti-corruption measures at the national level: Anti-Corruption Council (in the part of the Minis¬try of Justice and Secretariat – planning policy, entities coordination and monitoring) and LEPL Civil Service Bureau – (issues related to the ethics of the public servant and declarations).
In the framework of the audit, anti-corruption environment of the country has been studied, mechanisms created by the state in this direction and the implemented measures, which are aimed at prevention-reduction of the corruption risks at the institutional level.
For this purpose, audit has responded to 2 questions:
> How efficient is the anti-corruption framework existing in the country to ensure corruption prevention?
> Does the Anti-Corruption Council have effective mechanisms to exercise activities with due quality?
In the process of responding to these questions, shortcomings regarding the subject of the audit review have been identified.
- Basic procedures and mechanisms necessary for prevention of corruption are not thorough¬ly implemented at the public sector, which would facilitate practical implementation of the requirements established by the law. In particular, at 11 entities selected in the scope of the audit from the public service, corruption risks are not systematically evaluated and control mechanisms are not introduced, in order to prevent and reduce risks. Also, there are no sound mechanisms for practical management of the issues related to disclosure of the unethical conduct in the public sector, accepting valuable gifts, exposure and other significant issues.
- Consequently, at the above-indicated 11 organizations, the indicator of disclosing corruption risks and unethical conduct is insignificant, what, on the other hand, complicates evaluation of the actual situation.
- Civil Service Bureau does not impose monitoring on development and introduction of the code of ethics at the public sector. Correspondingly, shortcomings are not identified and their response measures are not reflected in the action plan.
- In the process of developing anti-corruption strategic plan, the evaluation of the risk by the council did not fully cover the public sector: in particular, by 2015, out of 16 ministries, only 8 were members of the Anti-Corruption Council1. Correspondingly, in the process of develop¬ment of the strategic and action plans of the Anti-Corruption Council2 non-member minis¬tries did not evaluate risks existing in the sphere of their governance and did not communi¬cate with the council.
Also, in the period of audit, risk evaluation methodology document was not finalized, which would facilitate the parties engaged in the risk evaluation to assess corruption risks homoge¬neously.
- Statistical information on corruption offence is requested by the secretariat as needed. Ac¬cordingly, regularly updated, fully and homogeneous statistics are not produced on corruption offence, which would allow stakeholders to analyze corruption offence from different prospec¬tive (regional, institutional and occupational distribution, indicator of investigation etc.). Based on the statistics collected from the particular entities by the audit team, about 70% of regis¬tered corruption offence is attributed to the regions, however, out of 62 municipalities only 3 were involved in the activities of the council in 2018 (In 2019, 13 municipalities were included in the council). Also, 2 researches held by the secretariat in the audit period, do not fully cover the analytical research needs in terms of corruption prevention.
- Out of the targets envisaged by the action plans of the Anti-Corruption Council,3 34% were not fully accomplished, which does not give sufficient information on the status of imple¬mentation of the measures; in some cases, evaluation indicators are of general nature.