Institutions of Internal Control in Georgia: Internal Police vs. Internal Auditing
The European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan states that the government of Georgia should develop a strategy paper and legislative framework for public internal financial control. In addition, the Georgian system of control and audit of public incomes, expenditures, assets, and liabilities should be harmonised with international standards and EU best practices. The OECD monitoring report on anti-corruption activities asserts that the Georgian authorities should increase the capacities of internal control bodies, such as that of general inspectorates.
Other strategic documents of the government of Georgia further develop guidelines for internal control. The National Anti-Corruption Strategy identifies meeting internationally-recognised internal and external audit standards as a key priority. It calls for the adoption of a special Law on General Inspectorates that will establish independent offices of the Inspector General. These offices are to be granted political and operational independence and the human, material, and other resources needed to appropriately investigate the activities of civil servants in the central government agencies. According to the Strategy document, general inspectorates will also bear responsibility for internal auditing; its specific duties will be distinct from those of the Prosecutor General and the Chamber of Control of Georgia.
In spite of this commitment, however, the Law on General Inspectorates has yet to be adopted. Currently, according to ministry by-laws approved by the Prime Minister, each ministry has a designated unit for internal control. These by-laws inherently express the government’s political will to have functional internal control mechanisms in place. Based on ministry by-laws, each minister is to approve a special by-law establishing the structure, functions, and responsibilities of the internal control unit. In most cases these institutions are called general inspectorates. In two cases, however, they are referred to somewhat differently as the Internal Audit and Monitoring Service (Ministry of Culture, Monuments Protection, and Sports) and the Internal Control Division (Ministry of Refugees and Placement).
This report analyses the structure, resources, and activities of general inspectorates in Georgia’s civilian ministries. The report is based on data obtained through a questionnaire and follow-up interviews with representatives of GI offices from ten civilian ministries. Data from the Tbilisi Mayor’s GI unit, which also responded to the survey, is cited for comparison.