GEO

Companies with links to MP Viktor Japaridze received over GEL 6m from procurement

03 July, 2020

 

The companies whose shares are owned by Georgian MP Viktor Japaridze and his son, Otar Japaridze, are winning tenders. The total value of the contracts they have been awarded since 2018 amounts to GEL 6,264,688.

Viktor Japaridze has been a Georgian MP for 16 years, he was elected as representative of the single-seat district of Mestia twice and was elected to the current Parliament from the party list of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia.

Simplified procurement procedures for Seti+, LLC

Viktor Japaridze owns 33.3 percent of shares of Seti+, LLC. He indicated this in his asset declaration submitted in December 2019. Seti+ has been participating in public procurement since July 2019. It has been awarded 10 contracts as a result of simplified procurement procedures. Their total value hsd amounted to GEL 57,762.

Seti+, LLC provided hotel, restaurant and catering services to Mestia City Hall, the Georgian National Tourism Administration and the National Food Agency.

Tenders of Otar Japaridze’s companies

Viktor Japaridze’s son, Otar Japaridze, owns shares in seven companies, including 24 percent of shares in Expert House, LLC.

Expert House, LLC has participated in 14 tenders since 2017, winning six of them. The total value of its contracts amounted to GEL 2,571,006.

Expert House, LLC provided construction-related and engineering services to N(N)LP Rustavis Korpusi (2018), the municipalities of Khobi (2019), Bolnisi (2019), Zugdidi (2020), Kvareli (2020) and Lagodekhi (2020), once for each one of them.

Otar Japaridze also owns 50 percent of shares in TOB Constructions, LLC. In 2018, the company participated in the total of two tenders, winning both of them without any competition (announcement numbers: GEO180000241, GEO180000181), in both cases the procuring agency was the State Construction Company, the total contract value amounted to GEL 3,635,920. Gravel and concrete were the subject of procurement. The tender documents show that, in case of both tenders, the State Construction Company requested that the supplier company’s plant be located within the maximum of 30 km radius from the village of Ipari of Mestia Municipality.

It is worth noting that precisely during this period the State Construction Company was conducting rehabilitation works on the 165-177 km section of the Zugdidi-Jvari-Mestia-Lasdili road. These works were conducted under the tender announced by the Roads Department of Georgia (announcement number: DAP170000180) which the State Construction Company won in December 2017.

Political donations

Viktor Japaridze, his wife, Natia Khvistani, and Viktor Japaridze’s son, Otar Japaridze’s business partners are also large [political] contributors: since 2012, they have donated the total of GEL 360,000 to the ruling party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia, while in 2018, they donated GEL 50,000 to the presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili:

  • In 2012-2017, Viktor Japaridze made four donations amounting to the total of GEL 120,000 to the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party;
  • In 2017, Viktor Japaridze’s wife, Natia Khvistani, donated GEL 55,000 to Georgian Dream; in 2018, she donated GEL 50,000 to the presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili;
  • Otar Chartolani, owner of 66.7 percent of shares of Seti+, LLC, made two donations amounting to GEL 103,000 in total to Georgian Dream in 2014-2016 (Otar Chartolani is also a business partner of Viktor Japaridze’s wife, Natia Khvistani, and his son, Otar Japaridze, in the following companies: Seti, LLC (50 percent), Ktsia 94, LLC (20.99 percent), Didveli+, LLC (10 percent), Oto, LLC (33.3 percent) and All Seasons, LLC (50 percent));
  • Kakhaber Gamisonia, director and owner of 51 percent of shares of Expert House, LLC, made a donation of GEL 15,000 to Georgian Dream in 2014;
  • Murad Jobava, owner of 5 percent of shares of Expert House, LLC, made three donations amounting to the total of GEL 47,000 to the ruling party in 2014-2017;
  • Otar Mazmishvili, director of TOB Construction, LLC, made a donation worth GEL 20,000 to the Georgian Dream party in 2017.

Inaccuracies in asset declarations

Viktor Japaridze has never mentioned his own and his wife’s political donations in his asset declarations. According to the Law on the Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Institutions, an official is under the obligation to indicate in his or her asset declaration a monetary expense exceeding GEL 5,000. The amount of donations made to parties by both Viktor Japaridze and his wife, Natia Khvistani, was considerably greater than GEL 5,000 in each case.

Transparency International Georgia calls on the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service and the General Prosecutor’s Office to investigate each tender won by the companies linked to Viktor Japaridze and his son, and to establish whether these tenders were announced in the conditions that favoured the companies in question and whether they possibly involved signs of corruption.

We also call on the Public Service Bureau to investigate Viktor Japaridze’s asset declaration and to respond accordingly.