Facts of possible corruption and conflict of interests in Zestaponi municipality
Transparency International Georgia continues to study transparency of procurements carried out by Imereti municipalities and checking accuracy of data in property declarations of local self governance officials. Following report concerns Zestaponi municipality.
Interests of the Head of Architecture, Construction and Supervision Service of Zestaponi Municipality Gamgeoba, Gocha Kakoishvili in state procurements of the municipality
Gocha Kakoishvili was appointed as the Head of Architecture, Construction and Supervision Service of the municipality gamgeoba after the 2014 local self governance elections. Three months prior to the elections, on 27 March 2014, his wife, Irina Kakoishvili registered as an individual entrepreneur. However, Gocha Kakoishvili’s 2015 declaration does not include this information. Irina Kakoishvili has signed eight contracts with the municipality and the NNLEs of the municipality based on simplified procurements. The contracts mostly concerned sale of stationery items. In total, Kakonishvili received GEL 1016.5 from the local budget as a result of these contracts.
Contract between Kakha Shavgulidze and NNLE Sanitation and Landscaping Service Center
Kakha Shavgulidze has been the chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Municipality City Hall (Sakrebulo) since the 2014 local self governance elections. He has been registered as an individual entrepreneur since 2006, however has not included this information in his 2015 declaration. On 5 September 2015, Shavgulidze signed a contract of a direct sale with the NNLE Sanitation and Landscaping Service Center of the municipality. The contract was in the amount of GEL 400, and the subject of the contract was a car service. According to the data of the State Procurement Agency, the settlement of the contract has not taken place. The director of the NNLE Sanitation and Landscaping Service Center explained on phone to a representative of TI Georgia that the payment has not taken place due to the low quality of the provided service by Kakha Shavgulidze, and not due to the conflict of interests.
Incomplete declarations submitted by officials
Marina Suknidze has been the Head of the Social Welfare Service of the municipality gamgeoba since the 2014 local elections. Her husband, Zaal Kapanadze has been registered as a individual entrepreneur since 2009. However, Suknidze has not included this information in the 2014-2015 declarations.
Davit Gamtsemlidze has been the Chairman of the faction Zestaponi in the municipality City Hall since the 2014 elections. Since 5 September 2008, he has been registered as an individual entrepreneur. However, he failed to mention this information in 2014-2015 declarations.
Nugzar Peradze has been the Chairman of Free Democrats faction in the municipality City Hall since 2014. Since 29 May 2009, he has been registered as an individual entrepreneur. However, he failed to include this information in the 2014 and 2015 declarations.
According to the law, deliberately failing to include information or including inaccurate information in a property declaration is a felony, as defined by the Criminal Code. Also, public officials are prohibited from commercial activities, except for cases when they own shares or stock. In the above-mentioned cases, there are facts of management of commercial entities by public officials, violating the requirements of the Law on Public Service.
It is noteworthy, that a new Law on Public Service will take effect from 1 January 2017. According to the new law, Civil Service Bureau will be required to monitor accuracy of property declarations of public officials, as well as enforce other authorities defined by the Law on Conflict of Interests and Corruption in Public Entities. In regards to procurement by municipalities, Internal audit and monitoring services of municipalities are required to monitor these transactions.
Transparency International Georgia calls upon
the Main Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia:
- to investigate possible criminal cases mentioned here.
appropriate public officials of Zestaponi municipality:
- to strengthen preventive mechanisms to avoid possibility of corrupt deals;
- to strengthen monitoring mechanisms to prevent formation of conflict of interests during state procurement;
to pay more attention to their assets when filling out property declarations and to include accurate and full information about commercial activities of their family members.