GNCC candidate’s experience and the investigation committee report must be taken into account - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

GNCC candidate’s experience and the investigation committee report must be taken into account

25 February, 2015

On February 3, the President presented nine candidates to the Parliament for three vacant seats in the Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC). Three out of five members of the commission - Sopio Britanchuk, Akaki Sikharulidze and Irakli Moseshvili – are vacating their seats, having completed their terms, on March 12. On February 19  the Parliament must choose their replacements from nine candidates nominated by the President.

The nine nominated candidates are: Simon Nozadze – Deputy Minister of State Security under Shevardnadze; Akaki Sikharulidze – a current member of the commission; Giorgi Pruidze – a former member of the commission; Eliso Asanidze, Sergo Shavgulidze, Rati Skhirtladze – high ranking public servants in the commission; Ana Nakashidze, Merab Katamadze – expert consultants of the commission; Tamar Alpaidze – media law specialist.

Activities of the GNCC had been the subject of public criticism over the years. Our reports repeatedly mentioned the conflict of interest of the former GNCC chairman and the discriminatory decisions made by this regulatory authority. These problems are also referred to in a report (Georgian only) by the temporary investigative commission set up by the Parliament to study GNCC activities. The report critically evaluated not only the decisions made by the commission, but also the actions of individual employees. The conclusion of the investigation committee about the failure of the GNCC to meet the legal obligation to determine broadcasting priorities can be used to describe the overall performance of the regulatory body: “In 2006 - 2011 different composition of the members of the commission systematically violated the requirements of equality, non-discrimination and inadmissibility of granting privilege set by the law and the constitution”.

Given the importance of the GNCC Transparency International Georgia calls on the Parliament to take into account the conclusions made by the Parliament’s own investigation committee and study the candidates' experience and past activities when making a decision.

GNCC membership candidates:

Vacant Seat I

Ana Nakashidze

Nakashidze graduated with a Master’s degree from the Technical University Energy and Telecommunications Faculty. She has worked on various positions in telecommunications companies, including Silknet. Since the end of 2014 she has been working for the GNCC and is also a local expert in digital harmonization with the European Commission's Eastern Partnership.

Ana Nakashidze owns shares in two companies: Kera Group Ltd. (25%) and Kera Travel Ltd.(25%). Kera Travel has received 22 simplified state procurement contracts from various state entities. In total, the company has received more than GEL 100,000 from these contracts. Nakashidze is also the director of Kera Group.

Akaki Sikharulidze

Sikharulidze is currently a member of the GNCC. His first term expires in March 2015. According to the asset declaration form Sikharulidze submitted in 2014, his income was GEL 311,744 in 2013. He has been working in the GNCC since 2009, and his total declared income over that period is more than GEL 1 million.

In 2013 Sikharulidze declared ownership of A Group Ltd. According to the 2014 declaration, he did not receive any income from this company.

Merab Katamadze

Katamadze has been serving as a consultant to the GNCC chairman since 2014. He has years of experience working and lecturing in the public and private sector in the field of telecommunications.

Vacant Seat II

Eliso Asanidze

Asanidze has been serving as head of the GNCC Competition Support Department since 2010. She has years of work experience at different positions both in the GNCC and private telecommunications companies.

Rati Skhirtladze

Skhirtladze has been serving as head of the GNCC Department of Information and Analysis since 2012. Before that, he headed the Department of Strategic Development and worked at high level positions at various telecommunications companies.

Rati Skhirtladze is the director and owner of Universal Georgian Systems Ltd.

Simon Nozadze

Starting in 1982 Nozadze enlisted in the KGB, worked as an assistant to the Minister of State Security, and became a deputy head of the counterintelligence service during the soviet period.. In 1998 - 2001 he held the position of Deputy Minister of State Security and supervised the government service for protected and open contacts. Nozadze was awarded the rank of major general. According to a resume submitted by Nozadze, from 2002 to March 2013 he left the public sector and worked in a private security service. In 2013 he returned to the public sector and started working for the state security service (Georgian only). Since November 2014 he has moved back to the private sector and became a director of a security company.

The Civil Service Bureau website does not contain any asset declaration forms submitted by Simon Nozadze.

Nozadze is a director and shareholder of two companies Atlanti - Security Service Ltd and Atlant T Ltd.. He is also a 50% shareholder of Georgian Red Wines Ltd..


Vacant Seat III

Giorgi Pruidze

Over the years Pruidze has worked on various high level positions, including First Deputy Minister of State Property Management. In 2004 - 2009 he was a member of the GNCC. During this period he received income of around GEL 1 million. According to the submitted resume, Pruidze has not worked since 2009.

Giorgi Pruidze is the husband of a well known journalist Natia Lazashvili, who first worked for Rustavi 2 and later. After a break from journalism of several years, she became the main news anchor for Channel 9. Lazashvili left both TV companies as a sign of protest. She now works at the State Chancellery.

Tamar Alpaidze

Alpaidze works in academia with a focus on media studies and media law. She is the author of a number of books on the media. She also lectures in various Georgian universities.

Tamar Alpaidze is registered as an individual entrepreneur.

Sergo Shavgulidze

Shavgulidze has been serving as head of the GNCC Department of Radio Frequency Management since 2004. He is also engaged as a lecturer at Tbilisi Technical University and is the author of several scientific works on telecommunications.

Author: TI Georgia