Kutaisi homeless animal shelter – A poor quality service for GEL 90,000
Transparency International Georgia’s Kutaisi Office researched the city’s animal shelter and revealed that the municipal facility is ill-equipped to deal with and control diseased animals. As a result, the spread of rabies is a serious threat. Last December, Kutaisi saw the death of a small child, who contracted rabies after being licked by a homeless dog.
Dilapidated building, roofless enclosures, substandard veterinary service, and dozens of dogs kept together in a single cage – these are the condition for which Kutaisi City Hall paid GEL 89,990 in 2014.
In February 2014 Kutaisi City Hall announced a simplified electronic tender to build an animal shelter. The tender was won by an individual entrepreneur Paata Bokuchava. For GEL 89,990 Bokuchava took the responsibility of transferring stray animals (or those wandering without supervision) from inside Kutaisi administrative boundaries to a special facility and providing them with care. The terms of the tender obligated the supplier to build a modern animal holding facility with the capacity to hold at least 100 dogs. Further obligations included daily cleaning of all doghouses, disinfection of cages and washing of animals with a special liquid once every 10 days, and vaccination and treatment of all animals.
Paata Bokuchava has not fulfilled his contractual obligations. The shelter does not meet hygienic and veterinary norms, proper conditions for animal care and nutrition are absent, the enclosures are not supplied with water or electricity, and dozens of dogs are placed together in a single cage.
Kutaisi City Hall has not used any penalties against Paata Bokuchava for his failure to fulfill tender commitments. According to public information requested by Transparency International Georgia, head of Kutaisi Infrastructure Development, Transport and Cleaning Service points to lack of funding as the main reason for existing problems at the municipal animal shelter. The official explains that modern standards of animal care cannot be met with GEL 89,990, which is the amount of funding that was available at the time of announcing the tender.
The State Procurement Contract N65 between Kutaisi City Hall and Paata Bokuchava expired on January 31. After the expiration of the contract Bokuchava released all of the dogs back onto Kutaisi streets.
On February 4, 2015 Kutaisi City Hall announced a new electronic tender for the same service. This time the tender is only 6 months long with an approximate cost of GEL 64,782. The process of accepting applications for the tender ended on February 10, 2015.
Transparency International Georgia calls on Kutaisi City Hall to pay closer attention to proper usage of funds and the process of procuring services. If the current approach is not improved, budget spending will continue to result in poor quality products and services. The need for improvement is made evident by the fact that procurement of low quality services may and already has endangered human life. Correct programs need to be developed in order to bring the homeless animal problem under control. The municipality must first build a modern animal shelter and only then procure services of transportation and care for stray animals. In addition, the recent increase in the number of stray animals in Kutaisi streets poses a serious threat to the local population, especially since the animals are not being properly vaccinated. Therefore, Kutaisi City Hall must undertake some temporary measures in order to reduce this threat even before the end of the new tender.