Municipalities of Imereti have improved their websites, although shortcomings remain
After the recommendations released by TI Georgia, a considerable part of the municipalities of the Imereti region have increased the transparency of their websites, although shortcomings still remain.
The study released in February 2017 showed that the municipalities of Imereti failed to properly fulfill their obligation to proactively publish public information, while in 2018, the organization once again studied the websites of all the 12 municipalities and submitted its written opinions to the administrative bodies with the aim of improving the degree of transparency.
As a result of cooperation and taking our recommendations into consideration:
- The municipalities of Samtredia and Kharagauli have adopted ordinances on proactive publication of public information;
- The town councils of Khoni and Chiatura have adopted new ordinances on proactive publication of public information;
- The Town Council of Tskaltubo has amended its ordinance in accordance with our recommendation;
- The municipalities of Tkibuli, Tskaltubo, and Sachkhere have corrected the shortcomings indicated in the study conducted in 2018 and published information on their websites in accordance with their ordinances;
- The quality of operation of the websites of the municipalities of Vani and Bagdati has improved significantly compared with 2018.
Despite the positive changes, several issues related to the functioning of the websites still pose considerable problems in the municipalities of the Imereti region. In particular:
- Out of the municipalities of Imereti, only the municipalities of Tkibuli, Tskaltubo, and Sachkhere have posted information on their websites in accordance with the ordinances on the procedure of proactive publication of public information, while the information published on the websites of Khoni, Chiatura, Kharagauli, Samtredia, Bagdati, Zestaponi, Vani, and Kutaisi does not meet the requirements of the ordinances on the procedure of proactive publication of public information.
- The ordinances of the town councils of only 6 municipalities (Tskaltubo, Bagdati, Zestaponi, Vani, Terjola, Sachkhere) out of 12 meet the requirements of Ordinance No. 219 of the Government of Georgia, which establishes a high standard of proactive publication of public information. The ordinances adopted by the city/town councils of Tkibuli, Khoni, Chiatura, Kharagauli, Samtredia, and Kutaisi fail to establish the same standard of proactive publication of public information: the ordinances don’t make the municipal bodies obliged to publish information that is important and highly interesting for the public, such as the report on the execution of the budget; information on salaries, salary supplements, and bonuses issued and business trip and transportation expenses; information on the recruitment of staff to the administrative bodies; and forms/samples of administrative complaints and the procedure of filing them.
- The website of the Municipality of Terjola was not operational until February 27, 2019. Currently, it is operating in a test mode.
- As of 2019, the municipalities of Kharagauli, Samtredia, Tkibuli, Chiatura, and Zestaponi are using new web addresses, though the town councils of Tkibuli and Chiatura have yet to include information about the said changes in the relevant ordinances. The web address indicated in the ordinance of the Town Council of Samtredia is not functioning, and the municipality is still using the old web address.
TI Georgia calls upon the municipalities that have their own official websites to ensure that information is fully uploaded in a timely manner. It is important that the municipalities update the websites and ensure the population’s maximum access to them.