The number of temporary employees exceeds the limit in most budgetary organizations
The public service in Georgia consists of two main types of public servants - permanent staff and temporary employees. Permanent staff includes public officials holding political positions, state servants and supporting personnel. Compared to temporary employees, the list of permanent staff positions, the number of permanent employees and their remuneration are more strictly regulated, transparent, and proactively published.
Unlike permanent staff, regulations on the number of temporary employees, their job descriptions and remuneration are far more liberal and less transparent. As a rule, these regulations depend entirely on the management of a particular budgetary organization, increasing the risk of misuse. The Law on Public Service defines a temporary employee as ‘a person employed through appointment or contract for a specific period of time in order to accomplish temporary tasks’. The limit on the maximum number of temporary employees in a budgetary organization is set by the Law on the 2015 State Budget (budget laws for 2013 and 2014 include the same regulation): ‘The maximum number of temporary employees in a budgetary organization must not exceed 2% of its permanent staff. In organizations where 2% of permanent staff is fewer than 5 employees, the number of temporary employees must not exceed 5’. However, the budget law also allows for exceptions to this limitation to be made in agreement with the government.
In order to identify the proportions of permanent and temporary public servants in budgetary organizations of the central government, we requested public information from 78 state entities, including central offices of all ministries, and important Legal Entities of Public Law (LEPL) and other subordinate agencies.
63 of the 78 budgetary organizations exceed the limit set by the Law on the 2015 State Budget (2% of permanent staff, or 5 employees). However, this does not automatically mean that these organizations have violated the law, since the budget law allows state entities to request the government issue an order increasing their limit. 61 of the 78 state entities had in fact received government permission to increase the maximum number of temporary employees. In 2013-2015 the government had issued a total of 170 orders changing the budget law restriction for various budgetary organizations. Figure 1 presents 30 budgetary organizations that have most exceeded the 2% limit. Figure 2 presents the same information in absolute terms.
Exceeding the limit on the number of temporary employees by hundreds of percent does not formally constitute a legal violation. As mentioned above, Article 22 Paragraph 7 of the Law on the 2015 State Budget allows for such exceptions with government consent. However, the exception can be considered a rule when 61 out of 78 budgetary organizations have a significantly increased limit. The legal restriction set by the budget law of 2015 (as well as those of 2014 and 2013) does not serve as a barrier for budgetary organizations to increase their number of temporary employees many fold beyond the limit.
It is also questionable whether the kinds of activities performed by temporary employees in the public service are in line with the law, according to which, temporary employees are hired ‘…in order to accomplish temporary tasks’.
The unsubstantiated increase of the number of temporary employees has been coupled with an annual increase in the number of permanent public servants:
Their remuneration also increases each year:
- We urge the government to substantiate its decisions on granting budgetary organizations permission to exceed the legal limit on the maximum number of temporary employees when issuing relevant orders.
 The Law on the 2015 State Budget, Article 22, Paragraph 1.
 This restriction does not apply to autonomous republics and self-governing units, as well as their Legal Entities of Public Law (LEPL) and non-commercial legal entities. It also does not apply to LEPLs that are considered religious organizations under Georgian law, LEPL Georgian Public Broadcaster, public schools, vocational and higher education institutions, as well as those LEPLs that receive less than 25% of their total revenue from the state, autonomous republic and local government budgets.
 The central office of the Ministry of Economy has yet to provide us with the requested information.
 In addition to the number of temporary employees, government orders often also grant permission to exceed the limits on bonuses, average salaries, and other restrictions set by the budget law.