A representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs inside the Ministry of Education
Transparency International Georgia continues to monitor employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the so-called ODR security officers, inside various institutions. Previously, we have revealed the existence of such employees inside several government agencies and the Georgian Public Broadcaster.
Transparency International Georgia once again calls on the government and especially the country’s highest legislative body to reexamine the legitimacy of this vicious practice, which undermines the independence of various state institutions.
This time we would like to present our findings related to yet another security officer who held a high level position inside the Ministry of Education.
According to the 2012 asset declaration, Tamaz Ratianidze (born 08/07/1974) served as deputy head of the Division of Regional Management of the Constitutional Security Department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to the 2013 asset declaration, filed by Ratianidze on February 21, 2013, he had been appointed as deputy head of the Division of Security Officers (main division) of the State Security Agency at MIA. According to the information provided to us by the Ministry of Education, however, Ratianidze was appointed as deputy head of the Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Education on February 15, 2013. In other words, Tamaz Ratianidze simultaneously held positions in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Education.
According to his 2014 asset declaration, Ratianidze had received a total income of GEL 13,258 from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and GEL 25,810 from the Ministry of Education. Ratianidze had also received bonuses from the Ministry of Education in 2013-2014.
Tamaz Ratianidze held his position in the Ministry of Education until January 21, 2014. This is confirmed by an asset declaration filed by him in 2014 as the former deputy head of the Internal Audit Department. In the job address field of the same declaration Ratianidze, a former employee of the Ministry of Education, indicates the address of the Ministry of Internal Affairs - 72 Vazha-Pshavela Avenue, Tbilisi, which is the address of the so-called Moduli building of the MIA.
Asset declarations filed by Tamaz Ratianidze also reveal that his wife works in the field of education and is an employee of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement.
By holding two government positions simultaneously Ratianidze has violated Article 13, Paragraph 2 of the Law on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in the Public Service, according to which:
“A public official may not perform any paid work, except for scientific, pedagogical or creative activities, or hold any position in any other public agency or public enterprise, or perform any paid work or hold any position in another country’s state body or institution.”
Tamaz Ratianidze’s case clearly demonstrates the vicious nature of the so-called ODRs. First, the Ministry of Internal Affairs actively appoints its representatives in various administrative bodies.
Second, unfortunately, there is no mechanism that can be used to check for possible conflicts of interest of public officials. TI Georgia has been actively reporting about these issues for the past several years. Unfortunately, the government has yet to take active steps in eliminating the problem.
Transparency International Georgia will continue to research this topic and inform the public about the existence of representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affair, the so-called ODRs, in various public institutions. If you have any information about this practice, please contact us via email or phone (firstname.lastname@example.org, +995 32 292 14 03).