Staff numbers and budget expenses swell at non-profit entities set up by municipalities of Samtskhe-Javakheti region
Transparency International (TI) Georgia continues to monitor the processes inside municipal non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities (N(N)LE) after the 2014 local government elections. TI Georgia has already published its findings regarding the increased number of employees at N(N)LEs of municipalities in the regions of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria, Kakheti, and the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. The following are monitoring results of non-profit legal entities under Samtskhe-Javakheti municipalities.
TI Georgia requested public information regarding the number of employees and their salaries in non-profit legal entities under Samtskhe-Javakheti municipalities as of May 1, 2014 and January 15, 2016.
The received public information revealed that:
- The number of non-profit legal entities of Samtskhe-Javakheti municipalities had increased from 55 in May 2014, to 70 in January 2016.
- The number of employees in these entities had increased by 347 from 1,704 to 2,051 over the same period.
- The increase in the number of employees raised the budget expenditure on salaries by a monthly GEL 205,554.12, and GEL 2,466,655.44 annually.
- The number of N(N)LE employees has not decreased in any municipality.
- Prior to the local government reform and the 2014 local government elections Akhaltsikhe municipality had a total of 9 non-profit legal entities. After the reform, when it was split in two separate Akhaltsikhe city and Akhaltsikhe community municipalities, the number of non-profit legal entities in both self-governing units was increased to 16, their employees to 60, and their monthly salary expenses by GEL 37,985.12.
- After the 2014 local government elections three new non-profit legal entities were set up in Aspindza municipality: Aspindza Sports Club, Aspindza Culture and Art Center, and Aspindze Center for Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Five new non-profit legal entities were set up in Borjomi municipality: Borjomi Cleaning and Landscaping, Cemetery, Outdoor Lighting, Borjomi Public Transport, and Borjomi Rural Water.
- Borjomi municipality currently runs two non-profit legal entities responsible for managing kindergartens: Bakuriani Preschool Institution, and Borjomi Preschool Institution – Bright Future of Borjomi. TI Georgia believes that kindergartens on the territory of Borjomi municipality can be managed by a single non-profit legal entity. We also believe that setting up a new non-profit entity Outdoor Lighting is unnecessary, since the same responsibilities could be performed by the existing N(N)LE Borjomi Cleaning and Landscaping.
- The number of non-profit legal entities has not changed in Adigeni, Ninotsminda, and Akhalkalaki municipalities.
- Ninotsminda municipality also did not increase the number of employees and total monthly salary expenditure of its non-profit legal entities.
It is Transparency International Georgia's position that:
- Considering the limited resources of municipal budgets, increasing the number of non-profit legal entities as well as their staff without proper justification is inadvisable.
- A new non-profit legal entity should be set up only when its existence is necessary for the proper functioning of a municipality.
- Non-profit legal entities that perform identical and/or similar tasks should be merged under a single entity, which would greatly reduce budgetary expanses.
- Unlike public servants, employees of non-profit legal entities are not required to go through a competitive merit based process prior to their appointment, which places their qualification under question. Instead, N(N)LE heads are given the authority to make staffing decisions personally, which removes the possibility for persons with higher qualification to be selected through open competition.