Violations in the Khoni and Vani Municipalities - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Violations in the Khoni and Vani Municipalities

18 February, 2016

TI Georgia has been studying public procurements carried out by local and central authorities for years.

On this occasion, we have taken an interest in the public procurements carried out in the Vani Municipality and asset declarations of public officials of the same municipality. The research revealed several incompletely filled out asset declarations of officials and cases of possible conflict of interest.   

The interests of Amiran Dvalishvili, chairman of commission at the Town Council of the Vani Municipality, in the public procurements carried out by the municipality

Amiran Dvalishvili has held the position of the Chairman of the Commission on Healthcare and Social Issues at the Town Council of the Vani Municipality since the 2014 local elections. According to legislation, he, as a public official, is prohibited from making property transactions with the budgetary institution in which he holds a position. On January 15, 2015, the Town Council of the Vani Municipality announced a simplified electronic tender to provide nutrition for persons devoid of care. Only one company – Amiko LLC – took part in the tender. According to the Public Registry data, Amiran Dvalishvili has owned a 100 percent stake in Amiko LLC since 1997, though Mr. Dvalishvili did not indicate this fact in his asset declarations of 2014 and 2015. The company won this tender and, on February 2, 2015, signed a contract with the municipality for the duration of a year and one month. On the basis of the contract, the company received a payment of GEL 24,800.  

Amiko LLC has been making contracts with the Vani Municipality for several years. On the basis of the first contract, which was made on February 12, 2013, five months after the elections, the company received a payment of GEL 20,855. On January 31, 2014, Amiko LLC signed a contract with a value of GEL 20,995 with the municipality. The completion date of this contract was February 20, 2015, and its object was the provision of catering service with the aim of providing nutrition for persons devoid of care. It should be noted that, at that time, Amiran Dvalishvili held the position of chairman of commission at the Town Council, while one of the parties to the procurement was the Town Council of the Vani Municipality. 

The company has made a total of three contracts with the municipality, and, accordingly, has received a payment of GEL 66,650.

Incompletely filled out asset declarations of public officials

  • Zaza Khurtsidze has been the Head of the Vani Municipal Administration since 2014. According to the Public Registry data, his spouse, Ekaterine Chakhunashvili, has been registered as a sole entrepreneur since February 27, 2006, although Mr. Khurtsidze did not indicate this fact in his asset declarations of 2014 and 2015.
  • Lasha Lortkipanidze has held the position of the Chairman of the Commission on Property Management, Economic Issues and Infrastructure at the Town Council of the Vani Municipality since the local elections of 2014. He has been registered as a sole entrepreneur since December 12, 2007, although he did not indicate this fact in his asset declarations of 2014 and 2015.   
  • Koba Tokhvadze is a member of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia faction at the Town Council of the Vani Municipality. His spouse, Thea Kapanadze, and daughter, Salome Tokhvadze, have been registered as sole entrepreneurs since July 8, 2010, and April 10, 2014, respectively. Mr. Tokhvadze did not indicate these facts in his 2015 asset declaration.

TI Georgia calls on the Internal Audit Service of the Town Council of the Vani Municipality to take an interest in the issue of legality of the contract concluded between the municipality and Amiko LLC, which is owned by Amiran Dvalishvili.

We also urge the relevant officials of the Vani Municipality to:

  • strengthen preventive mechanisms to avoid possible corrupt deals;
  • strengthen monitoring mechanisms in order not to allow any conflict of interest in public procurement;
  • not allow monopolization of any company.

Violations in the Khoni Municipality

we have taken an interest in the public procurements carried out in the Khoni Municipality and asset declarations of public officials of the same municipality. The research revealed several incompletely filled out asset declarations of officials and cases of possible conflict of interest.          

Possible interests of Kakha Pirtskhalava, Chairman of the Georgian Dream faction at the Town Council of the Khoni Municipality, in the procurements carried out in the Khoni Municipality

Kakha Pirtskhalava was elected a member of the Town Council of the Khoni Municipality after the 2014 local self-government elections. He is now the Chairman of the Georgian Dream faction. According to the Public Registry data, till 2014, Mr. Pirtskhalava was the director and owner of a 33.3 percent stake of Santeli+, a company registered on June 30, 2003. The company signed its first contract with a non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity (N(N)LE) founded by the municipality in 2011, although the parties did not determine the object of the contract.  

In 2012-14, the Santeli+ company made 16 contracts with various N(N)LEs of the municipality and received a total payment of GEL 18,090. After the 2014 local elections, Mr. Pirtskhalava reregistered the company in the name of his daughter, Tamta Pirtskhalava. Since Tamta Pirtskhalava was appointed the director, the company has made 22 contracts and received an income of GEL 17,696. The company has made the following contracts since 2012: 7 contracts with N(N)LE Charity Association of Khoni – House of Virtue, 23 contracts with N(N)LE Central Kindergarten of Khoni, and 8 contracts with N(N)LE Khoni House of Thankfulness. In total, the company concluded 38 contracts and, on their basis, received a payment of GEL 35,786.

Incompletely filled out asset declarations of public officials

  • Beniamen Tkabladze has served as the Chairman of the Civil Alliance for Freedom faction at the Town Council of the Khoni Municipality since the 2014 local elections. According to the Public Registry data, his spouse, Khatuna Tkabladze, has been registered as a sole entrepreneur since February 26, 2010. As a public official, Mr. Tkabladze was obligated to indicate full information about both his and his family members’ entrepreneurial activity in his asset declarations, according to the Law of Georgia on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Service. He did not indicate the aforementioned fact in his asset declarations of 2014 and 2015.    
  • Durmishkhan Khurtsilava has been the Chairman of the Democratic Movement – Entrepreneurs faction at the Town Council of the Khoni Municipality, according to the data of his 2015 asset declaration, and he has been registered as a sole entrepreneur since January 4, 2012, although he did not indicate this fact in his 2015 asset declaration.

TI Georgia has released several studies on non-declared property of public officials in various municipalities and on the risks potentially posed by non-declared property. In addition, the organization has indicated to the authorities on many occasions that it is necessary to develop additional monitoring mechanisms for effective struggle against corruption. According to the new Law of Georgia on Civil Service, a part of which is due to take effect from January 1, 2017, the Civil Service Bureau should ensure monitoring on asset declarations filled out by public officials. TI Georgia hopes that the aforementioned norm will be enforced in practice and will become an effective mechanism for addressing the problems revealed by the studies.

TI Georgia urges the relevant officials of the Khoni Municipality to:

  • strengthen preventive mechanisms to avoid possible corrupt deals;
  • strengthen monitoring mechanisms in order not to allow any conflict of interest in public procurement;

not allow monopolization of any company.

Author: TI Georgia