Corruption Risks in Abastumani
Bidzina Ivanishvili showed interest in Abastumani in August 2018, when he served as the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party. Ivanishvili stated that “Abastumani should become one of the best hubs in the world” and since then, the resort became a priority for the state. Citing the example of Abastumani, TI Georgia’s report demonstrates how Bidzina Ivanishvili uses a number of public agencies to improve the environment where he is implementing his own business projects and how quickly and smoothly the state earmarks major budget resources for this purpose.
Over the past four years, the state sold 20 times more land in Abastumani than during the first six years after Georgian Dream came to power. 91.7% of the privatized area was purchased by the subjects connected to Georgian Dream, 81.1% - personally by Bidzina Ivanishvili and the persons associated with him.
The government launched large infrastructure projects in Abastumani after Bidzina Ivanishvili showed his economic interest in the resort. From August 2018 till now, six public agencies spent GEL 249,920,551 for the development of Abastumani that is almost 14-fold more compared to 2012-2018. 83.1% of this amount was received by the companies with links to Georgian Dream donors. They donated GEL 1,276,000 to the ruling party at different times.
Transparency International Georgia examined the property privatized in Abastumani from 2012 till now, as well as public procurements of six public agencies – Municipal Development Fund, United Water Supply Company, National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, Adigeni Municipality City Hall, Agency of Protected Areas and Roads Department. TI Georgia looked at those public procurement contracts, which earmarked funds specifically for Abastumani. Accordingly, the report does not cover the procurement contracts, which were signed for common needs, without indicating a specific location.
- The state sold 67,790 m2 of land in Abastumani from 2012 through 2021. The area was purchased by a total of 26 subjects for GEL 8,693,501. 95.3% of the sold land - 64,649 m2 was alienated to 18 subjects over the past four years. They paid a total of GEL 8,392,301.
- 14 out of 18 subjects who purchased lands in Abastumani from August 2018 are connected to the Georgian Dream party. They purchased a total of 59,276 m2 of land for GEL 7,490,400. Nine of them have direct links to Bidzina Ivanishvili – they purchased a total of 52,443 m2 of land for GEL 6,417,200.
- In 2012-2022, six public agencies announced a total of 177 public procurement tenders in Abastumani, both in the resort and in the village, and spent GEL 267,490,306 on it. 93.4% of this amount – GEL 249,920,551 has been spent from August 2018 till now, i.e. since Bidzina Ivanishvili showed interest in Abastumani.
- In 2018-2022, 83.21% of money – GEL 207,720,451 - spent through public procurement in Abastumani was received by the companied connected to the Georgian Dream donors. They donated GEL 1,276,000 to the ruling party at different times.
- From August 2018 till now, GEL 145,101,148 from public procurement in Abastumani, i.e. 58.1% of the spent amount, went to the companies connected to the Georgian Dream donors either without competition or at the expense of disqualifying other bidders.
- Among the companies connected to the ruling party’s donors, Arali LLC and JEU Group LLC received the largest amount totaling GEL 140,492,444.
- In 2018-2022, the Roads Department of Georgia earmarked the largest amount – GEL 150,968,119 through 16 public procurements; the least amount – GEL 126,697 was allocated by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation through two public procurements.
- Over the last 4.5 years, all public agencies, excluding the Adigeni Municipality City Hall, spent more than during the first six years after Georgian Dream came to power.
- From 2012 to August 2018, five public agencies spent GEL 17,569,755 through a total of 110 public procurements. Of them, the contracts worth a total of GEL 7,302,165 through 15 public procurements were obtained by the companies connected to the Georgian Dream donors. They donated a total of GEL 220 000 to the ruling party at different times.
 The price of 6 m2 of land sold through direct privatization is unknown as the information was not provided to us.