Case of corruption in the state agricultural assistance program - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Case of corruption in the state agricultural assistance program

03 May, 2013

We would like to react to the Ministry of Internal Affairs Anti-Corruption Agency’s arrests of high officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and the state-owned company Mekanizatori. The fact that the Minister of Agriculture, Davit Kirvalidze, assumed political responsibility for the alleged case of corruption displays a high degree of accountability from a government official. His decision to resign will assist in the proper investigation of this case.

As reported, several officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Mekanizatori Ltd have been charged with misspending public funds, negligence of duties, and exerting pressure on experts. Today, the Minister of Agriculture requested his suspension from office until the investigation has been completed.

According to the press-release issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there is well-grounded doubt over whether the embezzled money was used for the procurement of tractors and other equipment within the scope of the state agricultural program.

We believe that any government should place the detection and prevention of embezzlement cases as high priority, especially when it concerns the participation of high public officials in corrupt deals. It is clear that more efficient mechanisms regarding corruption need to be put in place. One significant initiative would be to guarantee whistleblowers’ protection, this would considerably strengthen the government's anti-corruption regulatory framework.