New rules for selecting the director of Adjara TV and Radio fails to ensure that a qualified candidate is selected - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

New rules for selecting the director of Adjara TV and Radio fails to ensure that a qualified candidate is selected

22 September, 2016


On September 16, the Advisory Board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s Adjara Television and Radio announced a competition for the vacancy of director. The competition is open with applications being accepted until October 18. The Advisory Board selects a director for a 3 year term.

On the same day, the Board approved its new rules for selecting the director. A few weeks earlier, the Broadcaster asked Transparency International Georgia to provide feedback and recommendations on the new selection rules, which TI Georgia provided in writing. While the Board’s willingness to consult with the civil society is to be welcomed, unfortunately, none of our main recommendations have been taken into account.

We believe that the new selection rules approved by the Board fail to ensure that a qualified candidate is selected. According to the new rules, candidates applying for the position of director of Adjara TV and Radio are not required to present their management vision and strategy. The Board is also not required to conduct interviews with candidates. This means that the new director can be selected based solely on the submitted formal application documents, which is insufficient and cannot ensure that Board members are adequately information about the candidates.

During the Advisory Board meeting, Board members stated that even though the law does not obligate candidates to submit a strategy document, they may submit any additional documents they find appropriate. According to the Board members, obligating candidates to submit a strategy document would “inconvenience” them. The Advisory Board is free to set its selection rules, the purpose of which is to set additional regulations that are consistent with the law.

In addition, according to existing regulations, the competition is declared failed if “the Advisory Board members fail to meet or achieve a quorum within seven days after the list of candidates has been published on the Broadcaster website”. After the competition is declared failed, it must be re-announced. It is unclear why the competition must be re-announced, if candidates have submitted all the required documents in accordance with the law and why they should be forced to re-submit their application. The above provision was not included in the draft regulations provided to us by the Advisory Board of Adjara TV and Radio, therefore, we were unable to provide our feedback prior to its approval.

We believe that in order to ensure the transparency of the process the Advisory Board should conduct open, public interviews with all candidates, so that the public has the opportunity to observe the selection process. The Advisory Board must also make its argumentation and selection criteria public.