NGOs recommendation to Tbilisi City Hall and Sakrebulo: probe into the official responsibility of managers of the city services for Ecology and Landscaping and the Municipal Procurements - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

NGOs recommendation to Tbilisi City Hall and Sakrebulo: probe into the official responsibility of managers of the city services for Ecology and Landscaping and the Municipal Procurements

18 April, 2013

TO:      Mayor of Tbilisi, Mr. Gigi Ugulava

            Tbilisi Sakrebulo


We would like to express our utmost concern over the grave and dangerous situation within Tbilisi's ecology and landscaping sector. Existing problems can be divided into three major categories:

  • Unsatisfactory ecological state in the city of Tbilisi (air pollution, contamination of water by drain waters, noise and visual alteration, etc.);
  • Alarming condition of the city's vegetation;
  • Problems within the process of procurements in the landscaping sector, creating a high risk of misuse of budgetary funds and corruption during the conduct of tenders.

We believe the City Service for Ecology and Landscaping’s failure to fulfill functions imposed by legislation is a major cause of the above-described problems. In particular:

  1. In recent years the City Service has not publicly presented its activity report on monitoring the ecological state in the city, leading us to assume that such work is simply not being performed.
  2. Pursuant to the statute of the City Service for Ecology and Landscaping (Article 7), functions of the City Service include the development of priorities, programs and plans for the capital's landscaping and their preparation for submission to the Sakrebulo by the Tbilisi Mayor. Until now the City Service has not published such documents and, as far as we are aware, has failed to perform such work. Hence, to date there is neither a uniform policy on or concept of Tbilisi's landscaping, nor detailed norms on the regulation of activities to be implemented in this sector. The state and quality of Tbilisi's vegetation is deplorable, while day by day an already insufficient (green?) space is rapidly reducing.
  3. Management of the City Service for Ecology and Landscaping unusually enjoys unlimited discretion in its annual activities, including the planning of municipal procurements in the relevant sector, as there is no conceptual framework and respective normative acts for the landscaping policy. As a result, there is a high risk that the funds from the city’s budget allocated for landscaping purposes are spent in the private interests of individual officials or companies (and  thus the detriment of the city, its population and the ecological state).
  4. Today it is unclear who is making the decisions on issues such as the planting, cutting down or shaping of the trees city-wide, and based on what criteria or norms. Such lack of transparency is the most fertile soil for corruption. Unfortunately, this is far from being a theoretical threat, attested by the substantial doubts and questions currently concerning the tenders conducted in the landscaping sector in recent years. 

The statute of the City Service for Ecology and Landscaping was approved in 2009. Today, the total failure of this City Service’s economic policy is patent: for the past four yearsno registration of plants has taken place, the park borders have not been approved, none of the parks have their own administration, and they are attended to based only on tenders. Planned works are not based on the document determining agro-standards (due to the absence of such a document), which results in the wrongful planning of tenders, as well as making it impossible to monitor the works. Despite an extremely grave phyto-sanitary condition in the city, measures to remedy this situation are still not being applied.

The problems associated with tenders in the landscaping sector further underline the gaps in the municipal procurement activities of the City Service. One notable example is last year's scandal about the landscaping of Baratashvili Street. The company with whom Tbilisi City Hall terminated its agreement following this scandal (and which was later included in the black list of the State Procurement Agency), still receives hundreds of thousands of GEL from the city's budget.

In view of the existing situation, we, the signatory organizations, recommend the Tbilisi Mayor and the Sakrebulo to probe into official responsibility of managers of the City Services for Ecology and Landscaping and the Municipal Procurements. We believe changes in the management of these City Services are crucial for solving the problems in the ecology and landscaping sectors. A broad discussion on the city's ecological problems must also be launched, completed by the adoption of respective legislative norms and an integrated concept.


Transparency International Georgia

Green Alternative

Safe Space