GEO

TI Georgia responds to the accusations made by MPs

21 September, 2017

Transparency International Georgia responds to the groundless and inappropriate accusations made by several political leaders, including the Chairperson of the Parliament, following the publication of our 19 September report.

Some of the accusations made by the MPs served to tarnish our organization’s name included: ‘irresponsible organization’, ‘incompetent and lying reputation’,  ‘attempt to blemish the reputation of the Georgian MPs’, ‘Kitchen gossip’, ‘deliberately providing misleading information’.

First of all, it should be mentioned that our organization periodically publishes reports and findings on the activities of the Members of the Parliament, including their business connections and undeclared assets. The report published on September 19 is the fifth of this kind. In some instances, based on our recommendations and findings, the Members of the Parliament would fix the errors in their declarations. It is for the first time that our report on the activities of MPs, which uses information that is already accessible on websites of various state agencies, have been met with such harsh and inappropriate assessments.

The data presented in our report relies entirely on information retrieved from the website of the National Agency of Public Registry and the declarations filled in by the MPs, which are accessible on the website of the civil service bureau. The presented information is open and accessible to the public in its entirety.

In spite of the harsh and inappropriate statements made in regards to our work by the MPs, we still yet have to hear of any specific and clear error made in the report.

The Chairperson of the Procedural Issues and Rules Committee admitted that he was informed about the fact that several MPs were simultaneously executives in several companies, which, by his own admittance, is a clear violation of the law. He also states that he systematically warns his colleagues to fix such errors.

Several MPs mentioned in the report did not deny the existence of the companies, however they’ve also stated that they have not conducted business activities in a long time. According to the legislation, a business entity no longer exists only after its registration has been terminated. All companies, which are mentioned in the report, are searchable as ‘active’ entities in the database of the public registry. The law is clear - MPs do not have the right to have management duties of a business entity. The declaration should include information on any company shares of the MP or his/her family, even if the company is currently not working for income.

In order to avoid confusion, TI Georgia indicated in its report that several companies are no longer operational as there has been no updated information on the public registry website for years. Nonetheless, this does not relieve the MPs from the responsibility to indicate their company shares in the public asset declarations and be dismissed from the executive positions.

It is important to note that upon the publication of the report, two MPs reacted adequately to the findings and decided to address the shortcomings in their declarations. Davit Chichinadze from the Georgian Dream and Mamuka Chikovani from the European Georgia addressed the public registry with a request to terminate their status of directors.

We remain hopeful that the Members of the Parliament will not limit their responses with groundless statements and follow through all the necessary procedures as defined by law to fix the errors indicated in our report. This approach will be indicative of their intention to maintain accountability and responsibility towards the public.

საჯარო რეესტრის ეროვნული სააგენტოს ვებგვერდზე არსებული ინფორმაცია