TI Georgia: Asset Declaration System Needs Updates

In its report overviewing the results of the first three years since the launch of the monitoring mechanism for the Georgian Asset Declaration System, Transparency International Georgia, local CSO, stated that the system fulfills only half of its functions by focusing entirely on verifying the accuracy and completeness of the declarations while ignoring disclosure of conflict of interest and instances of corruption.

“It is important for monitoring to fulfill both functions in the future,” TI Georgia underlined in the document released on September 29.

According to the report, international recommendations in the conflict of interest and corruption-related offenses have not been addressed, while the rules for the selection and work of the independent commission for declaration monitoring should be improved.

The analysis also found out that existing legislative shortcomings make it impossible to reveal “information on paid work carried out by public officials prior and after their tenure in office is not public.” This, the CSO argued, contradicts the law.

TI Georgia also noted that the number of violations in declarations decreased from 80% to 45% in the third year of monitoring only after the publication of the instructions for filling in the asset declarations, and concluded that simplifying and updating the declaration mechanism proved to be crucial in ensuring accuracy and completeness.

The watchdog issued several recommendations according to which identification of conflict of interest and corruption-related offenses should become an integral part of the monitoring process, while “the commission should also be given more freedom to select declarations for verification based on their identified risk-factors”.

The watchdog also recommended extending the list of officials required to submit asset declarations to regular prosecutors, Deputy Chairpersons of Sakrebulo (Municipal Assembly) factions, advisors to the ministers, as well as heads of local or state funded bodies.

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