CSOs Slam Gov’t Over Refusing to Approve OECD Anti-Corruption Report

Three Georgian civil society organizations – Transparency international Georgia, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information and the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association – have slammed the Government over refusing to approve the report on anti-corruption environment in Georgia drafted by the Anti-Corruption Network of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/ACN).

The CSOs said the government demanded additional time to amend the text of the report, which was prepared as part of the fifth round of monitoring by the OECD/ACN (using a new pilot methodology) and which studied the country’s anti-corruption environment, including the existence of risks of high-level corruption.

In their joint November 19 statement, the civil society outfits accused the government delegation to address the authors of the documents with non-constructive and con-collegial statements during the October 26 plenary of OECD / ACN. “This step of the Georgian authorities causes a serious damage to the country’s external image and to its long-standing productive relationship with the OECD/ACN.”

The watchdogs said the Georgian government’s refusal to approve the OECD / ACN report damages Georgia’s reputation and contradicts the constitutionally reinforced will of the Georgian people to build a European, democratic, corruption-free country with an independent judiciary.

The joint statement also lambasted the government over what they called stalled implementation of anti-corruption reforms in Georgia in recent years.

The Interagency Anti-Corruption Coordination Council, which is responsible for determining, monitoring, and assessing the country’s anti-corruption policy, as well as for fulfillment of international recommendations, last met two years ago, CSOs noted, adding that as of the end of 2021, the Anti-Corruption Action Plan for 2021-22 is yet to be approved and The Open Government Partnership (OGP) reform has been stalled for two years as well.

“All of the above indicates that combating corruption is no longer a priority for the country’s authorities,” CSOs concluded.

Civil.ge approached the Administration of the Government of Georgia and the Justice Ministry for comments. Their position will be reflected in the article as soon as their comments are received.