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The News in Brief

Friday, December 18
GEL 5 477 391 spent on supplements and bonuses in six months in 2015 – IDFI

According to a survey of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), salary supplements and bonuses received by Georgian Ministries for 6 months in 2015 amounted to GEL 5 477 391. Roughly GEL 945 229 was spent on bonuses and GEL 4 532 162 on salary supplements.

The survey, which covers 6 months of 2015, provides information about bonuses and supplements ministries and legal entities of public law.

"The analysis showed that the restrictions imposed on bonuses led to the replacement of the bonus system with supplements. In particular, salary supplements and bonuses received by the Ministries for 6 months of 2015 amounted to GEL 5 477 391. Out of this, GEL 945 229 was spent on bonuses and GEL 4 532 162 was spent on salary supplements”, says the organization.

Among the ministries which fully provided information to the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on Diaspora Issues is the only department where for 6 months of 2015 officials get higher bonuses than supplements. (

Young Georgian diaspora in US donate gifts to children living near occupation line

Deserving children living along the occupation line are enjoying the festive season and opening New Year gifts sent by young Georgian diaspora living in the United States (US).

The diaspora in several American cities - including in the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania - joined in a charity effort that sent gifts to children that live near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) in Georgia’s Shida Kartli region.

This week, a charity event was held in New York, organised by the Consulate General of Georgia in New York.

The Georgian Consulate hosted about 80 guests, who were all willing to help Georgian children living near occupation line.

World famous Georgian mezzo-soprano singers Anita Rachvelishvili and Natalia Kutateladze sang at the charity event.

The event was attended by local officials, invited guests and several diaspora organisations that operate in the US.

Within the charity event Georgian books were gifted to the Georgian children who now lived in the US to remind them of their homeland, its culture, language and literature.

In the coming days, Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will transport the gifts to Georgia and give them to children who live along the ABL. (

Meeting held between the Speaker and the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Frecon

The meeting was focused around the decentralization of national government and regional reforms. According to the Speaker, Georgia-CoE relations are productive, successful and beneficial for the country. Relations with the Congress are of high support to the country for the decentralization process.

David Usupashvili said: “Georgia started a real decentralization process, which will be followed by significant financial and economic support. We already have 71 elected Mayors and Heads of Municipalities, while previously only the capital city had an elected Mayor. The Agreement, which is to be signed by the visiting European official, will serve as one of the most important guidelines for the Parliament of Georgia to render significant support in various directions of the legislative body”.

Jean-Claude Frecon spoke about the decentralization process and named France as a model, calling this process very time and work consuming. As he stated, the cooperation of the European Congress with Georgia is successful, as proved by the accomplishment of monitoring and the transition to post-monitoring regime. According to him, the “ROAD MAP” agreement, to be signed in the near future with Georgia, is a short document, as most of the recommendations on the legislative level have already been implemented in the country. “We are ready to assist Georgia in the successful accomplishment of these processes and in maintenance of unity of the country with our contribution. We condemn any kind of occupation and the borders of all CoE signatory countries shall be respected.”

The CoE Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is a Pan-European Assembly, mandated to enhance democratic values on local and regional levels, as well as the improvement of municipal activities and increase the authority of the Government. The Congress actively cooperates with the Ministry of Regional Development of Infrastructure of Georgia, developing a so-called “Road Map” which will enact cooperation between the capital and regional territories.

The Agreement will be signed by Jean-Claude Frecon and the Ministry of Regional Development, Nodar Javakhishvili, and thus Georgia will become the third country after Portugal and Ukraine to be granted this document. (

Strengthening Emergency Management in Georgia

The Emergency Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia received specialised equipment from the Government of Romania and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to better respond to emergency incidents.

The off-road Toyota Land Cruiser is a vehicle used for rescue operations in hard to access areas, such as mountains, and High Pressure Oxygen Compressors are being used in portable medical clinics for emergency healthcare.

On 15 December 2015, Dumitru Badea, the Ambassador of Romania to Georgia, and Shombi Sharp, the Deputy Head of the UNDP in Georgia, met with Zviad Katsashvili, Dthe irector of Emergency Management Agency, and Teimuraz Mgebrishvili, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.

They handed over the equipment to the Georgian officials and discussed international practices of emergency management, the benefits of professional exchanges between the countries and perspectives of future cooperation.

In October, the Government of Romania and the UNDP organised a study visit to Romania for the Emergency Management Agency staff. Representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs met their Romanian counterparts and visited emergency hospitals and ambulance service centres. (UNDP)