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PM in London: ‘Georgia took nearly revolutionary steps against corruption’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 16
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, says steps undertaken by Georgia in terms of eliminating corruption may be considered less than revolutionary, but the outcomes are truly groundbreaking.

Kvirikashvili said this in his speech at the Anti-Corruption Summit London 2016 several days ago which brought together world leaders, business and civil society representatives to find solutions to corrupt practices and combat the culture of corruption in all facets of political activity.

"We have developed a one-stop-shop-based nationwide network of public service halls in up to 20 cities and community centers in more than 30 large villages across the country that provides all types of public services to our citizens,” Kvirikashvili said.

“Today, within the frames of the new initiative under the reform, we are actively expanding this model,” the PM said, noting that this would ensure the provision of all types of services that people may require from the governmental agency.

“This limits corruption related-risks that are already low in Georgia,” the PM said.

Speaking about the revolutionary, anti-corruption reforms in Georgia, Kvirikashvili highlighted the introduction of a comprehensive online state procurement system, the development of an E-Treasury and E-Budget programs and passing laws to pave the way for the efficient prosecution of corruption-related crimes.

“I have to note that we have a political party funding law, which is crucial prior to the Parliamentary elections that are scheduled this autumn, “ Kvirikashvili said.

In a view of practical partnership, the PM particularly emphasised the British government's efforts under the framework of the Good Governance Fund to establish a strategic cooperation between the Office of Budget Responsibility of the UK and the Parliamentary Budget Office of Georgia.

The Prime Minister also noted the continual monitoring of the Asset Declaration System for Public Officials as one of the important novelties in Georgia.

"This groundbreaking amendment will substantially affect our anticorruption efforts. The employees of the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) became authorized to undertake the permanent verification of asset declarations.”

“If as a result of the checkup the CSB finds that an asset declaration consists of any incomplete or inaccurate information or document, or legal provisions have been violated on any other account, there will be an administrative or criminal follow-up as the case may be,” the PM said.

The PM also voiced Georgia’s international recognitions against cooperation in his speech.

In the context he mentioned that according to the Open Government Index 2015 published by the World Justice Project, Georgia is ranked 1st out of 13 East European and Central Asian countries in the open governance category, and;

Georgia is ranked 11th out of 197 countries according to Business Bribery Risk Index 2014 published by Trace International, and according to the Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer Survey, only 4% of those polled in Georgia stated that they had paid bribes.

“These are truly remarkable outcomes. Of course, none of the countries can achieve tangible results separately. The results may be attained only through consolidation of our international efforts,” the PM said.