Economy
Municipalities turned out to be top bribe-takers
29 May, 2014
According to 9-year statistics of financial crimes, municipalities are the top grafters. As the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) informed Georgian Journal on 20 May, it inquired about the financial crime statistics at the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finances and although the structure did not provide them with full information, the available information states the following: there were 171 bribery cases revealed within the period of March 2004 to April of 2014 and 201 persons were pursued legally; in the same period 2 145 cases of embezzlement and squander were also put under investigation. 124 facts of power abuse were disclosed and investigated within 2005-2013, while 113 individuals were pursued as criminals to this end.
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Dariali natural disaster caused problems for Georgian wine export
26 May, 2014
“Export of alcohol into Russia can only be conducted through the Larsi checkpoint.”
The natural disaster in Dariali Gorge has completely disrupted our country’s peaceful rhythm.
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Businesses ask for fair electronic procurement
22 May, 2014
Georgian businesses ask for better competition and competence terms in electronic state procurement. They say the lack of competence and of equal competition rules leads to losses and poises corruption risks. Since 2010, Georgia made a big step forward regarding state procurements when it introduced mandatory electronic tenders. All state procurements that require products and services above GEL 5,000 are obliged to be made through electronic open tenders. Technically, Georgian electronic tenders are seen as one of the best in Europe since all tender-related information is made available and transparent to all interested parties.
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Simplified state procurements imply legalized corruption risks
22 May, 2014
The so-called simplified contracts for state procurements imply legalized corruption risks which allow state officials to strike corruption deals with the private sector without punishment thanks to loopholes in the procurement law. The Georgian Law on State Procurements foresees two ways of state procurement and the cross line between these two means lays on GEL 5,000: state procurements that require products and services with a price exceeding GEL 5,000 must be implemented via open electronic auctions which lately gained international acclaim as one of the most transparent and technically smoothest tenders across Europe.
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“Produce in Georgia” about to start
22 May, 2014
“Produce in Georgia,” a new governmental program focused on the development of Georgian entrepreneurship, will start from 1 June. The program envisages preferential crediting of local entrepreneurs. The preferential credits mechanism is based on state co-financing banking credits disbursed to businessmen. To this end, the program budget has GEL 46 million at its disposal, out of which GEL 30 million will support agricultural credits and GEL 16 million will go to the industry.
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Bonus system for all public officials to be unified
22 May, 2014
The Georgian government is intent to work out a unified and transparent system of premium and add-ons for all government members and public officials. The issue became of high public interest lately and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili ordered the Administration of Georgian government and the National Bureau of Public Service to work out a unified rule of defining premiums and salary add-ons to all state structures alike by the end of coming June. This system should be a flexible and fair system in line with European standards.
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Georgian insurance sector faces new reality
15 May, 2014
The Georgian insurance sector faces a new reality which holds out the prospect of reduced incomes. But the future also holds an increased stability and higher profit if insurance companies maintain a good management, sector pundits say. The Georgian insurance industry is at a turning point. The state supported a four-year medical insurance program for socially vulnerable people which comes to an end this year and the private sector should go ahead with only the sale of corporate products. In fact, this social medical insurance was quite a controversial product which led companies to high profits. Profits soured around 60% during its early phase, but eventually ended with huge losses fluctuating between 90-100%.
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New World Bank strategy for Georgia
15 May, 2014
In order for Georgia to implement its ambitious development agenda and achieve sustainable results, the World Bank will be disbursing a total of USD 1.2 billion through the new four-year strategy program, the local office of the World Bank informed Georgian Journal on 8 May. A new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Georgia for 2014-17 was discussed on 8 May by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors. The four-year strategy will guide the support of the WB to the country in helping end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.
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Labor inspectorate coming soon in Georgia
15 May, 2014
Labor inspectorate is planned to be set up in Georgia but the government cannot specify details on the upcoming structure or when this inspection will be established. The Ombudsman of Georgia repeatedly appealed to the government to accelerate the creation of a labor inspectorate. The Ombudsman initiated the issue in July last year after the new labor code had been adopted. Despite the changes, the new code left the issues of labor security and healthcare open. According to the Ombudsman’s office, the labor code stipulates that an employer is obliged to provide a safe labor environment, but no paragraph elaborates on what sanctions an employer may face if this obligation is breached, the 2013 annual report of the Ombudsman states. The same report also admits that there is no coherent national policy on labor, healthcare and labor conditions, and no control is implemented either.
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