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Georgia

Development of Local Councils for Crime Prevention (GE0059)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Georgia National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia

Support Institution(s): Minicipality bodies; National Probation Agency; Ministry of Internal Affairs; Nongovernmental organizations

Policy Areas

Public Service Delivery, Security, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Georgia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Development of local councils for crime prevention; Starting from 2016, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched the project “Local Council”, the goal of which is to coordinate the crime prevention measures between relevant agencies and initiate new measures. At the current stage, crime prevention is a prerogative of a number of government agencies. Enhancing coordination between them is essential to avoid implementation of duplicate prevention measures by various agencies. The main goal of the project is to discuss ceiminal situation in the region, to make decisions about preventive measures required for the region, to develop initiatives and to draw up a coordination plan about fighting crime in cooperation with other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. The project was created according to the model of the USA and represents a coordination organ on the regional level. Permanent members of the Council are the representatives of the law-enforcement (Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Corrections), municipalities, lawyers’ corps, NGOs. The Council may also have temporary members from the civil society. Implementation of Local Councils was launched in a pilot regime in Adjara region. In the framework of the commitment, Local Councils will be set up in Kvemo Kartli, Samegrelo in the nearest future and later in other regions of Georgia. Date ofImplementation: 2016-2017; Issues to be Addressed: Strengthened coordination between government bodies working on the crime prevention is necessary to avoid implementation of duplicate preventive measures by various agencies. A platform should be created that will enable the society members to participate in the initiation, planning and implementation of the crime prevention measures. The specificity of the regions should be considered and preventive measures adequately introduced. Main Objective: Improving coordination of measures aiming at crime prevention and combining endeavor of government and NGO sector available in this field; initiating preventive measures tailored to the local needs

IRM End of Term Status Summary

18. Development of Local Councils for crime prevention

Commitment Text:

Starting from 2016, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched the project “Local Council”, the goal of which is to coordinate the crime prevention measures between relevant agencies and initiate new measures. At the current stage, crime prevention is a prerogative of a number of government agencies. Enhancing coordination between them is essential to avoid implementation of duplicate prevention measures by various agencies.

The main goal of the project is to discuss criminal situation in the region, to make decisions about preventive measures required for the region, to develop initiatives and to draw up a coordination plan about fighting crime in cooperation with other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. The project was created according to the model of the USA and represents a coordination organ on the regional level. Permanent members of the Council are the representatives of the law-enforcement (Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Interiors, Ministry of Corrections), municipalities, lawyers’ corps, NGOs. The Council may also have temporary members from the civil society.

Implementation of Local Councils was launched in a pilot regime in Adjara region. In the framework of the commitment, Local Councils will be set up in Kvemo Kartli, Samegrelo in the nearest future and later in other regions of Georgia.

Responsible institution(s): Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia

Supporting institution(s): Municipality bodies, National Probation Agency, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Nongovernmental organizations

Start date: March 2016 End date: December 2017

Commitment Aim:

In March 2016, the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia (hereinafter, Prosecutor’s Office or POG) started a project “Local Council.” The aim of the project is to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss the criminal landscape and coordinate crime prevention activities in regions of Georgia, as well as to increase public awareness of the law, and develop trust toward the Prosecutor’s Office. [77] [78] According to the action plan, there was a risk of different government agencies duplicating crime prevention activities, therefore, the project aimed to reduce this possibility by increasing coordination through local council meetings. The initial goal of the Prosecutor’s Office within the action plan was to establish local councils in at least six regions of Georgia and conduct at least ten meetings by the end of 2017.

Status

Midterm: Complete

The commitment was fully implemented on time. By the midterm, the Prosecutor’s Office set up 12 crime prevention councils across the country, including in Zugdidi, Ozurgeti, Akhaltsikhe, Rustavi, Marneuli, Bolnisi, Khelvachauri, and Telavi. At least one meeting per council was held. The events were publicized in the local media, including television channels and newspapers. By the midterm, a few projects proposed during the council meetings were implemented, including an advocacy campaign promoting road safety and a campaign against domestic violence. [79]

The commitment can be assessed as complete, considering that the lead agency established 22 councils and organized 36 meetings in past two years. Since the midterm assessment in August 2017, the Prosecutor’s Office conducted 22 meetings, including in the capital, Tbilisi, as well as other regions of Georgia. [80] [81] The first meetings were in Tbilisi and Sighnaghi, while 16 local councils later met within the timeframe of the action plan. During the meetings in Tbilisi, the participants discussed measures to prevent drug crimes, while domestic violence was an important topic for discussion on meetings in the regions.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Marginal

The local councils provided a platform for information-sharing about crime prevalence and relevant statistics in their respective locations, as well as about studies published by the Prosecutor’s Office. It also allowed CSOs and the population to voice concerns about pressing issues, such as domestic violence in Kvemo Kartli for instance. [82] During the meetings, local state authorities and CSO representatives were able to plan activities around domestic violence and violence against women in eight cities: Telavi, Rustavi, Kutaisi, Gori, Zugdidi, Mtskheta, Samtredia, and Kutaisi. [83]

The meetings are usually planned on a central level; the Chief Prosecutor’s Office schedules and invites participants to ensure monitoring and coordination. The Prosecutor’s Office provides suggestions and advises on topics to be discussed at the local council meetings in the regions, depending on the crime situation in respective geographical locations. The councils allow “free space” at the end of the agenda, where participants are able to put forward issues of their own interest. Thus, stakeholders get information regarding crime prevalence and discuss its possible solutions, but also can provide input and engage in dialogue. Generally, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia publishes records on crime prevalence, which are also publicly available through the National Statistics Office of Georgia (GeoStat)’s website, with monthly reports and criminal justice statistics by region. [84] While this information was previously available through these websites, the local councils expanded communication channels and made the information more accessible, especially in regions where internet access is low. All councils send meeting minutes to the Prosecutor’s Office, which collects, analyzes, and publishes relevant information in the “Report of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia.” There also exists an annual report on the work of the local councils, however, the document is not publicly available. Despite numerous requests to the representative of the Prosecutor’s Office, the IRM researcher could not get the document.

The Prosecutor’s Office developed a document regulating the councils’ functions, responsibilities, and scope of activities, which was expected to be formalized by the end of 2018. [85] The councils usually consist of permanent and non-permanent members, including local prosecutors, the public defender, representatives of law enforcement agencies, and relevant CSOs. [86] In terms of civic engagement, prior to the local councils, there was no formal mechanism to regulate how CSOs and the public could provide recommendations and suggestions to local law enforcement agencies or the POG. This initiative created this space and formalized the process.

As the POG representative stated, as a result of the local council activities, crime victim appeals, and criminal prosecution have both increased in past years; however, there is no verified evidence or studies about causality between the initiatives and increase in the mentioned data. [87]

On the other hand, the civil society representative noted a lack of communication and low public awareness of the local councils. [88] A representative of Transparency International (TI) Georgia mentioned discussing the local criminal landscape and preventative measures, as well as plans for future cooperation at two council meetings in Batumi, however they did not result in concrete joint initiatives. [89]

Focus group participants in three municipalities (Akhlatsikhe, Ozurgeti, and Zugdidi) were unaware of the council activities, [90] which supports expanding the scope of public and CSO outreach. While local media covered the meetings, media coverage and TV appearances can be insufficient visibility. In the majority of the reported meetings, participants included representatives from state and nongovernmental sectors, however citizen participation was limited. [91]

Carried Forward?

The commitment was not carried forward into the fourth action plan. Nevertheless, the Strategy of the Prosecutor of Georgia 2017−2021 involves expansion of local councils in the regions of Georgia. [92] For the sustainability of the initiative, the IRM midterm report recommended that the Prosecutor’s Office develop and adopt formal participation rules, ensure regular meetings, and adopt a standard procedure for council meetings. It would also be beneficial to publish meeting minutes and encourage inter-municipality information exchanges between permanent councilmembers.

[77] Report of The Chief Prosecutor of Georgia 2018 (Prosecution Service of Georgia, 6 Feb. 2016), http://pog.gov.ge/res/docs/ReportoftheChiefProsecutor2017.pdf.

[78] Government of Georgia, Georgia National Action Plan 2016-2017 (OGP, 3 Nov. 2016), http://bit.ly/2t2eFxU.

[79] Lasha Gogidze and Tamar Gzirishvili, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Georgia Progress Report 2016-2017 (OGP, 30 Apr. 2018), https://bit.ly/2NIr097.

[80] Natia Mukhiashvili (Prosecutor at Analytical Division of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia), interview with IRM researcher, 16 Oct. 2018.

[81] Report of The Chief Prosecutor of Georgia 2018 (Prosecution Service of Georgia, 6 Feb. 2016).

[82] Bolnisi Regional Prosecutor's Office, “Presentation of the Permanent Council” (Bolnisi Newspaper’s YouTube Channel, 16 Nov. 2016), https://bit.ly/2qR4LzV.

[83] Report of The Chief Prosecutor of Georgia 2018 (Prosecution Service of Georgia, 6 Feb. 2016).

[84] National Statistics Office of Georgia’s criminal justice statistics are available at: http://www.geostat.ge/index.php?action=page&p_id=602&lang=eng.

[85] Mukhiashvili, interview 16 Oct. 2018.

[86] Gogidze and Gzirishvili, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Georgia Progress Report 2016-2017 (OGP, 30 Apr. 2018).

[87] Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, “Specialized Prosecutors will supervise the cases of Domestic Violence” ( 7 Mar. 2018), http://pog.gov.ge/geo/news?info_id=1555.

[88] Malkhaz Chkadua (Regional Offices Manager at Transparency International), e-mail correspondence with IRM researcher, 31 Oct. 31, 2018.

[89] Chkadua, interview 31 Oct. 2018.

[90] Focus Groups conducted by IRM researcher: Akhaltsike 19 Oct. 2018; Ozurgeti 22 Oct. 2018; Zugdidi 23 Oct. 2018.

[91] Kvira, “Presentation of the Local Council in Bolnisi, within the “Local Councils” project” (29 Jun. 2018), http://kvira.ge/407472; ProfNews, “Samtredia Regional Prosecutor’s Office organized presentation of the Local Council” (4 Aug. 2017), https://bit.ly/2CPtsUm; Zari News, “The Prosecutor’s Office established a Local Council” (Zari News’ YouTube Channel, 10 Aug. 2017) https://bit.ly/2Q83H5s.

[92] Strategy of Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia 2017-2021 (Prosecution Service of Georgia), http://pog.gov.ge/res/docs/saqartvelosprokuratuirsstrategia.pdf.


Georgia's Commitments

  1. Improved Public Services

    GE0066, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Citizen Engagement Platform

    GE0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Unified Authentication System

    GE0068, 2018, E-Government

  4. Economic Governance

    GE0069, 2018, E-Government

  5. Environment Portal

    GE0070, 2018, E-Government

  6. Strengthen Anti-Corruption Institutions

    GE0071, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Monitor SDGs

    GE0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. Citizen Engagement Legislation

    GE0073, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  9. Publish Court Decisions

    GE0074, 2018, E-Government

  10. Increasing Transparency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    GE0075, 2018, E-Government

  11. Citizen Participation in Public Finance

    GE0076, 2018, Audits and Controls

  12. Transparent Public Funding System

    GE0077, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  13. Public Procurement Improvements

    GE0078, 2018, E-Government

  14. Housing Policy Planning

    GE0079, 2018, Land & Spatial Planning

  15. Openness and Accountability of State-Owned Enterprises

    GE0080, 2018, E-Government

  16. Transparency and Good Governance

    GE0081, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Open Data Collection and Publication

    GE0082, 2018, E-Government

  18. Participation for Disabled Individuals

    GE0083, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  19. Participatory Budgeting

    GE0084, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Your Idea for the Zugdidi Mayor

    GE0085, 2018, Capacity Building

  21. Electronic Services

    GE0086, 2018, E-Government

  22. I. Gov. Zugdidi

    GE0087, 2018, Capacity Building

  23. Service and Citizen Satisfaction Assessment

    GE0088, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Promoting and Monitoring SDGs

    GE0089, 2018, Legislature

  25. Citizen Involvement in Budget

    GE0090, 2018, E-Government

  26. Technology for Transparency

    GE0091, 2018, E-Government

  27. Citizen Engagement Center

    GE0092, 2018, Capacity Building

  28. Raising Public Awareness About Parliamentary Democracy

    GE0093, 2018, E-Government

  29. Electronic Innovations for More Transparency and Efficiency of Public Procurement

    GE0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Starred commitment Adoption of the Environmental Assessment Code

    GE0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Introduction of a Mobile App as an Alternative Channel to Connect to “112”

    GE0058, 2016, E-Government

  32. Development of Local Councils for Crime Prevention

    GE0059, 2016, Public Service Delivery

  33. Development of a Guidebook for Economic Agents

    GE0060, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Development and Introduction of the Quality Control Program of Commercial Service

    GE0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Presentation of Company Reports in an Electronic Form and Provision of Their Accessibility

    GE0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  36. Introduction of an Electronic Petition Portal and “Zugdidi-INFO” on the Webpage of Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

    GE0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. Transparency of Ozurgeti Municipality Assembly Meetings

    GE0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  38. Creation of Electronic Mechanism for Local Budget Planning in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Akhaltsikhe

    GE0065, 2016, E-Government

  39. Adapting the Public Service Hall to the Needs of the People with Disabilities

    GE0042, 2016, Capacity Building

  40. Launch of the Unified Healthcare System Information Portal

    GE0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  41. Introduction of Electronic Licensing System in the Field of Natural Resources Application

    GE0044, 2016, Capacity Building

  42. Creation of Spatial (Geographic) Data Web-Portal for the Energy Sector

    GE0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  43. Creation of Innovation Ecosystem

    GE0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  44. Electronic Portal for Registering and Disposal of State Property – Customer’S Module

    GE0047, 2016, E-Government

  45. Development of the Freedom of Information Law

    GE0048, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  46. Development of a Monitoring and Assessment System of the Government Policy and Legislative Acts

    GE0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Introduction of the Public Officials’ Asset Declarations Monitoring System

    GE0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  48. Establishing Unified Regulations to Publish Court Decisions

    GE0051, 2016, Judiciary

  49. Development of Transparency and Integrity Strategy and Action Plan in the Field of Regional Development and Infrastructure

    GE0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  50. Improvement of the Database of the Convicted and Transfer of the Penitentiary Department Entirely Onto the Electronic Workflow Management

    GE0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  51. Publication of Phone Tapping Data According to the Nature of the Crime and Geographic Area

    GE0054, 2016, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Increasing Citizen Participation in Supervision of Public Finances (Public Audit)

    GE0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  53. "Voice of the Consumer"

    GE0013, 2014, Public Participation

  54. JUSTdrive

    GE0014, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  55. Educational Services

    GE0015, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  56. Citizen's Portal (Www.Mygov.Ge)

    GE0016, 2014, Capacity Building

  57. Transformation of Public Libraries for Regional Development

    GE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  58. Digital Signature and Online Authentication

    GE0018, 2014, E-Government

  59. Open Data Portal (Data.Gov.Ge)

    GE0019, 2014, E-Government

  60. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Draft

    GE0020, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  61. Georgia's OGP Forum

    GE0021, 2014, OGP

  62. I-Change.Ge

    GE0022, 2014, E-Government

  63. Transparency of Public Service Recruitment

    GE0023, 2014, E-Government

  64. Asset Declaration Monitoring System

    GE0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  65. Political Party Financial Declarations

    GE0025, 2014, E-Government

  66. Accessibility of Ministry of Interior's Webpage to People with Special Needs

    GE0026, 2014, E-Government

  67. Proactive Publishing of Surveillance Data

    GE0027, 2014, Civic Space

  68. Public Awareness of the Electoral Process

    GE0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  69. Transparency of Budgetary Processes

    GE0029, 2014, E-Government

  70. Electronic System of Procurement

    GE0030, 2014, E-Government

  71. Digital Human Resource Management System

    GE0031, 2014, E-Government

  72. Digital Preservation System: E-Archive

    GE0032, 2014, E-Government

  73. Openness and Accessibility of National Archives

    GE0033, 2014, E-Government

  74. Electronic Catalogues of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) Archives

    GE0034, 2014, E-Government

  75. Public Finance Management System

    GE0035, 2014, E-Government

  76. Alternative Channels to "112"

    GE0036, 2014, E-Government

  77. Interactive Statistics and Crime Mapping

    GE0037, 2014, E-Government

  78. Travel Insurance Services

    GE0038, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration

  79. State Property Registration

    GE0039, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  80. Development of Community Centers in Georgia

    GE0040, 2014, E-Government

  81. Introduction of e-Governance in Local Self-Governments

    GE0041, 2014, E-Government

  82. Public Service Hall-Hub of Public Services

    GE0001, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  83. e-Governance in Local Governments

    GE0002, 2012, E-Government

  84. Citizens’ Portal

    GE0003, 2012, E-Government

  85. Easily Accessible and Better Healthcare

    GE0004, 2012, E-Government

  86. Launch Ichange.Ge and Data.Gov.Ge

    GE0005, 2012, E-Government

  87. Platform for Participating in the Legislative Process

    GE0006, 2012, E-Government

  88. Citizens and Justice

    GE0007, 2012, Judiciary

  89. Starred commitment Transparent Party Financing

    GE0008, 2012, Money in Politics

  90. Home-Grown Concept of E-Procurement

    GE0009, 2012, E-Government

  91. e-Declarations

    GE0010, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  92. Technology Cares for Safety: ICCMS, Crime Mapping, and Safety in Your Neighbourhood

    GE0011, 2012, E-Government

  93. NGO Forum

    GE0012, 2012, Capacity Building