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Tbilisi, Georgia

Transparent Governance (TBI0009)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Tbilisi Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Tbilisi Municipality City Hall,, Municipal Legal Department, Democratic Governance Initiative (USAID)

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Justice, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Tbilisi, Georgia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

GOOD FAITH AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNANCE STRATEGY OF TBILISI MUNICIPALITY CITY HALL
Commitment Description 1. Local Context and Needs All over the world, corruption poses a serious threat to the security, stability and well-being of the population, destroys state institutions, and undermines democratic values, justice and sustainable development of the country. Rule of law, good faith, accountability and transparency in democratic governance are the most important components of effective fight against corruption. As a results of reforms carried out over the years, Georgia has been a successful example of the fight against corruption, which has been permanently noted in various international organizations' reports. The Fourth Monitoring Report of the Eastern European and Central Asia Anti-Corruption Network Action Plan (OECD), published in 2016, highlights the progress achieved by Georgia in combating corruption. At the same time, along with other important recommendations, the OECD advises Georgia to continue anti-corruption efforts at local levels. According to the OECD recommendations, it is important to elaborate and implement anticorruption action plans at the local self-government level. Tbilisi Municipality City Hall manages large amount of budget funds annually. The efficient, transparent and fair use of budget funds is the main priority of Tbilisi Municipality City Hall. Nowadays, Tbilisi City Hall does not have a strategic document which would analyze the challenges / threats facing transparent and good faith governance and would determine actions to be taken to strengthen existing standards of transparent and good faith governance. Despite the current practice of democratic governance in Tbilisi City Hall, it is important to create a strategic framework for good faith and transparent governance. 2. Commitment Content Description In accordance with the OECD recommendations, Tbilisi Municipality City Hall together with civil society representatives will develop a medium-term strategy for improving good faith and transparency of governance.
This strategic document will define the standards of good faith and transparency for Tbilisi Municipality City Hall of and the subjects in its system, whereas for the implementation of these standards, an action plan, performance indicators and Monitoring Framework will be elaborated. 3. Positive Outcome for the Public The high level of good faith and transparency of Tbilisi Municipality City Hall ensures more targeted and efficient expenditure of budget funds which will eventually reflect on each resident of the capital.
4. Anex №4
Commitment 4: Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy of Tbilisi Municipality City Hall
Implementing Entity
Tbilisi Municipality City Hall,, Municipal Legal Department, Democratic Governance Initiative (USAID)
Description of Current Situation
Nowadays Tbilisi City Hall does not have a strategic document that will define good faith and transparent governance standards. .In order to implement the principles of democratic governance, despite the efforts made, it is necessary to create a relevant strategic framework, which will significantly contribute to strengthening of transparent and good faith governance in the City Hall.
Main Aim
Strengthening transparent and good faith governance in Tbilisi Municipality City Hall.
OGP Challenge
- Increasing good faith in the public sector; improved management of Public resources.
OGP Principles
Technology and Innovation for Openness and Accountability
Implementation Stages
Preparation of situational analysis on good faith and transparent governance
01.01.2019 - 30.3.2019
Preparation of the initial working version of the Good Faith and Transparency Strategy and Action Plan
30.03.2019 - 30.05.2019
Public discussions of the initial version of the Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy and Action plan
30.05.2019 - 30.07.2019
Development of a final version of the Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy and Action Plan, performance Indicators and monitoring framework
30.07.2019 - 30.09.2019
Approval of Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy, Action Plan, Performance Indicators and Monitoring Framework
30.09.2019 - 30.11.2019
Indicator
Transparent and Good Faith Governance Strategy; Relevant Action Plan, Performance Indicators and Monitoring Framework have been developed and approved by Tbilisi Municipal Government.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy of Tbilisi Municipality City Hall

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“In accordance with the OECD recommendations, Tbilisi Municipality City Hall together with civil society representatives will develop a medium-term strategy for improving good faith and transparency of governance.

This strategic document will define the standards of good faith and transparency for Tbilisi Municipality City Hall of and the subjects in its system, whereas for the implementation of these standards, an action plan, performance indicators and Monitoring Framework will be elaborated.”

Milestones

4.1. Preparation of situational analysis on good faith and transparent governance

4.2. Preparation of the initial working version of the Good Faith and Transparency Strategy and Action Plan

4.3. Public discussions of the initial version of the Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy and Action plan

4.4. Development of a final version of the Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy and Action Plan, performance Indicators and monitoring framework

4.5. Approval of Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy, Action Plan, Performance Indicators and Monitoring Framework

Start Date: January 2019

End Date: November 2019

Editorial Note: The commitment text above is an excerpt from the Tbilisi 2018–2020 action plan. The complete text provides detailed and technical information on how the milestones will be carried out. The full commitment text is available here: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Tbilisi_Action-Plan_2018-2020.pdf

Context and Objectives

Despite improvements in anti-corruption rankings, almost 60% of the population in Georgia believes that officials misuse power whereas 36% thinks that officials use their positions for personal gain. [38] For years, Tbilisi residents have raised questions regarding accountability and transparency of Tbilisi City Hall, largely due to a lack of access to financial or other relevant information about projects the institution or its subordinate agencies have implemented. [39]

In its 2016 monitoring report, the OECD recommended that Georgia should not only establish an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency but also develop and implement anti-corruption action plans in sectoral ministries and in local governments. [40] This commitment aims to address this recommendation by strengthening the good faith and transparent governance practices at City Hall. Specifically, it calls for developing an evidence-based strategic document to be finalized within the current action plan cycle. It is noteworthy that USAID’s Good Governance Initiative (GGI) developed and proposed the commitment. USAID GGI is also responsible for its implementation, including conducting a situation analysis at City Hall. [41] Since the adoption of the action plan, USAID GGI has selected the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) to work with Tbilisi City Hall to develop the action plan. The draft strategy will be discussed within the Working Group and at public consultations. This is not the first instance of CSOs supporting public institutions in developing the Good Faith Governance Strategy, but the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, with support from USAID GGI and in partnership with IDFI, developed a Building Integrity and Transparency Strategy 2017–2020 and corresponding action plan. [42]

The commitment is directly relevant to the OGP value of civic participation because it entails holding public discussions of the draft strategy. The commitment follows a logical structure, with needs assessment to be conducted at an initial stage. It will set a baseline for measuring progress and identifying gaps and loopholes in order to plan actions. Following the action plan development, elaboration of the monitoring framework will be important to ensure adequate evaluation of the strategy implementation. However, as written in the action plan, it is unclear what new information will be made available to the public through this commitment. In addition, although the public could use the transparency framework to monitor City Hall’s compliance with the good governance strategy, the commitment does not specify the mechanisms whereby the public could hold City Hall accountable to the strategy.

The majority of milestones are specific and verifiable. However, the commitment is not specific about the format of public discussions and the degree to which public opinion will be addressed in the final good governance strategy. The initial step is to select a CSO to conduct situation analysis on good faith and transparent governance at City Hall, followed by drafting, discussing, and approving the final version of the Good Faith and Transparent Governance Strategy. According to USAID GGI, the whole process is based on a co-creation process and on involvement of stakeholders. [43] Its potential impact is coded as minor. If the commitment is fully implemented, City Hall will have its strategy and vision, with relevant action points to increase transparency and good faith governance. The strategy could have the capacity to potentially change City Hall’s culture, but its impact will depend heavily on its content points and implementation.

Although the specific action points are yet to be developed, the implementation of this commitment could lead to greater disclosure of information on internal transactions and the use of funds, as the assessment could reveal loopholes. According to TI Georgia, local governments in Georgia, such as Tbilisi, need to introduce good governance standards by addressing issues related to salaries and salary supplements; improving the rules for recruitment, promotion, and dismissal of employees; and ensuring transparency and accountability. Thus, the anti-corruption strategy could raise public awareness about corruption risks and relevant response mechanisms, which can enhance the credibility of the agency.

Next steps

implementation. It would be helpful to regularly update higher-level decision-makers, such as the Vice Mayor or Deputy or Mayor at City Hall about the strategy so that they are involved and committed to the process. There should also be clearly defined roles, allocated staff, and a management system while the implementation of the commitment is being planned.

[38] “TI Georgia: Corruption Remains a Serious Challenge,” Civil.ge, April 2019: https://civil.ge/archives/302002

[39] IDFI Recommendations to OGP Tbilisi Draft Action Plan 2018-2019, IDFI, 2018.

[40] “Anti-Corruption Reforms in Georgia: 4th round of monitoring of the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan,” OECD, 2016: http://www.oecd.org/corruption/anti-bribery/OECD-ACN-Georgia-Round-4-Monitoring-Report-ENG.pdf

[41] Darchiashvili, Gorgadze, March 11, 2019.

[42] “The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure Adopted the Transparency and Integrity Strategy and Action Plan,” IDFI, May 2017: https://idfi.ge/en/the_ministry_of_regional_development_and_nfrastructure_adopted_the_transparency_and_ntegrity_strategy_and_action_plan

[43] Darchiashvili, Gorgadze, March 11, 2019.


Commitments

  1. Smart Map Civic Activity Portal

    TBI0006, 2018, E-Government

  2. Participatory Budgeting

    TBI0007, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Access to Services and Civic Engagement

    TBI0008, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Transparent Governance

    TBI0009, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. City Hall Transparency

    TBI0010, 2018, E-Government

  6. Information and Civic Activities Portal “Smart Map”

    TBI0001, 2017, Capacity Building

  7. Introduction of Petition System to Tbilisi City Hall, Electronic Petition

    TBI0002, 2017, Capacity Building

  8. Implementation of Participatory Budget Mechanism

    TBI0003, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Interactive Accessibility to Budget Spending and Introduction of Civic Control Mechanisms

    TBI0004, 2017, Audits and Controls

  10. Introduction of Civic Control and Accessibility Mechanisms for Municipal Services

    TBI0005, 2017, Capacity Building