Zviad Koridze: “This is the standard corruption scheme”2011.12.11
Budget monitoring The self-government of Poti is paying about 8000 GEL to coverage two speeches by the Chairman of the Board; two reports by the Executive and five sessions of the City Council.
The self-government of Poti is paying about 8000 GEL to coverage two speeches by the Chairman of the Board; two reports by the Executive and five sessions of the City Council.
By the information of Mayor’s Office of Procurement the self-government made a simplified acquisition according to the procedure established by law and signed the agreement with the local TV channel-‘’Channel Nine’’. The channel is to broadcast City Council Meetings from N November 18 to December 31.
The Charter of the Board of Ethics Zviad Koridze says that the acquisition looks like the standard corruption scheme. He reports: “To pay money for informing the voters with public information by the head of the Elective body is completely confusing. The money-bearing from the budget to broadcast City Council Meetings is considered as arbitrary and unreasonable expenditure of money. It means there is money and they can’t dispose the cash. This decision is the complete nonsense.” By his saying broadcasters do not have the law on term “Television services”.
Koridze reports: “Authorities should not make mistakes; the information which provides its own is not. It is not a journalist and media. It belongs to the community. It is not responsible to pay the money from the budget, formulated with its own taxes, for it which already belongs to it.
According to the report by the expert if the self-government buys the advertising time it is obliged to buy it by advertising tariffs. If the focus is on the editorial production, the self-government is considered as a sponsor. It does not have a right to do it. If the Council or the Mayor wants to report, they can arrange press conference.
The expert on economic issues Otar Konjaria reports about inefficient spending by the self-government: “The journalists cover government activities already so, here is the question of inefficient spending.” According to the report by Konjaria in this case the tender looked like to claim “transparency”: 5000 GEL Top Procurement Law provides for a tender.
MediaCenterfor Legal Aid lawyer Tamar Kordzaia explains: procurement law does not apply to TV-Radio purchase. If the self-government says it has the obligation to inform the public, it can publish some information on its own websites. Kordzaia says, this activity means to sell the information to media but the money you pay.
To subscribe to press from the local budget; publish public information and order TV-radio broadcasts were often used in practice by the self-government years ago. For example: the debt (in the amount of 8215 GEL) of subscribing to local press and publishing public information in 2004 was pay in 2005 byPotiCity Hall.
In 2005 from the budget was allocated about 84000 GEL for the local and central media services. From the sum was allocated about 18000 GEL to subscribe local newspapers and legislative magazines. 66000 GEL was spent on information through the press and on TV.
At various times “Channel Nine’’ was broadcast by the self-demand programs: “Dialogue with Government”, “Reconstruction of central perk”, “To recover the central line of town” and other commercials. For example: the older woman against the background of the illuminated Rustaveli says that she “proudly walks in the illuminated streets.”
The public information was published in five different editions at the same time. The advertising and information services were provided by LTD “Poti utskebani”( the “Resume’’), LTD “Poti Moambe”, SS ‘’Lela Pirstkhalava”, PE “Eleonora Dudaeva”, the journal “Proffesional”.
In parallel to the local self-government issued the “News Herald”. Tens of thousands of GEL were spent on the news bulletins from the budget. In them were published the information about service provided by the government. The news bulletins were distributed for free.
PotiCity Halldid not answer the written appeal of the “Tavisupali sitkva” (“Freedom of speech’’) for giving the information about the sums allocated from the budget for different kinds of services by media in 2007, 2008, 2009. Only in 2010PotiCity hallanswered the same question: any of these media outlets had not been funded from the local budget.
Why would they pay for the dissemination of public information to the government in Poti when tspress.ge has to request the same information for weeks and months and it can’t get it?
This year Poti’s mayor and city staff have refused interviews with tspress,ge. In this way they deny informing the public. The edition has to appeal to them in writing to get some public information. In most cases the edition can’t get the answer or it isn’t complete. This significantly affects the operations of publishing activities. City Hall is the only way for asking some questions at a press conference. It is held on last Friday of every month. However, it is impossible to obtain the complete information. The mayor answers to general and vague, and has nothing to do with the question.
This year because of publishing information on the website, the City Hall stopped informing the journalists about the time of the Poti Council Administration meetings.
The information about Poti City Administration meetings is published on website a few hours earlier before the session or it is not published at all. For example: on November 24 the Office published the information about holding an extraordinary meeting of the City Council and Deputy Chairman Election only after its holding, at the end of the day.
City Council meetings, the announcement about the launch of the runner line proposed council member, Christian-Democratic Organization Chairman of Poti, Lasha Beraia. The Board Chairman is always a reason to say: the budget due to lack of funds.
The 2011 budget has been foreseen for the above-mentioned procurement. By the time of 9 months data the self-government has a budget of 1.2 million of loss.
Translator Nino Jagodnishvili
Funded through Democracy Commission Small Grants Program, the U.S. Embassy in Georgia