Georgia: The working group of the Legal Affairs Committee, which works on anti-corruption measures within the framework of fulfilling the 12 conditions defined by the European Union, held another meeting.
According to the chairman of the committee and the head of the working group, Anri Okhanashvili , a discussion was held at the session regarding the extent to which the idea of creating an independent anti-corruption agency is included in the 12-point plan.
“On this issue, we will hear the view of the representative of the civil society, in particular, the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). In his opinion, it would be good to create an agency within the framework of the 12-point plan, and it does not matter what the staffing will be and what the quorum will be for electing the head of the service. Some representatives of the opposition expressed a different view. In their opinion, it is necessary to create an agency, which a priori should mean that the head of the agency should be elected by 2/3, otherwise, the idea of creating such an agency makes no sense.
We raised the issue that nowhere in the 12-point plan is it written that a priori a new agency should be created and moreover that the head of the agency should be elected by 2/3. In this regard, there is no counter-answer, because if such an idea had been included in the 12-point plan, it would have been correct to elect the head of the agency with 90 or 100 votes,” said Anri Okhanashvili.
According to him, it was also revealed that one of the challenges in the fight against corruption is the coordination between agencies, that even more effective coordination is needed, more work is needed on prevention, and it is possible to revise the specific components of the criminal law in the fight against corruption, to revise the sanctions as well. – One important lever.
“In this direction, we asked specific agencies to present their vision in relation to the challenges. We, the “Georgian Dream” team, present a vision regarding this direction. In general, two directions intersect. One is to create an agency or the other is to strengthen the coordination of the fight against corruption, to strengthen the work on prevention-oriented measures and to strengthen the development of legislative changes for the purpose of legal response.
At the next meeting, the discussion on this second model will be continued, and after that we will finally agree on the positions in which direction the working group will turn in the end”, said Anri Okhanashvili.
Members of the working group are: members of the “Georgian Dream” faction and individual opposition groups, as well as representatives of the government administration, the prosecutor’s office, the State Security Service, the Ministry of Justice, the State Audit Service and civil society (the Georgian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum).
The activities of the working group are monitored by the representatives of the administration of the President of Georgia.
According to the plan, the bill should be initiated no later than October 19, 2022, and adopted no later than December 1, 2022.