Georgia: The organization operating in the field of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia – CPI “National Research Center for the History of Georgian Art and Monuments Protection named after Giorgi Chubinashvili” spread information through some media outlets, as if Ministry of Culture, through audit in its own organization, research center Taking control of that governance And it was decided to interfere in the jurisdiction of the Scientific Council of the Center.
In the interest of the public, the Ministry considers it necessary to disclose the main results of the internal audit of the Research Centre’s activities, which clearly indicates that the Research Centre has been managed for many years against multiple violations and that it has systemic problems in governance.
The Ministry also presented the given audit finding in court, where the Research Centre sued the Ministry with various baseless arguments.
Privately, according to the results of the audit examination (from January 1st 2019 to December 31st 2022):
- From 2015 to December 2019, the Scientific Council of the Research Center consisted of 11 members, which was against the Georgian law “on science, technology and their development”, according to which the Research Center had 26 members. Nevertheless, such as the Scientific Council, the unlawful staff, on behalf of the Research Center, made unlawful decisions and felt no accountability to the public and the state;
- Only 12 members (out of 26 members) attended some of the Scientific Council meetings during 2022, which did not allow the Scientific Council to make decisions. According to clause 6 of the Center’s duty, the meeting of the Scientific Council is authorized if at least half of the members of the Council are present, and according to clause 3 of the same clause, the decision of the Scientific Board is considered to be adopted if it is voted by more than half of the members in the meeting. Nevertheless, at these meetings, the incompetent Scientific Council still discussed and, against the law, took decisions on behalf of the Research Center, which, I recall, is a state-owned organization;
The above list is only a few of the serious violations of which the Scientific Council of the Research Center acted by hijacking the pages of several scientists of the Center and gross violation of the law;
In addition, cases of unlawful, non-economic and ineffective spending of budget funds by the research center were revealed;
For example, in 2019-2020, when purchasing goods and services by simplified procurement, the Center, in order to determine the probable buyer, did not conduct a market survey at all, and in the year 2021 it did only partially, which is a violation of Georgian laws;
During the examination period, the Center announced several tenders and implemented without market research, which is directly contrary to the principle of economic, rational and effective spending of budget funds;
Furthermore, in one case, due to non-compliance with the qualification conditions required by tender documentation, the Center had to disqualify the applicant, which is a direct requirement of law. Instead, the Centre declared the candidate the winner in the tender and thereby wasted state funds in violation of the law.
In addition, in some cases of simplified procurement contract signing, financial violations have occurred, in particular, the Center has not applied the penalties imposed by the state procurement contract due to violations of the deadlines of supply of goods/services. I remind you that when spending state funds, such an institute of self-forgiveness is not recognized by Georgian legislation.
In different cases of representative costs paid by the Center, it is not possible to identify the guests who have used various services (hotel, food, etc.) ); There is no order from the Center Director regarding the costs of this representation and the period and place of service are not set;
In no year of the accounting period, the rule of annual inventory of assets, requirements and liabilities in budget organizations, approved by the order of the Minister of Finance of Georgia has not been protected by the Center.
The Center has established an illegal practice, according to which, photos and computer equipment purchased with grant money within the framework of the scientific grant received by the Center will be transferred to the participants of the grant project on private property.
The given action, which is of a systematic nature, contains specific indications of using the property of a state organization for personal purposes.
No inventory of the book stock was carried out during the period under investigation. Central primary scandal magazines are manufactured incorrectly, with errors (magazine records are edited and overlined), unable to compare journal records and local fund. Because of this, it is impossible to determine whether there is any drawback, which is due to the lack of censorship and control at the Center.
The above-mentioned errors found in the activities of the Research Center as a result of the audit examination clearly indicate the lack of control and the irregularity with the law, which in turn proves that the Research Center has been managed incompetently for a number of years and that the given state organization has no accountability to the state and society.
Materials will be sent to the Ministry’s General Inspectorate for further investigation, including the identification of possible disciplinary misconduct or criminal offences.