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Audit survey report released on State finances

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, September 24
The state audit agency of the Chamber of Control informed the public of the violations at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia on September 23. As the Chair of the audit group, Giorgi Jerenashvili, told the audience that the Chamber of Control had made an audit survey of the State Sector Financial Governance Support Project initiated by the Ministry. The tender, which was declared on February 6, 2009 in the frames of this very project, was aimed at providing the society with 8 500 informative booklets about the state budget which should by all means have been written in a simple, understandable language.

The tender on this issue which had been lead by the Deputy Minister of Finance Papuna Petriashvili has been held between the two participating sides despite the fact that 9 further companies had expressed their desire to participate. LTD PMCG, which had offered the tender commission a project for less than GEL 117 000 than LTD Kongari’s proposal, was rejected for unknown reasons. LTD Kongari, according to the audit survey had than introduced the tender commission a project which would have lasted for 26 months but the Ministry signed an agreement for 17 months without reducing the amount defined by the company.

“The straight damage to the state budget exceeded GEL 61 000 by violating the conditions defined by the contract” Jerenashvili told the media explaining that the booklets printed by Konguri have been analogous to the content of the documentations previously issued by the Ministry of Finance. “The Ministry could have done all this with their internal sources by introducing tender only on translation services in spite of paying GEL 322 000 for the intellectual labor,” Jerenashvili stated. Moreover the audit survey has found out that the most part of the booklets were distributed within the Ministry, Tbilisi City Hall and the Parliament of Georgia. “These offices have been the providers of the information, thus they didn’t need this data at all,” he stated.

The Deputy Minister of Finance Papuna Petriashvili, who was leading the tender and is thus responsible for the violations, denied the accusations on the telephone interview with Rustavi 2 claiming he had done all he had to do in the frames of his responsibility. Kakha Baindurashvili, the Minister of Finance said he would comment after he had become familiarized with the state audit report and stressed that anyone who has violated the law will by all means be punished.

LTD Kongari has been registered at Kazbegi No 29a but the dwellers of the block of flats couldn’t recollect such a printing-house in their surroundings. The Chamber of Control doubts whether the office actually exists or not as it might have been created purposely just before the tender. “We simply found out the waste of budget. We are not the organ which obliges the others with particular responsibilities,” Jerenashvili told the media explaining the audit report hasn’t been sent to the General Prosecutor’s Office yet.

Economical analyst Gia Khukhashvili spoke of the lack of transparency within the state structures. “This is a political decision; it’s common knowledge that the Government of Georgia is getting rid of undesired people from time to time. This is not the first and won't be the last example of such violations; the activities of the welfare service of Tbilisi City Hall still remains strictly confidential to public…This all points toward the problems within the state system which hasn’t been properly defined by the law,” Khukhashvili told The Messenger.