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Chamber of Control's New Initiatives for 2011

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 23
The Chamber of Control presented its 10 initiatives for 2011, and will oversee the budget monitoring for the Tbilisi Mayoral office and the annual financial audit of the ministries. A statement concerning the issue was made by the chair of the Chamber of Control, Levan Bezhashvili, on December 21st.

"From 2010, we have created an initiative based on a system where all ministries must be checked by the Chamber of Control annually and carry out their financial audit. Before, this event took place once in several years," Bezhashvili said and then named the ten initiatives the Chamber of Control will work in 2011, " ...these fields are: all health insurance programs carried out through the state budget, and the ruling authority for social security and assistance systems, medical systems and programs, financial provisions for the agricultural sphere, programs and events of environmental protection, supportive system of science, financial issues for the defense sphere, probation system, and Georgian diplomatic representation and Tbilisi self government system."

Bezhashvili mentioned that the Chamber of Control will be especially interested in the environmental protection system in 2011, “high corruption risks in this sphere make us pay more attention to environmental protection issues, especially the existing license system and the state programs. “

The Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, Andria Urushadze welcomed the Chamber of Control’s initiative, "I welcome it as a necessary public control to be undertaken for healthcare and the social sector’s expenses. We are completely ready to collaborate with the institution and fulfill their recommendations to the fullest extent."

The most interesting statement comes from the opposition and relates to the Tbilisi Mayoral budget monitoring, "...we welcome the initiative for the Tbilisi city budget to be monitored by the Chamber of Control and we Republicans express our readiness to collaborate with the Chamber in this direction. Georgian society is very much interested in the issue. Therefore, we appeal to the Tbilisi Mayoral and the President’s administration to give society all information regarding planned events such as the New Year holiday and finances which would be allocated from the state budget for the similar events," said Tina Khidasheli one of the leaders from the oppositional Republican Party.

As Economic Analyst, Gia Khukhashvili told The Messenger, “All issues and initiatives which have been voiced by the Chamber of control are in their legal duties. There was nothing new in Bezhashvili’s statements. Chamber of control is responsible to monitor the budgets and expenses based on the law and than present a report explaining how adequately the money taken from Georgian citizens’ pockets is being spent and how well the ministries and other institutions carry out their functions. However, the second and most important issue is how the Chamber of Control manages to fulfill its functions independently as a free institution, without governmental interference. Till now, the Chamber has not managed to avoid the authorities’ reflection; I hope and wish they will be able to accomplish this in the future.”