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Georgian Gov’t to continue reforms to prevent corruption

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, January 19
The Council of Europe's (CoE) anti-corruption body, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), has acknowledged the considerable progress in reducing corruption in Georgia and improving the country’s standing in international indices and called on the Georgian authorities to continue implementing the reforms aimed at preventing corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors.

Among the positive developments noted by GRECO was the introduction of a monitoring mechanism for submitting asset declarations by public officials including parliamentarians, judges and high-level prosecutors.

“It is crucial now that the new rules be extended to cover all prosecutors, that they are effectively applied in practice and kept under constant review,” the report said.

GRECO noted measures taken to prevent corruption among the members of parliament and increase accountability of their work, and recommends further enhancing the transparency of the legislative process through the publication of all draft legislation, and developing an enforceable code of ethics/conduct.

It also called for the mandatory disclosure of parliamentarians’ conflicts of interest, in order to monitor and determine when and how the personal interests of MPs might influence the decision-making process.

GRECO stressed the need to carry on with the important reforms of the judiciary.

“It is of prime importance that the bill on the third stage of reform which is pending before the Parliament should now be adopted and implemented,” the report said.

GRECO also recommended reforming the recruitment, promotion and transfer of judges, introducing an objective and transparent system for the allocation of cases (e.g. via random assignment), defining more precisely disciplinary offences, and limiting immunity of judges to activities related to their participation in judicial decision-making.