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Thousands fired from state bodies

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 4
A non-governmental organization, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), says that due to the recent process of reorganization in five ministries of Georgia, 2300 people have lost their jobs.

The NGO released the results of their survey on May 3rd, saying that the most public servants were dismissed from the Ministry of Defense of Georgia (MoD) 2250 with people, followed by the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees with 20 people, the Ministry of Infrastructure with 17, and the Ministry of Culture with 11 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with 2 people.

The GYLA says that according to information provided by 12 ministries, the total amount of budgetary expenditure decreased by GEL 55,344,000.

The total amount of compensation paid for dismissed civil servants is 5,322,300 GEL.

The NGO reports that according to the information provided by five self-governing cities (Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, Ozurgeti and Poti), they reduced budget expenditures by 3,630,000 GEL. The financing of IPs was reduced by 1,220,000GEL. In addition, 137 employees were dismissed after the IPs' reorganization.

The GYLA says that as a result of analysis and evaluation of the budgetary and reorganization process, they revealed several problematic issues:

• The reorganization process was not discussed during governmental sessions and Parliament has not monitored the process.

• Ministries and self-governing towns had different approaches to the reduction of budgetary funds and reorganization.

• The reduction of labor costs by ministries and self-governing cities may have a negative impact on the financial guarantees and motivation of public servants.

• The majority of ministries did not present justified reasons why certain people were dismissed.

“It is sad that some ministries refused to cooperate with us and did not provide us with information about the reorganization,” GYLA head Ana Natsvlishvili said.

Education Minister Aleksandre Jejelava directly responded to Natsvlishvili. The Minister says that it is up to the ministries whether they provide information to NGOs or not.

“In total, 500 people left the Education Ministry. The process was ongoing in compliance with the law. We will provide the GYLA with information when we believe it is necessary,” Jejelava stressed.

The reorganization in the ministries was carried out on the basis of the December 9 2016 initiative of the Prime Minister of Georgia, which envisaged the reduction of expenses by 10 percent and optimization efforts within the ministries.