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Former Employee of the Sport Ministry Said She Was Sacked for Gender

February 1, 2013
Keti Gvedashvili, Liberali

“They requested me to quit job claiming a woman cannot be a director of a public law legal entity,” said former director of the Children and Youth National Center Tatia Eliadze.

She asked the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Levan Kipiani to clarify the motive of her dismissal and he said it was ordinary rule. Eliadze was offered to become deputy director of the Center but she refused. “Several people attended this conversation including deputy ministers and they also agreed that man shall be director of the entity,” Tatia Eliadze told Liberali.

According to her, every person, who occupied high positions in three public law legal entities and in the ministry were fired without arguments. Tatia Eliadze said 21 people were fired from my company but the Ministry does not publish official figures. “Transparency International – Georgia requested us to send report on the dismissal of people but we were ordered to send old data to them. Now they claim 47 people were fired but 47 people were sacked only from two public law legal entity,” said Eliadze.

New head of Children and Youth National Center and deputy minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Rati Bregadze denied information about politically motivated dismissal of people from their institution. He said he does not even know political affiliations of their employees: “Public servant shall implement his/her duties neutrally – he should not carry out interests of any political party in the state agency. But after work they can attend sessions of any political party.”

Bregadze said 2/3 of ministry personnel still remain on their positions. According to the data from December, 2012, 49 people left the Ministry, 32 of them resigned based on personal applications. “Part of them had labor contracts expired; another part individually quitted the job,” deputy minister told Liberali.

He added that head of administrative department and every employee of this department remained on their positions; the same happened in the legal department. Senior officials of the Sport and Youth Department left jobs on their individual applications.

As for the motives of Tatia Eliadze’s dismissal, Rati Bregadze said her allegations are absurd and claims that Minister Levan Kipiani would have never dismissed anybody because of gender.

Rati Bregadze said the motive of Tatia Eliadze’s dismissal was changes in the ministry’s statute which claims that head of this public law legal entity shall be a deputy minister. “Thus, functions were delegated. We want the system to be framed and made the decision together,” said the deputy minister.

Rati Bregadze confirmed that they had fired directors of all five legal entities acting in conjunction with the Ministry.

He said reason of their dismissal was disagreement on some issues and some doubts about their past activities. “Senior officials of those public law legal entities were fired. One of the motives of their dismissal was lack of lawyers in the legal entity with quite a large budget; on that ground we are suspicious about the activities of the Center. The more we study the activities of the Center, the more questions we have,” said Bregadze and added that activities of the Center also caused some doubts because they could have done much more with the money they had received from the state as subsidies.

According to Bregadze, 15 out of 32 employees of the Children and Youth National Center were employed at the analytic department that also caused some doubts. “When we asked old personnel about them, they said those people were kind of aliens in the Ministry, because they were isolated from everybody and nobody knew what they were doing.”

The deputy minister said nobody was fired from the center but the senior officials. He personally fired six people from the Center. 22 employees had their contracts expired; four of them still continue working. Bregadze said every fired person received one-month compensation after dismissal.