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Great Money Squander-Where Is State Budget Spent in Gori District?

(Journalistic Research)


Shida Kartli Prosecutor’s Office is carrying out an investigation on the money squandering from state budget in Gori district. Journalistic research, carried out by the Human Rights Center (HRIDC), confirmed that in 2004-2006 high-ranking officials have really squandered money from the state budget.

Gela Gelashvili, the head of the Investigation Division, said in his conversation with the center that they do not have any time limits during investigation. They do not know when the investigation will finish and when the details will be published. Nevertheless, according to our materials the facts of appropriation the money are obvious and the investigation should need as much time as it is demanded by the Prosecutor’s Office.

Governor’s Visit to Holland Cost too Much for Budget

In November of 2004 District Governor, Soso Mumladze, visited Holland and 13 650 lari was apportioned from the budget. As it became clear only 3 650 lari out of it was spent on Mumladze’s business trip. Remained 10 000 lari was wasted in obscure situation. Six months later, a new governor of the Gori district, Nukri Papunashvili was ordered to return 10 000 lari back to the budget, though neither old nor new governor were rebuked for squander. Under the Resolution on Bank Management, Article 3, Section V “unspent money from the apportioned sum shall be returned to the bank within one day.” According to official information, only on May 25, 2005 Nukri Papunashvili managed to return the funds spent by Mumladze in November of 2004 (or he was ordered to return the money)…

Nukri Papunashvili said “this fact occurred two years ago and you should find out the situation where I paid that money. I have undergone millions of similar situations and I cannot remember exactly which of them do you mean,” said Papunashvili.

Neither Fridon Afriamashvili, the head of the Gori Municipality Finance-Budget Department remembers the details of the fact. “You should ask those officials who were in the office that time.”

At that time, Tamar Edisherashvili was Deputy District Governor in the field of Finances and Budget; at present she is the head of the Finance-Budget Department within the Regional Gubernator’s Administration. Edisherashvili stated that Soso Mumladze purchased ambulances with that 10 000 lari in 2004.

Tamar Edisherashvili: “That money was not squandered at all. Soso Mumladze purchased ambulances in Holland. However, it turned out that 03 (First Aid Service Center) did not need any ambulances because the Ministry of Healthcare had sent five cars to Gori First Aid department. Consequently, Soso Mumladze returned that money back to the budget…I do not know what happened with cars and money afterwards. I do not have information about it.”

-Did Soso Mumladze personally return that money? We have official information from the Chamber of Control that Mumladze did not pay that money back. In May of 2005 new Governor, Nukri Papunashvili did it.

-I do not know what is written in that document but Mumladze was still in office when the money was returned back to the budget. (Soso Mumladze moved to the Defense Ministry in February of 2005).

Representatives of the Gori First Aid Service Center stated that five cars are not enough for them. The head of the center said that it would be better if somebody sends one more car to us. As for that particular case HRIDC was inquiring, they did not have any information because the whole personnel were changed in First Aid Center two month ago.

Former head of the First Aid Center, Zhuzhuna Tsereteli, was surprised with Tamar Edisherashvili’s statement. “We petitioned to the Administrative Board several times and demanded to give paramedic car. As we learned later they delivered the car from Holland but we never saw it. They did not pay attention to our urges. Only a year later they sent those five cars to us,” said Tsereteli.

By the way, representatives of the local government delivered Dutch buses in Gori. The delegation returned from Holland on December 1. On December 3 2004 they decided at the board meeting to establish state enterprise of “Goriavtotransi” where the state would have 100% share. During following four months Dutch buses moved in Gori streets without registration. In January of 2005 the taxes on getting customs clearance for foreign cars was increased. Anyway the administration had to have buses cleared by the customs.  Although Soso Mumladze, having arrived from Holland, had 10 000 lari (because nobody saw paramedic cars) that money was not spent on customs clearance. Four months later taxes on customs clearance were seriously increased. On March 17, 2005 the board enacted a resolution which concluded that 90 346 lari was to be apportioned from the district budget to have buses cleared by the customs. Additional 800 lari was paid as a fine for violation the customs procedures.

The Governor Wanted to Popularize Himself on TV Channel I

It is strange where 2 150 lari was spent that was trasnferred on certain Londa Tolordava’s account. According to the chancellery documents, on June 1 2004 Gori District Governor, Soso Mumladze and certain Londa Tolordava signed a settlement which stated that Tolordava was to prepare 10-minute-subject on Georgian TV Channel I. On June 28 2004 Soso Mumladze ordered to transfer 2 150 lari on Londa Tolordava’s personal account and not on the account of TV Channel I. The Administrative Board cannot produce corresponding document, video-cassette of the subject to prove that certain Tolordava prepared the advertising topic and was then shown on TV; neither can they tell exact date when the TV program was shown.

100 000 Lari Disappeared from Bus-stops

One more interesting fact occurred in 2004-2005 when Gubernator Mikheil Kareli and District Governor Soso Mumladze boasted for having installed new bus-stops in Gori from their separate funds. For example, Mikheil Kareli informed the Chamber of Control that in 2004 nearly 48 855 lari was apportioned from his fund to install bus-stops. It is very strange that in 2004 Gori district budget also apportioned another 48 855 lari and later additional 13 276 lari was apportioned for the same purpose. We could get hold of a resolution # 270 enacted on December 29 2004 by the board meeting. According to it “Bus stops must be registered on the balance of Gori Administrative Board”. The document also stated that the self-government is responsible to take care of bus-stops. So the Administration concluded that 26 bus stops that cost 48 855 lari were put under the charge of Gori City Municipality.

In 2004 JSC Dila was apportioned 48 900 lari to build waiting pavilions. Consequently, either Gubernator or Governor appropriated 48 900 lari from the budget because both of them officially stated that in 2004 both regional and district budgets apportioned 48 900 lari each for the installation of bus stops.

Later on, new district governor, Nukri Papunashvili also involved in the “Bus-stop Mafia” and in 2005 he apportioned additional 13 276 lari from the district budget for the storage-realization of bus stops.

It is noteworthy that in 2004 former director of the “Gori-Gazi” (gas department), Rezo Abramishvili, said in his conversation with the Human Rights Center that his enterprise was to install bus-stops in the city and former director paid 50 000 lari for the purpose. All in all                                                    governor and gubernator appropriated more than 100 000 lari.

In September of 2005 Rezo Abramishvili was called at the Prosecutor’s Office regarding the appropriation of particularly large amount of money from the state budget. As it was found out Rezo Abramishvili had to follow the orders of District and Regional Administrations and he had to spend the money collected from the population who paid their gas bills. In this particular case he funded the installation of bus stops.

Eight-Month-Revenues of Gori Agriculture Market Went into the Pockets of High-Ranking Officials  

At that period series of property deprivation started in the district. Many private enterprises were registered on the Gori District Administrative Board. According to the official information, there are 51 enterprises on the base of state property in the district and all of them are private legal entities. 12 enterprises out of total 51 were established in 2004-2005 according to the district administration’s resolution. They are those private properties which were granted to the state by owners. For example, former director of the Gori Agricultural Market, Jemal Tsiklauri was released from the prison after gubernator visited him in the detention setting and then Tsiklauri signed the document on granting the market to the state. Transfer deed was signed by Nukri Papunashvili who was deputy of Soso Mumladze at that time.

The point is that at the meeting in July 21 of 2004 the resolution # 153 was enacted and the board discussed the question of establishment the State Enterprise “Savachro Centri Ltd” (Shopping Center). At the meeting they decided that on the base of Liakhvi Ltd (Gori Market) the Shopping Center was to be established and the state should have 100% share in it. Noteworthy that Tsiklauri granted the Liakhvi Ltd to the state for free and the Ltd was not registered as a Municipality property yet.

Although the Administrative Board enacted the resolution, they did not get in touch with the Property Management and Privatization Department at all. Officials from the board set up the state enterprise without having asked anything to either Agency or Department of State Property Management. Moreover, the administration of the just-established Shopping Center and District Governor, Soso Mumladze, wrote in the statute of the Ltd that “revenues of the market must be reflected in public balance and financial reports that shall be introduced to the Gori District Administration by the market administration.” According to the statute, the local government is seriously interested in the revenues of the market, while only Tax Inspection is responsible to control the expenditures of the market. The resolution officially stated that the revenues received from the enterprise activities must be controlled by the district administration.

The administrative board was in this misunderstanding until February 8 2005. The Tax Inspection did not know where the revenues from the Gori Shopping Center were going during eight months. On February 8 2005 the head of the Property Management Department demanded to register the Shopping Center in Gori Department once more. Consequently the statute of the enterprise was changed and the Tax Inspection started to control the revenues. Anyway, nobody could find the revenues of previous eight months.

Total statue budgets of enterprises that were established on the base of state properties in Gori District do not exceed 25 million lari. In 2004-2005 no dividends were transferred to state budget.

Gori Became a Shambles of Cattle

In 2005 Gori District budget apportioned 7 950 lari to build shambles in Gori district. On February 25 2005, Administrative Board passed resolution # 59 and on November 30 they passed resolution # 345 according to which the shambles was to be built. The cattle from the whole region were to be killed there. Population was prohibited to kill cattle in their gardens. The budget apportioned funds for the purpose though the “enterprise” does not exist yet.

It was a short list of activities that Gori District Administration implemented in 2004-2006. Shida Kartli Prosecutor’s Office has been investigating similar violations for a year already and there have been no results yet.

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

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