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Government Removed Both Belts and Bridle before Elections

February 17, 2010

Shorena Ghlonti, Guria

According to experts, increase of employees at state institutions is connected with political factors. Representatives of the opposition parties stated that, government will use administrative resource again in the self-governmental elections. The policy of “tightening the belts”, which was announced by the president did not start at all; just the opposite, ongoing events in the regions look more like removing the belts. According to the experts everything will turn into turmoil.

The budget of Georgia reduced at 300 millions GEL in 2010. Instead, the number of employees at local self-governmental bodies and funds for their salaries has seriously increased. Regional and district administrations plan to double their personnel. However, reportedly it will continue before the end of May and elections of local self-government. Then the government will remember the policy of “tightening belts”.

21 persons worked in the regional administration of Guria Region in 2008-2009. According to the plan, in 2010 it will increase up to 43.The state budget of Georgia allocated 450, 3 thousands GEL to the Guria regional administration in 2008, and 522 thousand GEL in 2009.

According to the Article 14 Part V of the State Budget doubled funding is planned for Lanchkhuti, Ozurgeti and Chokhatauri Districts. Guria regional administration will receive 996, 4 thousands GEL in 2010.

There are eleven municipality boards in Imereti Region, and 8 in Kakheti Region. 50 people are employed in regional administrations of Imereti and Kakheti regions and more than 200 000 GEL will be spent on them unlike Guria region.

According to Rezo Sakevarashvili, the expert of economical search centre, increased funds are connected with the election year.

“We should not think a lot. 2010 is a very active year because of scheduled election. Thus, increased regional budgets are connected with political factors, or activities, in order to win the elections,” stated Sakevarashvili.

According to Guria Region deputy governor Lela Tavartkiladze, no personnel changes were made in the regional administrations: “If personnel changes are carried out, we will inform the society”.

Shota Gogiberidze, the head of the Ozurgeti office of the National Forum, is sure that very soon state institutions soon will become employment place for people; it once more demonstrates that statements and action of the government differ from each other. The President stated: “You remember very well, the statements of our government about reducing bureaucratic expenses and ‘tightening of belts”. However, they are doing the opposite, as before”.

The head of Ozurgeti office of the National Forum stated employees of Guria regional administration soon will have to sit in the entrances too because they do not have chance to win the elections in other way. “People do not trust them and in this way they try to increase the number of those people with slave psychology and who do not care about the future of the country”.

According to Tipo Mikatadze, the coordinator of Republic Party in Guria region, increase of personnel should be connected with the goals, problems and functions of the structure. When we talk about changes and employment, there should be good reasons for personnel changes. However, according to the law, the functions of councilor- governors are not changed, and everything is connected with extra expenses.

“We doubt increased expanses will make public institutions more efficient. These changes are made because of the elections”, states Tipo Mikatadze He considers, that the government will use human and financial resources, because these people will work only for the government and then they will vote to only for one party – National Movement.