On January 13 and 18, 2022, Building Integrity and Transparency Strategies and Action Plans for 2022-2025 were approved by the ordinances of the City Halls of Ambrolauri and Lanchkhuti municipalities. The strategic documents aim to improve governance processes at the City Halls, to introduce mechanisms for openness, transparency, public ethics and integrity, as well as effective implementation of civil participation mechanisms at the local level.
The documents were prepared with the financial support of the USAID Good Governance Initiative (GGI) in Georgia (USAID GGI), in partnership with the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI).
The City Halls have identified eight key strategic directions to develop tenets of good governance and accountability at the local level:
- Public ethics and integrity
- Internal audit and financial control
- Human resources
- Public participation and accountability
- Permits and property management
- Public Procurements of the City Hall
- Legal entities established and / or governed by the City Hall
The strategic documents were developed using evidence-based and inclusive approaches. To this end, the Corruption Risk Assessment Report of Ambrolauri and Lanchkhuti Municipalities were prepared, which analyzed the challenges facing the City Halls in terms of transparency, integrity, and accountability in detail. It was performed on the basis of a pre-designed Corruption Risk Assessment Methodology, which will further guide Municipalities to detect and mitigate corruption risks. Based on the identified systemic challenges and needs, the main strategic directions, goals, and objectives of the strategies were identified.
Corruption Risk Assessment Reports were prepared with the involvement of the representatives of both City Hall and civil society. The existing approaches to transparency, the level of access to public information, human resource management, public ethics, public procurement, internal financial control and public participation in the decision-making process were scrutinized. The existing anti-corruption legal framework and policy documents were analyzed for this purpose, as well as reports and recommendations on good governance issues regarding Georgia, including OECD-ACN / GRECO monitoring reports and standards. Furthermore, a particular focus was made to the circumstances and recommendations outlined in the audit report prepared by the State Audit Office of Georgia, as well as the reports and recommendations developed by the Internal Audit and Inspection Units of both City Halls. To address the views of local stakeholders, focus groups were held with local NGO representatives, journalists, and activists.
In case of both municipalities, online public discussions on the draft strategies and action plans was held, during which local stakeholders had the opportunity to express their views and propose new initiatives to the City Hall representatives.
The full implementation of the adopted strategic documents will enable the representatives of both municipalities to respond to local challenges and the needs of citizens properly, improve the governance system, increase public trust, reduce corruption risks and increase the quality of municipal services.
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