The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) requested the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to disclose information on bonuses and salary supplements issued to its employees in 2013 as early as June 2014.
The Ministry refused to disclose the information. It even refused to comply with the decision of the first instance court that obligated the MIA to disclose public information. First, the Ministry unsuccessfully appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, and then ignored their rulings to uphold the decision. The MIA only complied on November 28, 2016, ten days after IDFI and Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) appealed to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to launch an investigation on the MIA’s refusal to comply with the court decision.
The information that the MIA did disclose was incomplete. It did not include data on bonuses issued to public officials in November and December of 2013, and no information on salary supplements.
Analysis of the Disclosed Information
According to the information disclosed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), bonuses of GEL 6,969,892 were issued to the Ministry officials in 2013 (January-October), out of which the largest amount of GEL 880,736 was issues in October.
MIA Central Office
Public officials in the MIA central office had received bonuses of GEL 2,325,789 in January-October 2013. The Minister of Internal Affairs had received a bonus of GEL 4,335 only once in February. However, most other public officials received monthly bonuses that were much higher than their monthly salary on a monthly basis. For example, the central office had issued half a million GEL in bonuses to five Deputy Ministers in the first 10 months of 2013, and GEL 377,250 to the head of its 8 component departments.
Patrol Police Department
Public officials in the Patrol Police Department had received bonuses of GEL 492,675 in the first 10 months of 2013. The head and deputy heads of the department received a total of GEL 144,675 in bonuses.
Special and Emergency Operations Center
Public officials in the Special and Emergency Operations Center had received bonuses of GEL 1,174,894 in the first 10 months of 2013. Out of this, head of 5 component departments received GEL 200,500.
Central Criminal Police Department
Public officials in the Central Criminal Police Department had received bonuses of GEL 389,170 in the first 10 months of 2013. Out of this, the head and 2 deputy heads of the department received GEL 119,800.
MIA Regional Bodies
From all the MIA regional bodies the Tbilisi Police Department issued the most bonuses (GEL 714,375) in the first 10 months of 2013.
It is unfortunate that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) disclosed public information only after the Prosecutor’s Office was notified about the delay. The citizens of Georgia have a guaranteed right to receive public information without delay, which, in this case, was more than 2 years.
Judging from the data eventually disclosed by the Ministry, IDFI can only conclude that the reason for refusing to disclose information about the bonuses and salary supplements issued by the MIA was their volume.
Asset Declarations of MIA Officials
IDFI also compared the data disclosed by the MIA to the information contained in the asset declarations filed by Ministry officials. The results were alarming, since, in many cases, public officials failed to declare all the income they received from the Ministry.
The above table contains only a fraction of the inconsistencies that can be found in the asset declarations filed by MIA public officials.
According to Article 355 of the Georgian Criminal Code, “intentional entry of incomplete or incorrect information in an asset declaration shall be punished by a fine or corrective labor from 120 to200 hours, with deprivation of the right to hold office for up to three years.”
Therefore, we call on the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to examine the details of the above cases and react according to Georgian law.
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