Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) – Fourth Evaluation Round

News | Publications | Open Governance and Anti-Corruption | Analysis 7 February 2017

Brief Overview


Georgia is the member of GRECO from September, 1999. During its 17 years of membership Georgia underwent four evaluation rounds. The last evaluation round was launched in 2012. The GRECO evaluation team (GET), in the scope of fourth round of evaluation, conducted on-site visit to Georgia in June, 2016. The evaluation report was adopted in December, 2016 and become publicly available in January, 2017.

GRECO’s fourth evaluation round deals with “Corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors” addressing the following priority issues:


- Ethical principles, rules of conduct and conflicts of interest;

- Prohibition or restriction of certain activities;

- Declaration of assets, income, liabilities and interests;

- Enforcement of the applicable rules;

- Awareness.


Number of reforms and achievements in the area of fighting against corruption is underlined in the report. Special emphasis is given to the reforms within judiciary and prosecution service, supported by the Council of Europe, other international and national partners. The successful trends are considered in line with the Georgia’s improving indexes in the international surveys, such as TI corruption perception index and Global Corruption Barometer and World Bank governance indicators.


Georgia’s successful membership in the global initiative Open Government Partnership (OGP) and respective reforms undertaken with the joint cooperation between civil society and government is separately highlighted in the report as a breakthrough for furthering government transparency and accountability.


Despite the progress achieved several problematic areas in the parliament, judiciary, and prosecution sector are identified in the report. Key challenges identified in the report are the guarantees of independence for judges, prosecutors and the members of the parliament. Guaranteeing their public accountability and reducing the political influence over performance of their functions. The GET also underlines the need for continuous reforming of those institutions and especially rules and guidelines of ethics. In the several parts of the report the GET found alarming trend of increasing citizens’ mistrust to parliament, judiciary and prosecution sector.


The GET stresses several problematic areas in the functioning of the Parliament. Namely, despite the steps taken by the government, legislative transparency stays a major challenge. Draft legislation is not provided in the systematic order (scanned images are uploaded on the webpage without alphabetical or chronological order), consultation process is rather weak, feedback mechanism is not in place. Even though, several reforms in this regard were foreseen by the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan 2015-2016, there are no effective measures taken by the Government. The Action Plan also envisaged elaboration of the code of ethics for the members of the Parliament, though no legislative act is in force yet, not to mention their update and implementation measures. Furthermore, the GET expressed their concerns on the fact that there is no requirement for the members of the parliament to declare conflicts of interest.


With regards to the judiciary the GET underlined the need for more democratic decision making within the High Council of Justice (HCJ). Since there were the allegations that the transfer of judges was used by the HCJ as a punishment of a disobedient judge, the GET stresses that this matter should be strictly regulated and adequate safeguards should be guaranteed. Allocation of the cases to the individual judges stays challenging since there is no objective and transparent system that ensures fair distribution of the cases by the court chairs. The need of update of norms of ethics for judges and ensuring their efficient implementation is also underlined in the report. Furthermore, effectiveness, transparency and objectivity of disciplinary proceedings of judges remains challenge. The GET also considers that the immunity of judges should be limited to the “functional immunity”.


The independence of the Prosecution service still represents the major challenge for the efficient functioning of the institution. Further steps should be taken for reduction of the influence of government/parliamentary majority on the appointment procedure of the chief prosecutor. There is procedural shortfall in allocation and re-distribution of the cases to prosecutors, there is no strict criteria and justification requirement in the Law on Prosecutor’s Office. Similarly to the Parliament and the judiciary the regular update and efficient implementation measures of the code of ethics for the employees of the prosecution service should be guaranteed. Furthermore, the GET expressed their concerns on the fact that only higher-ranking prosecutors were covered by the rules on asset declaration.


Apart from the challenges discussed in the report there are recommendations and expert advices given by GRECO, in every respective part, for improvement of the shortfalls the Government of Georgia is facing currently.


The IDFI considers that the report has to be given high important and sufficient steps should be taken for smooth and timely implementation of the given recommendations. The IDFI hence addresses the Government of Georgia:


- The IDFI recommends the Anti-Corruption Council (ACC) of Georgia and its members to call for the extended ACC session for reviewing and discussing major issues of the GRECO report;


- The IDFI recommends the institutions under review of GRECO report and the ACC to elaborate GRECO recommendations in the Anti-Corruption Action Plan for 2017-2018 with a maximum extent possible.

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