The Secretariat of the Interagency Coordination Council to Combat Corruption has launched the renewal of the Anti-Corruption Strategy and elaboration of 2021-2022 Action Plan. IDFI hopes that the work on the Anti-Corruption Action Plan and Strategy will be productive, the ambitious commitments needed for the progress will be considered and the strategic documents will be approved in a timely manner.
IDFI calls on the authorities involved in the development of Anti-Corruption strategic documents to fully comply with the recommendations that are crucial for the prevention of corruption in the country. This is of particular importance as the Corruption Perception Index 2020 indicates further worsening of Georgia’s position in international ranking published on January 28th by Transparency International. According to the report Georgia was ranked 45th out of 180 countries with the score of 56. Georgia has worsened its results in the index compared to the previous years. While Georgia remains a leader in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it has moved four steps backward in international ranking over the past three years. In 2019 Georgia was ranked 44th out of 180 countries with the score of 56 and in 2018 Georgia was on the 41st place with the score 58.
Based on the CPI across the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to which Georgia also belongs, COVID-19 exposed ongoing governance and structural problems, highlighted widespread corruption, and exacerbated social discontent. Some political leaders used the crisis to increase their power, add restrictions to already limited access to information, eliminate transparency requirements from public procurement rules and renounce public accountability mechanisms. The report says that COVID-19 provided corrupt and authoritarian leaders with an excuse to reduce oversight of government spending and curtail civil liberties, which, in the end, negatively affects the quality of democracy.
IDFI once again emphasizes that the independence of state agencies tasked with combating corruption is one of the most important standards, which ensures the effectiveness of combating corruption, accountability, high level of transparency and, therefore, high level of public trust. In this context IDFI is deeply concerned of the fact that the Committee on Legal Issues of the Parliament of Georgia rejected to discuss the legal initiative on creation of Independent Anti-Corruption Agency, especially as the practice of combating corruption in Georgia shows that the independence of the agencies fighting against corruption is the most challenging. Therefore, IDFI considers it necessary to create an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency equipped with high degree of independence, relevant power and public trust to investigate high-level corruption cases and answer all the legitimate questions.
This material has been financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. Responsibility for the content rests entirely with the creator. Sida does not necessarily share the expressed views and interpretations.
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