Subscribe to Our News

Tbilisi City Assembly Parking Fines Point to Ineffectiveness of the Parking System

News | Economics and Social Policy | Good Governance | Publications | Blog Post 10 October 2017

Author: Mariam Orzhonia

 

Key findings

Statistics on parking fines imposed on vehicles owned by Tbilisi City Assembly over the past 7 years show that the existing parking system is ineffective, even  just outside the City Assembly building (G. Tabidze Str.), where half of all fines for wrong parking were imposed.

 

Moreover, the locations of parking violations suggest that City Assembly vehicles are not being used for work purposes alone. Existing rules for using municipal vehicles allow for personalized rather than general use, which has resulted in irrationally high number of vehicles serving the members of Tbilisi City Assembly.

 

Methodology

 

IDFI reviewed the requested public information from Tbilisi City Assembly and determined the number of vehicles owned by it in 2016. After this, IDFI used the official website of C.T. Park LLC (a company in charge of managing the parking system) and compiled a detailed table of fines imposed on Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles since 2011 (See the attached file).

C.T. Park imposed three types of fines on Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles:

 - The parking fee had not been paid and the car was parked on a paid parking space.

 - Parking rules were violated (the method of standing, double parking, etc.).

 - The vehicle was standing on a disabled parking space without a relevant permit.

 

Vehicles owned by Tbilisi City Assembly

 

As of June 7, 2017, the 50 member Tbilisi City Assembly owns a total of 35 vehicles. 31 of these vehicles are personalized and used by high-ranking assembly members (Chairperson of Tbilisi City Assembly, First Deputy Chairperson, Deputy Chairpersons, Chairperson of Assembly Factions and Commissions), while 4 are used for general purposes.

 

In 2016, Tbilisi City Assembly spent GEL 193,988 on fuel.[1]  The Assembly employs 35 drivers, each of whom has a monthly salary of GEL 1,000. [2]

 

Most of the vehicles currently owned by the City Assembly were purchased in 2011-2013. One vehicle was purchased in 2009, while 3 were transferred from the Tbilisi City Hall. While the presented data on fines imposed on these vehicles since 2014 is complete, for IDFI was unable to obtain complete information for 2010-2013. Therefore, the actual number of fines should in reality be higher than the data presented below.

 

Fines imposed on vehicles owned by Tbilisi City Assembly

 

C.T. Park [3] imposed a total of 304 fines and 51 repeat fines on Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles in 2010-2017 (see Figure #1). The company evacuated vehicles in 9 of these cases.

 

 

80 of the 304 fines (GEL 3,040) are still unpaid (see Figure #2). Apart from the 304 initial fines, C.T. Park imposed 51 additional repeat fines (GEL 150 each – in total GEL 7,650) on recipients who failed to pay the first time fine on time. 41 of the 51 repeat fines are still unpaid (see Figure #3).

 

 

 

 

 

Fines imposed on Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles in the vicinity of the Assembly building 

 

As it turns out, of all the fines received by Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles for wrong parking (263), half (131) were imposed for violating parking rules just outside the Assembly building (G. Tabidze Str.) (see Figure #6).

 

 

Examples of Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles fined just outside the Assembly building:

 

 

Use of Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles for non-working purposes

 

Analysis of the parking fines data also revealed that the vehicles owned by Tbilisi City Assembly may be used for non-working purposes as well. For example, on September 2 (Saturday), 2017, C.T. Park fined the vehicle serving the Chairman of Tbilisi City Assembly Giorgi Alibegashvili at a place allegedly lacking any connection to the work of the Chairman.  

 

 

More generally, 26% of all fines received by Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles in 2010-2017 were imposed outside working hours/days/location (see Figure #7), suggesting their regular use for non-work purposes. 

 

 

Vehicles presumably used for non-working purposes are serving:

 

 

 

Unfortunately, Georgia does not have regulations that would prevent the use of official vehicles for non-working purposes. Neither of the two legal acts that are relevant for Tbilisi offer mechanisms for preventing such use, and rather focus on distributing fuel limits. These are: 1) August 11, 2000 Decree N364 of the President of Georgia on the Rules of Use of Official Vehicles; and 2) December 30, 2014 Decree N279 of Tbilisi City Assembly On the Use of Official Vehicles by the Tbilisi City Assembly and Its Staff.

 

Examples of use of Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles for non-working purposes:

 

Unauthorized use of disabled parking spaces

 

Out analysis of parking fines also found that vehicles serving members of Tbilisi City Assembly were also fined for unauthorized use of disabled parking spaces. Even though Tbilisi City Assembly members do not drive these cars themselves, markings on disabled parking spaces are prominent enough for the driver as well as the passenger to notice them and avoid breaking the law. Moreover, each member of Tbilisi City Assembly has a responsible to promote civil integration throughout the city.

 

Vehicles fined for using disabled parking spaces  during 2014-2017 are serving:

 

 

Examples of Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles being illegally parked on disabled parking spaces:

 

 

 

 

 

Who pays the fines imposed on vehicles owned by Tbilisi City Assembly?

 

According to Tbilisi City Assembly, drivers themselves pay for the fines imposed on Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles by C.T. Park. In other words, money from the Assembly budget is not spent on this. This is also the reason why, according to Tbilisi City Assembly, it does not keep a record of video fines received by its vehicles.

 

We believe that this explanation cannot disregard the responsibility of members of Tbilisi City Assembly and their drivers regarding systematic violation of parking rules in the city, particularly for fines imposed during non-working hours and for unauthorized use of disabled parking spaces.

 

Problems and recommendations

 

Our analysis of parking fines received by Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles reveals 4 major problems, all of which require immediate action and improvement of existing regulations:

 

  - The high number of fines received by vehicles owned by Tbilisi City Assembly since 2011, half of which were imposed in the vicinity of the Assembly building, clearly illustrates that the existing parking system in Tbilisi is ineffective.

 

 - Persistent public concern about the number of vehicles used by Tbilisi City Assembly  (31 personalized vehicles in the 50-member Assembly), together with our finding that these vehicles seem to be used for non-working purposes on a regular basis, once again confirms the need for optimization of City Assembly car park. We believe that Tbilisi City Assembly should take best international practice into account and do away with the personalized use of its vehicles.

 

 - Responsible personnel of Tbilisi City Assembly must exercise stricter control of state vehicles and ensure that the drivers pay their fines on time, since, as shown by our research, failure to pay fines is not an insignificant problem.

 

 - Legislation on preventive mechanisms for using official vehicles for non-working purposes must be adopted. Relevant provisions must also be added to the Tbilisi City Assembly Decree N279 of December 30, 2014.

 

Full data on the fines imposed on Tbilisi City Assembly vehicles can be found here.

 

[1] Source: Public information requested by IDFI from Tbilisi City Assembly

[2] November 20, 2006 Decision of the Tbilisi City Assembly on amending the Decision on the Approval of Official Salaries and Positions of Servants of Tbilisi Local Self-Government Bodies - Appendix N2, Para. 13

[3] C.T. Park LLC is a legal entity of private law created by two companies that won the auction announced for organizing parking in Tbilisi. According to the agreement signed between C.T. Park and Tbilisi City Hall in 2007, the company has been authorized to carry out administrative functions related to organizing parking in Tbilisi, including the possibility of issuing penalties and fines for violating parking rules. All vehicles in Tbilisi are subject to this parking control, including the means of transportation of public servants.

 

 

 

The analysis was prepared in frames of the project "Empower Society for Strengthening Good Governance", financially supported by International Visegrad Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The responsibility of the content of the article lies with the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of International Visegrad Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

                                         

 

 

Other Publications on This Issue