Zugdidi and Senaki Municipalities Adopted Building Integrity and Transparency Strategies and Action Plans

News | FIGHTING CORRUPTION | Article | LOCAL GOVERNMENT 13 October 2020

On October 2 and 8, 2020, Building Integrity and Transparency Strategies and Action Plans for 2020-2023 were approved by the ordinances of the City Halls of Zugdidi and Senaki municipalities. The strategic documents aim to improve governance processes at the City Halls, to introduce mechanisms for openness, transparency and citizen engagement at the local level, and to raise standards of public ethics and integrity.

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 good governance and accountability principles at the local level:

 

-  Transparency

-  Public ethics and integrity

-  Internal audit

-  Human resources

-  Citizen participation and accountability

-  Permits

-  Public Procurements of the City Hall

-  Legal entities of public and private law established and / or governed with the participation of the City Hall

 

Evidence-based and inclusive approaches were used in developing the strategies. Specifically, a comprehensive situational analysis on the issues of accountability and integrity was prepared in order to identify the main challenges Zugdidi and Senaki municipalities are facing in terms of transparency and accountability. The main directions, goals and objectives of the strategies were determined on the basis of the systemic shortcomings and challenges identified as a result of the analysis.

 

The situational analysis was prepared with the involvement of the representatives of the City Hall and civil society. The existing approaches to transparency, the degree of access to public information, human resource management, public ethics, public procurement, the degree of internal financial control and citizen participation in the decision-making process were examined. The existing anti-corruption legal framework and policy documents were analyzed for this purpose, as well as reports and recommendations on democratic governance issues regarding Georgia, including OECD-ACN / GRECO monitoring reports and standards. Furthermore, the audit reports of the programs provided by the budgets of Zugdidi and Senaki municipalities prepared by the State Audit Office of Georgia were used.

 

Focus group interviews with local NGO representatives, journalists, and activists were conducted to take into account the views of local stakeholders. Also, in case of both municipalities, online public discussions on the draft strategies and action plans was held, where 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 better respond to local challenges and the needs of citizens, improve the governance system, increase public trust, reduce corruption risks and increase the quality of municipal services.

  

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