New Beginnings
17 July, 2015
New Beginnings
Nepotism and unskillfulness – in order to tackle these two major problems, the government has recently announced a public service reform, which is supposed to result in major changes in state structures. Namely, rules of employment and promotion as pertaining
to experience will be changed. The same applies to salaries and bonuses system – the upcoming reform’s concept contains proposals to appoint public servants termlessly rather than employ them under contract in order to make career advancement a priority for them.

A testing system will be replaced with an evaluation system, based on which staff will be promoted or dismissed.

A testing system will be replaced with an evaluation system, based on which staff will be promoted or dismissed. Government representatives explain that changes concerning study and professional development will apply to local governance officials as well – public servants’ obligations and production-related norms as well as disciplinary responsibility will be painstakingly outlined. In addition, a new system of monitoring public servants’ declarations will be implemented.
Following the initiative of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, creation of a retraining center for public servants is also planned within the reform’s framework. By the way, Zurab Zhvania School, which is already functioning in Kutaisi, serves this very purpose, periodically conducting retraining courses.
Besides, local governments already have an Effective Governance and Reform Center, a legal entity belonging to the Regional Ministry, working for them. Therefore, if the government does not come up with a truly flexible concept, creation of a new retraining center will amount to simply opening yet another institution.

What does public service reform imply and will there be trouble with social control over the divided Internal Ministry?

In parallel with public services’ restructuring, Ministry of Internal Affairs also braces itself for significant changes – starting with August 1, it will be separated from its security structure. This fundamental change of law enforcement system has long been anticipated by the people. If we look at the bigger picture, this might as well be a precursor to the entire governance system in general, since law enforcement structures are an integral and active part of Georgian governing. Thus, it is important that the reform is implemented in manner that is far more fundamental than simply technically separating the structures.

Nobody knows today whether the Security Service will simply separate itself from MIA and continue functioning under some other structure/independently, or whether the reform implies tight regulation of the service’s very function.

Naturally, separation of police and security services is important, but one needs to watch out for the change taking potentially dangerous forms and society’s capacity for maintaining control over the divided structures diminishing.
In reality, nobody knows today whether Security Service will simply separate itself from MIA and continue functioning under some other structure/independently, or whether the reform implies tight regulation of the service’s very function. NGOs have failed to get their hands on acts pertaining to this question, since they are kept in secret. The society does not even know how many people the Security Service employs.
Therefore, seeing that MIA’s entire system shows tendency towards concealed regulation and overt governance, it is vital for the people to be supplied with in-depth information from orchestrators of the upcoming change.

Rusudan Shelia
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