Legislative Move with Corrupt Layer
24 March, 2011
Legislative Move with Corrupt Layer

President shares power with Mayor

Experts call it inadmissible that new legislative initiative foresees a considerable expansion of Tbilisi Mayor’s power. Above all, it is the right to dispose of State property that stirs ire. The draft law states that the planned amendment is needed to enhance efficacy of Tbilisi self-governing body.”
The envisaged amendment aimed at boosting of the power of the city administration augments the Law on Capital. Its draft is prepared by the Local Self-governance Committee of the

The amendment package sets forth a number of changes. Most important of them foresee concentration of a formidable quasi-presidential power in the hands of the city governance. In short, they will be able to give away State property left and right. The current version of the law reads that one of their functions is to create relevant conditions for smooth operation of legal entities established by the Government and to transfer property to them.” The draft however adds “ownership transfer”. It means the Mayor of the capital, just like the President, will be entitled to give out the State property as a gift. In other words, the draft law will take the said right from the President and give it to the Mayor.
The draft law also reads that the Government establishes a legal entity of public law by transferring relevant property of the Tbilisi self-governance. It is possible to transfer property with the right to use or right of ownership, directly, without any fee. The current version of the law has the following passage instead: “The Government establishes a legal entity of public law by transferring relevant property of the Tbilisi self-governance. It is possible to transfer property with the right to use, directly, without any fee.” Certainly, the new version does not concern a physical entity but the main fact is the newly acquired right to dispose of the State property in the form of gifts. It is however not clear what would happen to such a gift if the legal entity ceases to exist due to bankruptcy. The current version of the law reads that the property transferred with the right of use remains in the ownership of the self-governance. That is why the planned amendment begs for a few answers. Namely, how reasonable is the implementation of this passage and whether it fits the constitution given the right of state property disposal in the form of gifts belongs to the President only.
Experts are unanimous in the belief that the amendment carries seeds of corruption. For instance, expert Vakhtang Khmaaldze, one of the authors of the Georgian constitution, says that the forthcoming changes may create conditions for corruption. In other words, he admits corruption may never happen but poses a question if such abstinence on the part of a governmental official will hold forever. Khmaladze opines that preventive norms will minimize risks of corruption. When someone receives more decision-making power, this increases rights of this person.

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