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News Flash - 15 January 2007

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes report on Georgia

The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Second Round Evaluation Report on Georgia (link to report). The report has been made public with the agreement of the Georgian authorities.

GRECO’s Second Evaluation Round focuses on measures taken to deprive criminals of the benefits of their corrupt acts, to counter corruption in public administration and to prevent companies being used to shield corruption. In its report GRECO commends Georgia for the vast array of reforms it has carried out in recent years as regards these three themes under evaluation. It however also stresses that the effects of these reforms need to be closely monitored and that further improvements will need to be made. GRECO therefore addresses 14 recommendations and several observations to the Georgian authorities, in particular to ensure the effective implementation of recently adopted legislation.

As regards corruption in public administration, GRECO stresses the importance of audits of the public sector, including local authorities, and urges the Georgian authorities to develop standards for these audits. Moreover, there is a need to ensure the impartial recruitment of public servants and judges. Other recommendations address rules on receiving gifts, situations in which public employees’ private interests conflict with their professional duties, the reporting of corruption and the adoption of codes of ethics. As regards illegal profits derived from corruption offences, the Georgian authorities are called upon to provide training to police and prosecutors on the new legislation and on financial investigations, so as to ensure the adequate confiscation of illegal profits. Finally, in the area of company legislation, GRECO points to the need to amend the legislation on the liability of companies for corruption offences, to provide training to officials required to apply this legislation and to train tax inspectors in the detection of bribes which are hidden as legal expenses.

Measures taken by Georgia to implement GRECO’s recommendations will be assessed by GRECO in the context of a specific compliance procedure in the second half of 2008.