The Council of Europe in cooperation with the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) organised a workshop on “Best Practices in the Verification of Asset Declarations”, in person in Tbilisi.
The PGG II continues to support the CSB’s efforts in improving the existing asset declaration and verification system by identifying current challenges in the Georgian national framework in this area, and finding possible solutions for its further improvement.
To this end, the Project assisted the CSB with a technical paper providing a review of best practices for the submission and verification of asset declarations by public officials at European level.
The paper takes as point of departure the Law of Georgia on Conflict of Interest and Corruption in Public Institutions, and is also informed by consultations with representatives of the Civil Service Bureau, in order to better target the inputs provided to the current Georgian needs. It focuses on selected challenges associated with the functioning of the asset declaration system for public officials in Georgia, and comparative information from other European countries. In particular, the paper analyses the practices of verification of asset declarations by reviewing the grounds for their selection, mechanisms of access to information from private sources, access and use of data from foreign (open and other) sources. In addition to the challengers related to verification, the document covers other important issues, such as developments in other European countries towards addressing the difficulties linked to crypto assets; questions regarding the scope of family members and other related persons to be covered in the declaration system; or exemptions from public disclosure, including how the exemption criteria have been defined, whether they only cover limited personal data and state secrets or also other categories of confidential information.
In addition to the comparative analysis of existing practices, the paper, finalised in early October 2022, also provides a set of recommendations for the further development of the Georgian asset declaration system in compliance with international standards.
Following up on the analysis contained in the technical paper, the workshop on "Best Practices in the Verification of Asset Declaration" was organised for the management and staff of the Civil Service Bureau, including the Asset Declaration Collecting Unit and the Asset Declaration Monitoring Unit, in order to present and discuss the main findings and recommendations of the paper. With support from the international expertise of the Council of Europe, the discussion helped identify possible practical steps for the Georgian authorities to implement the recommendations provided.
This activity was organised in the framework of the Project “Enhancing the Systems of Prevention and Combating Corruption, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Georgia”, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II.