PM Irakli Garibashvili said the government should be much more efficient and he wants his cabinet ministers to be “bolder”, “risk-takers” and fast decision makers, who will not be waiting for his instructions on “every minor issue.”
“I have been thinking about this decision for a long time already,” he said in an interview with Imedi TV channel on July 23 while responding a question on a recent government reshuffle in which two ministers were moved to other cabinet posts and five ministers sacked.
“I have been observing closely the work of the ministers, how independent they were and how efficient their work was,” Garibashvili said. “All the ministers have complete freedom and possibility to realize their potential fully. As it turned out those ministers who will not remain in the cabinet were not as efficient as others and it was necessary to replace them with better ones… who are more motivated and energetic.”
“Very often ministers depended on the PM or in case of the previous [government under ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili] they depended on the President and they were waiting for his instructions and the same is still the case now. They were waiting for [orders from above] on every minor issue… Prompt decision-making determines efficiency of [state] agencies,” he said.
“I have always been reproving the ministers over this issue and calling on them to take decisions promptly, to be bolder, and risk-takers, because our major goal and motivation is to do more for our people and our country; we have no time for thinking too much. I do not rule out that we may make mistakes, we all make mistakes, including myself, but what matters is that we are sincere and when a person has faith in what he’s doing and is confident that he’s doing a right thing for the country, these mistakes can be easily rectified,” Garibashvili said.
He said that the problem also was that “some ministers had no long-term strategic vision about development of their ministries.”
The PM said that this reshuffle “is a healthy process”, which will boost motivation of other ministers, who have retained their posts for now.
Garibashvili also said in the same interview that he turns to ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili for an advice on “strategic issues” when needed, but denied that Ivanishvili was “actively” involved in politics or government affairs from behind the scenes.
“I have had relations with batoni [a Georgian polite form of addressing a man] Bidzina for ten years already and of course I keep contact with a person who has influenced largely on my development and on my views, and I do not hesitate to say that I ask him for an advice, for his opinion when needed about important, strategic issues and there is nothing unusual in that,” Garibashvili said.
He said that it’s a “huge comfort” when such person like Ivanishvili is available for an advice.
“I ask my team members, cabinet members for their opinion, because I want to make less mistakes and it is very usual process if I ask batoni Bidzina to advise… We have seen what was happening when one man, I mean Saakashvili, was taking decisions unilaterally – he brought the country to the disaster,” Garibashvili said.