Anri Okhanashvili, Georgian Dream MP and chairperson of the Legal Issues Committee, announced on 26 October that Georgian Dream will initiate a package of legislative changes to create an anti-corruption Bureau in line with the 4th recommendation of the European Commission’s 12 recommendations for EU candidate status.
The European Commission’s 4th recommendation: strengthen the independence of the Anti-Corruption Agency bringing together all key anti-corruption functions, in particular, to rigorously address high-level corruption cases; equip the new Special Investigative Service and Personal Data Protection Service with resources commensurate to their mandates and ensure their institutional independence.
According to MP Okhanashvili, the anti-corruption Bureau’s main task will be to promote the fight against corruption. In that capacity, it will supervise the implementation of the document defining the general policy on fighting corruption and the national anti-corruption strategy of Georgia.
To that end, the Bureau will also coordinate the activities of relevant bodies, organizations, and officials. Per MP Okhanashvili, the Bureau will be accountable to the Parliament of Georgia and the interagency Anti-corruption Council, with the legislation requiring it to submit annual reports to Parliament and periodic reports to the interagency Anti-corruption Council.
MP Okhanashvili also explained that the head of the new Bureau will be selected on the basis of “open competition, following transparent procedures,” and with the inclusion of state agencies and civil society representatives. Per the legislation, however, the Prime Minister will have the final say in who is appointed to the post.
In response to a journalist’s question, why Georgia Dream had entrusted the selection process to the Prime Minister when the opposition had demanded that Parliament be the one to do so, MP Okhanashvili retorted that the PM has “full legitimacy” to select the Bureau head as a result of the “open” and “transparent” competition process which will precede it.
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