Tbilisi Budget Monitoring Results

19 Nov, 2012

On 2 November, at 11 a.m., PMC Research Center and Caucasus Institute for Economic and Social Research unveiled the results of the monitoring of several municipal programs of the 2011-1012 Tbilisi budget.  In particular, they monitored the Tbilisi Reserve Fund, preschool education program and city cleaning program.

During the presentation the authors talked about program-related economic and legal issues.

The key problem encountered during the monitoring of the Reserve Fund of the Tbilisi City Hall (the 2012 budget of the Reserve Fund – 5 million GEL) was the difficulty of obtaining information from the City Hall and lack of transparency.  Moreover, the City Hall Reserve Fund is not regulated by the state procurement law, which may promote corrupt practices.  One-off allowances are disbursed from the Tbilisi Reserve Fund, which runs counter to the principle of using the Reserve Fund.  According to this principle, funds must be disbursed for the expenses not covered by the budget.

The monitoring of Tbilisi kindergartens revealed a number of weaknesses in the preschool education program.  For example, there is no unified methodology for the definition of the fee for the service provided by kindergartens, therefore the fees set by their directors may not be based on real estimates.  The research notes that the fee should not be defined by kindergarten directors individually but the kindergarten management agency, directors and Tbilisi Sakrebulo (city council) together.  According to the study, in most of the Tbilisi kindergartens, the number of children is higher than the acceptable upper threshold (35 kids per group).

The monitoring of the Tbilisi Cleaning and Waste Management Program revealed that the cleaning fee – 0,05 tetri per kilowatt of electricity – was set by the City Hall without using any methodology or providing any justification. Tbilisi cleaning services have been managed by the municipal enterprise  Tbilservice Group since 2011.  The cleaning service fees paid by the citizens go to the account of this enterprise rather than the budget, which decreases the quality of public finance management and reporting significantly.

The presentation was followed by the discussions.  The authors of the presentation answered all questions of the audience.  The presentation was widely covered by media outlets.