TBILISI, DFWatch – An advocacy group of young lawyers says the construction of a new parliament building in western Georgia is so opaque that there could well be corruption without anyone noticing.
Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA) has researched the construction process, and believes that the 74 million lari allocated for the project through the municipal budget of Kutaisi was acquired in obscure and “most likely corrupt” ways.
“It became clear during the monitoring that client/orderer/customer of the construction is not the government, but private company. This increases the danger of corruption even more,” write the authors of a new report, which was presented today at Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Tbilisi.
GYLA’s researchers tried inquiring for information with the president’s administration, the government, the local government and Kutaisi City Hall, but none of them provided appropriate information about who is responsible for the construction process.
Tamar Chugoshvili, head of GYLA, says the bodies are violating the law when they fail to provide information that is public.
President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2011 decided to move parliament from the capital Tbilisi to Kutaisi. The plan is controversial and has been critized by local non-governmental organizations and legal experts.
For technical reasons, the constitution had to be changed to allow the elected assembly to hold its sessions in a different location than the constitution specifies. The opening is set for May 26, Georgia’s Independence Day, by which time the construction should be ended.