TBILISI, DFWatch–According to a new survey by Transparency International Georgia (TIG), about 6 000 employees have been dismissed from public institutions after the 1 October 2012 parliamentary elections.

Almost half of them have resigned and only 4% of newly hired or appointed public service employees have gone through a competitive hiring process. The organization suspects that the events in the public sector have a political background.

TIG gathered information about dismissed employees from public services and found out that during the last 10 months, about 6 000 employees were fired. According to the NDI polls, that showed that unemployment is one of the biggest problem for Georgians, TI suspects that 41% of the 6 000 who wrote resignation letters did not leave their positions voluntarily.

Levan Natroshvili, Project Manager at TIG, notes that as a result of changes in municipalities, representatives of Georgian Dream, which is the ruling party on a national level, are in absolute majority also on a local level.

“It’s very suspicious that this kind of changes affected on local government institutions too, where separate elections are conducted. (…) there was pressure on the employees of city councils, municipalities, local government institutions. Some left [their] positions voluntarily, some were threatened. But the fact is that employees were under pressure,” said Natroshvili, and added that the process of hiring new employees proceed with violations too.

From 7 008 of newly hired or appointed public service employees, only 257 (4%) went through a competitive hiring process.

“The institutions have exploited the deficiencies of the Law on Civil Service and avoided holding competitions, which led to civil servants being hired on the basis of kinship, friendship, party-specific or other discriminatory grounds,” TI writes in the report.

The organization calls on the heads of administrative bodies to prevent changes in the public service based on political or any other discriminatory basis and adds that the only criteria for appointment or dismissal of a public official should be based on the fact whether they have the qualifications for their current or future position or not.