TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s Security Council, which is a body subordinate to the president, cannot prove what it has spent USD 13.8 million on. This is why new the government cut its financing by the same amount in next year’s draft budget.
Georgia’s 2013 draft budget, which is built on the priorities of the new government, totals USD 4.42 million. This is USD 335 more than the 2012 budget.
The Security Council received USD 14.8 million in 2012. But that budget doesn’t provide detailed information about how the money is spent in certain bodies. So, it is impossible to know where the money is spent.
Int the 2013 draft budget, the Security Council has its funding decreased by nearly USD 13.8 million to a total of USD 1.1 million.
The minority in parliament, which used to be the ruling party, criticized this decision, which was made by the finance ministry. They say it is a political ploy by the new government aimed at President Mikheil Saakashvili, as the Security Council is a body under the president and the new government cannot control it. But the minority fears that reduced financing for this body may jeopardize the country’s security.
Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri told DF Watch that despite a request from the Finance Ministry, the Security Council didn’t present a report about where most of the money was spent in 2012. He also told us that if the Security Council proves the necessity of these expenses, then the ministry will review this issue and might change its decision.
The minister assumes that the Security Council may have spent the money on lobbyists abroad in benefit of the former ruling party and now the government doesn’t have the money to spend on such goals.
DF Watch tried to get explanations from the Security Council as to why they cannot explain these expenses, but despite several days of attempts we were unable to get an answer.
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