ISFED study shows 1790 employees have been dismissed from Local Self-Governments from October 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013

ISFED has studied the ongoing process of dismissals of employees from local self-governments following the 2012 parliamentary elections. Based on public information obtained by ISFED from all municipalities, there were total of 1790 employees dismissed from October 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013. Out of 69 municipalities, staff changes occurred in 54 Gamgeobas and 25 Sakrebulos.

Mass dismissals of trustees of territorial agencies took place, which were frequently preceded by meetings with Gamgebeli. Total of418 trustees were dismissed in 34 municipalities.

Dismissals  were  also  observed  in 10  municipality kindergartens,  mostly  affecting  heads  of kindergarten unions. Notable mass dismissal was observed in Akhmeta, where the process of “optimization” affected 205 employees. According to ISFED, Georgian Dream members were appointed to part-time positions in Kaspi nursery schools, whereas nursery school employees had their salaries reduced by half.

Most of the dismissed employees submitted letters of resignation willingly. In a number of cases, hundreds of employees submitted resignation letters the same day, raising logical suspicion about whether these resignations were voluntary. Many public servants who have been dismissed confirm that their supervisors have asked them to resign; however, most of them refrain from publicly acknowledging the fact. Some explained that they decided to resign in view of the recent changes in the authorities and the political situation. Hiring of new employees in 18 municipalities was based on party affiliation. Competition was announced in 6 municipalities only. New employees hired on the basis of party affiliation were mostly activists and supporters of the Georgian Dream.

All   municipalities   and   self-governing   cities   provided   access   to   public   information   within the timeframe prescribed by law. Public information requested was received from all municipalities except for Kareli where Acting Gamgebeli Ivane Osadze refused to make public identity and position of persons dismissed based on resignation letters for personal reasons.

ISFED criticizes the trend of dismissals and believes that the practice does not contribute to liberation of public institutions from political influence. ISFED believes that the government should pay closer attention to similar facts, while municipal self-governments must fully abide by applicable legal procedures in dismissals and hiring of new employees.

Publishing the report was made possible through the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia as well as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and with the financial support of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The views expressed in the report belong solely to the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia, NDI, USAID or United States Government