Two committees of Georgian parliament supported abolition of State Inspector Service
Georgia abolishes State Inspector’s Office
Two committees of the Georgian Parliament – the Procedural and Human Rights Committees – supported the abolition of the State Inspector’s Office.
State Inspector Londa Toloraia left the meeting of the joint committees in protest. She said she could not get a substantive answer to any of her questions. The US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, expressed concern over the government’s decision to abolish the Office of the State Inspector. The ambassador says she has questions about the need to make changes expeditiously and is particularly concerned about the article that calls for the dismissal of staff.
The decision was also criticised by the former US Ambassador to Georgia, William Courtney. According to him, the Georgian government is gradually weakening democratic institutions.
At the initiative of the ruling party of Georgia, the position of state inspector and the service of state inspector are abolished.
The parliamentary majority of the Georgian Dream says it plans to set up a special investigative and personal data protection service instead. According to the head of the service, Londa Toloraia, this is not a reform but a punishment of the service for its independence.
Toloraia said at a special briefing that the initiation of the bill coincided with the pre-New Year period, when the vast majority of representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations are not in Georgia, as well as Londaria’s maternity leave.
Mikheil Saakashvili also expressed solidarity and support to the inspector. According to him, the Georgian Dream is afraid of the inspector’s conclusion about his case.
The bill will be considered by the parliament in an expedited manner. The Inspector’s Office will be replaced by two agencies – the Special Investigation Service, which will investigate official crimes, and the Personal Data Protection Service, which will oversee the lawfulness of personal data processing and control all covert investigative activities and electronic communications activities at the Central Bank.
After the creation of the new agency, the current employees of the Inspector’s Office will be fired and will not be employed in the new agencies.
The discussion took place amid controversy. Toloraia left the session after addressing the members of the Georgian Dream.
“Why did I, or the State Inspector’s Service, deserve participation in this farce? I am writing a proposal for strengthening the service and you are writing a reciprocal bill to repeal it. At least one of you should have had courage to tell me- Londa, there is no need for this, do not sweat over it. At least, I would not have to write this bill from the maternity hospital”, Toloraia told the ruling party.
- US Ambassador to Georgia: rejection of the electoral reform risks the tyranny of the majority
- Elections, Covid-19, freedom of media and Mikheil Saakashvili in focus of Ombudsman’s 2021 report
Deputy Public Defender Giorgi Burjanadze responded to the decision. He says there is no logic to what is being done:
“This is a classic law that violates human rights and believe me, with this decision you will go down in history, but it will not be a good part of history. I feel terrible for the people who have to work day and night and then hear that their Office will be closed in 5 days”.
Former US Ambassador to Georgia William Courtney asks: “Can civil society save democracy?”