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Georgia

In law
93
In practice
63

Georgia has a robust political finance system, as illustrated by its adherence to laws that distribute both direct and indirect public funding to parties and candidates. That said, during the 2012 and 2013 elections, non-financial state resources, including staff, were prevalently abused for electoral benefit. In law, there are limits or prohibitions on contributions from foreign sources, individuals, third parties, and corporations, and electoral expenditures are capped. Nevertheless, larger parties are still quite reliant on private donations, and illegal contributions occurred frequently during recent elections. Reporting requirements for both parties and candidates are fairly strict, and reports submitted by both types of actors typically include all of their contributors. All submitted information is published online in pdf (i.e., non machine readable) formats. Third party actors, which feature somewhat prominently in Georgian politics, are subject to reporting requirements, though not all such organizations act within the bounds of the law when conducting their activities. The State Audit Office (SAO) is charged with monitoring and enforcing political finance laws, but its ability to do so equitably is weakened by in practice deficiencies where its appointees' merit and independence are concerned. The SAO does not have the staff to carry out investigations when warranted, and though it imposes sanctions on violators, it is unable to comprehensively police financial flows during campaigns. According to experts, improvements in the competence and independence of the SAO are necessary for enhancing the quality of enforcement.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
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        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        There are five types of funds given to political parties or individual candidates in Georgia. Two of these types of funding are given to Parties as institutional finances (with no expressed goal to be used for Election Campaign, although there is no restriction for a party to use it for campaigning purposes). These funds are defined by the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, and the State disseminates funds to political entities in following manner:

        1) Annual transfer of funds from State Budget to Political Parties - based on criteria defined by Law. In particular, Article 30 provides the formula according to which the State funds parties.

        2) Annual transfer of funds for certain goals from State Budget to certain Political Parties (by specific legal entity of public law) - based on criteria defined by Law in detail. Article 30 prima provides that in addition to the Annual State (Budgetary) Funding, certain amount of funds from the state budget shall be annually transferred to a fund that aims to contribute to the development of parties and the creation of a healthy and competitive political system. The fund shall provide finances solely for funding research, studies, conferences, business trips, regional projects, civic and voter education projects.

        According to Election Code of Georgia additional funds are given to the Parties and/or Individual Candidates:

        1) Funds delivered to certain Political Parties - for funding Election Campaigns, in particular Advertisement costs; Article 56.5 of the Code and article 30.12 of the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens provides, that for financial support to party election campaigns, additional funding for covering TV advertising costs shall be allocated from the state budget during the parliamentary and municipal election year. The funds shall be used for advertisement purposes only after the elections have been announced until the day of elections, in case of repeat voting, second round or new elections – until the relative day of voting.

        2) Funds delivered to certain Political Parties - for funding their representatives at the Election Commissions. Article 43 of the Election Code stipulates, that to provide the representation at District Election Commissions and Precinct Election Commissions on Election Day, a qualified electoral subject (a qualified party running independently, as well as an electoral bloc that includes a qualified party. Qualified means the subject that receives funding from State on basis of Article 30 of the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens) shall receive GEL 100 (USD 57) for each electoral precinct and GEL 150 (USD 86) for each electoral district, and the electoral bloc uniting two or more qualified parties shall receive GEL 150 (USD 86) for each electoral precinct and GEL 200 (USD 114) for each electoral district. To provide their representation at District Election Commissions and Precinct Election Commissions on Election Day. An electoral bloc, which does not include any qualified party, but the parties united in that bloc received in total 3% or more of the votes cast in at least one of the last general parliamentary or local self-government elections held under the proportional electoral system, shall receive GEL 100 (USD 57) for each electoral precinct and GEL 150 (USD 86) for each electoral district. The amount allocated for one electoral precinct shall be paid to the representative(s) appointed only for that precinct.

        3) Funds delivered to both, Political Parties and Individual Candidates after the elections as a reimbursement of their election funds in case they receive certain number of votes (the only type of funding that can be obtained by the Individual Candidate) – According to Article 56 of the Election Code, an electoral subject (party or individual candidate) that obtains certain number of votes in a parliamentary election, presidential election or the general elections for a Municipal Body shall receive a one-time amount of funding from the State Budget of Georgia to accordingly cover election campaign expenses.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. No public funds are provided to independent candidates, defined in the law as Individual Candidates (nominated by the initiative group of citizens and not a political party or a bloc) before the election or during the campaign period.

        Individual Candidate can receive funds only after the election, in case s/he obtains a prescribed number of votes in a parliamentary election, presidential election or the local election. As noted in the description, a one-time amount is given to cover election campaign expenses.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 30, Article 30 (prima). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 43; Article 56. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Five types of funds given to political parties or individual candidates have clearly defined criteria as to how they are disbursed. Two of these types of funding are given to Parties as institutional finances (with no expressed goal to be used for Election Campaign, although there is no restriction for a party to use it for campaigning purposes). These funds are defined by the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, namely State disseminates funds to political entities in following matter:

        1) Annual transfer of funds from State Budget to Political Parties - based on criteria defined by Law. In particular, Article 30 provides a formula according to which the State funds parties: Funds from the state budget are to be directly distributed among political parties which are registered at Central Election Commission of Georgia and have participated in elections independently or as part of electoral bloc (coalition) only if the party or relevant electoral bloc (coalition) has received 3% or more of the votes (the percentage is calculated based on the votes received in the elections conducted though proportional system throughout the country) during the last parliamentary or municipal elections. The amount of the state funding shall be comprised of basic funding, bonuses for each member of the parliament elected through the proportional system and the component to be defined in accordance with the number of votes received by a party.

        The amount of the state funding to be received by a party shall be calculated according to the following formula: Z=B+(M60012)+(L10012)+(V1,5)+(W1)+(H). Where Z is the amount of state funding to be received by a party, B is the amount of basic funding (which is GEL 300 000 (USD 171 323 per year), M – 30 and up to 30 MPs (Members of Parliament) elected through proportional system, L is the number of the MPs above 30 elected through the proportional system, V is the number of votes received under 200 000; W is the number of votes received above 200 000; H is party registered at Central Election Commission of Georgia with the aim to participate in the last parliamentary elections and whose member has been elected as MP if s/he will create parliamentary faction. For purposes of this formula H=GEL 300 000 (USD 171 323). If an independent election subject (party/election bloc) overcomes a 6% threshold in the latest parliamentary or municipal elections, basic funding shall double. For purposes of the formula, M and L shall be equal to zero, if authority of the MPs elected from the proportional list has been terminated in accordance with the Georgian legislation. M and L shall also vary accordingly (reduce or increase), if within the period of 3 months upon recognition of their authority, MPs elected through the proportional system left the party or joined a party that receives state funding in compliance with this Law.

        An election subject (Party or a Coalition) that receives above funding (so called Annual Funding) shall receive additional 10% of funds, provided in its submitted party list (in an event of municipal elections – in all of its party lists) different sex is represented at least at 20% per 10 candidates. A party which receives annual funding shall receive an additional 30% of the basic funding provided that the party list submitted by the party or electoral bloc (in an event of municipal elections – all of its party lists) maintains at least a 30% gender balance in first set of ten, the second set of ten, and each consecutive set of ten until the end of the list.

        If the results of an election bloc in respective elections are used for purposes State Annual Funding, number of votes received shall be divided by the number of parties in the electoral bloc concerned. Basic funding shall be equally distributed among all parties in an election bloc (coalition).

        A party shall receive budgetary funding solely based on prior written consent which shall be submitted to the State Audit Office of Georgia (financial oversight authority) annually, no later than November 25. If a party fails to submit in due time a written consent for receiving next year’s budgetary funding, the State Audit Office shall inform the party thereon in written the day after the deadline expires. The party has right to submit the consent within 3 days after receiving the warning from the SAO. If the party fails to submit the consent within the time frames set by the SAO, it shall lose the right to receive next year’s budgetary funding, of which the SAO shall inform it in written form. The SAO shall transfer the finances back to the state budget within 5 days after the party loses the right to budgetary funding.

        2) Annual transfer of funds for certain goal from State Budget to certain Political Parties (by specific legal entity of public law) - based on criteria defined by Law in details. Article 30(prima) provides that in addition to the Annual State (Budgetary) Funding, certain amount of funds from the state budget shall be annually transferred to a fund that aims to contribute to the development of parties and the creation of a healthy and competitive political system. The functions of this fund shall be carried out by the Center of Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings (http://www.electionreforms.ge/). The amount of funds to be transferred from the state budget to the fund shall equal half of the amount directly distributed among parties pursuant to Article 30. Finances shall be transferred from the state budget to the fund on a quarterly basis.

        The amount of finances allocated for the parties from the fund shall be distributed in proportion to their basic funding (i.e. the parties that receive basic funding and parties that receive double funding will get finances from the Fund accordingly). The fund shall provide finances solely for funding researches, studies, conferences, business trips, regional projects, civic and voter education projects. The party shall submit annual report to the fund on proper use of finances received. In an event of a party’s failure to submit the report as prescribed by the law or to use funds for purposes envisaged by this Article, the party financing from the fund shall be terminated for one year. If parties are unable to use finances to be provided from the fund, the amount shall be transferred to the next year for distribution.

        According to Election Code of Georgia additional funds to the Parties and/or Individual Candidates are disbursed according to the following criteria:

        1) Funds delivered to certain Political Parties - for funding Election Campaign, in particular Advertisement costs; Article 56.5 of the Code and article 30.12 of the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens provides, that for financial support to party election campaigns, additional funding for covering TV advertising costs shall be allocated from the state budget during the parliamentary and municipal election year. The funds shall be used for advertisement purposes only after the elections have been announced until the day of elections, in case of repeat voting, second round or new elections – until the relative day of voting. Only those political unions that receive funding according to the latest election results shall be eligible for funds envisaged by the Article 30 of the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens (Annual State/Budgetary Funding). For calculating the amount of funds allocated for a political union pursuant to this paragraph, number of votes received by a party concerned shall be multiplied by three and divided by the number of political unions within the election subject (for example if there is a coalition). Further, amount allocated for independent parties or electoral bloc (despite the number of parties united in the bloc) shall not exceed GEL 600 000 (USD 342 645). At least 15% of the funds allocated for election subjects should be used for pre-election advertising with at least 7 TV channels that are not national broadcasters.

        2) Funds delivered to certain Political Parties - for funding their representatives at the Election Commissions. Article 43 of the Election Code stipulates, that to provide the representation at District Election Commissions and Precinct Election Commissions on Election Day, a qualified electoral subject (a qualified party running independently, as well as an electoral bloc that includes a qualified party. Qualified means the subject that receives funding from State on basis of Article 30 of the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens) shall receive GEL 100 (USD 57) for each electoral precinct and GEL 150 (USD 86) for each electoral district, and the electoral bloc uniting two or more qualified parties shall receive GEL 150 (USD 86) for each electoral precinct and GEL 200 (USD 114) for each electoral district. To provide their representation at District Election Commissions and Precinct Election Commissions on Election Day. An electoral bloc, which does not include any qualified party, but the parties united in that bloc received in total 3% or more of the votes cast in at least one of the last general parliamentary or local self-government elections held under the proportional electoral system, shall receive GEL 100 (USD 57) for each electoral precinct and GEL 150 (USD 86) for each electoral district. The amount allocated for one electoral precinct shall be paid to the representative(s) appointed only for that precinct.

        The Central Election Commission shall transfer the amount allocated for the electoral subject referred to in the first paragraph of this article into the account of the respective electoral subject not later than the third day before Election Day. The electoral subject may apportion the amount to the relevant representatives in district and precinct election commissions so as to fund the activity of not more than two representatives per commission; at the same time, the same representative shall not be paid the amount allocated for more than three electoral precincts. If a political party receiving funds does not have a representative in an electoral district and/or electoral precinct and/or if the deposited funds are not fully appropriated, the party shall return the respective amount of funds to the State Budget of Georgia within 15 days after the election results are summarized.

        3) Funds delivered to both, Political Parties and Individual Candidates after the elections as a reimbursement of their election funds in case they receive certain number of votes (the only type of funding that can be obtained by the Individual Candidates) – According to Article 56 of the Election Code, an electoral subject (party or individual candidate) that obtains 5% or more of votes in a parliamentary election conducted under the proportional electoral system, or 10% or more of votes in the first round of a presidential election shall receive a one-time amount of not more than GEL 1 000 000 (USD 571 075) from the State Budget of Georgia to cover election campaign expenses incurred in both rounds. An electoral subject that obtains 3% or more of votes in the general elections for a Municipal Body (the number of votes shall be calculated according to the votes obtained in the elections held under the proportional electoral system across the whole country) shall receive a one-time amount of not more than GEL 500 000 (USD 285 538) from the State Budget of Georgia to cover election campaign expenses incurred in both rounds of Municipal elections. These electoral subjects shall receive such funding according to the information on election campaign expenses submitted by them, after submitting a campaign financing report. To finance election campaign expenses from the State Budget of Georgia, an electoral subject shall apply in writing to the Central Election Commission within not later than 38 days before Election Day. The relevant funds mentioned above shall be deposited into the account of an electoral subject not later than the 15th day following the summarization of election results, based on the Central Election Commission summary protocol of election results.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 30, Article 30 (prima). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 43; Article 56. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        According to a represntative from the State Audit Office, there have been no cases in which state funding was inconsistently applied, or a situation when a political party made any such allegations. Representatives from TI Georgia and the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) also said that there were no cases of inconsistencies in public funding, although the mechanisms have been criticized, in practice no allegations were made that they were applied in violation of the Law.

        Mr. Giorgi Ksovreli from Georgian Dream also had no case when their party had faced any problem in this aspect, and stated that he could not comment for general cases.

        Mr. Mikheil Matchavariani also said that there had been no such cases during 2012 or 2013 elections, however for 2014 election period, their party, the United National Movement is entitled to GEL 500 000 (USD 289 883) as of July 18, it had not yet been transferred from the budget (as of July 30), since Government of Georgia had not allocated necessary funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014; 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 5. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22; 6. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; b) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013

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        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        The financial declarations of political parties include an overall amount of public funding received and only two items are separated: State Funds and Funds received from the Legal Entity of Public Law - Center of Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings. State funds may include annual funding (received as defined by the formula set out in Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens), funding received for campaign advertisements (as prescribed by the Organic Law Election Code of Georgia) and reimbursement of campaign expenditures (as prescribed by the Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens). Mr. Mikheil Matchavariani and Mr. Giorgi Ksovreli noted, that state funding information is not given in detail in their party finance reports.

        However, Mr. Andria Nadiradze from TI Georgia noted, that whenever they needed to analyze state funds alone (they did so for 2010, 2011 and 2012 political finances), they had sent FOI (Freedom of Information) request to Central Election Commission and were able to receive disbursement information in details, only paying the cost of photocopying. Mr. Aznaurashvili claimed that state funding is made readily available via Central Election Commission and it has always been known to be open and ready to disseminate such information within the requirements of the law.

        Public funding information is not available on the internet, and whatever is available on the internet (election campaign financing report after the elections are finalized and party annual financing report once a year) does not provide detailed information regarding public funding. However, detailed information on public funding of all types is available upon written request in hard copies for merely photocopying cost. According to General Administrative Code of Georgia, hard copies of public information can be requested in written form (in case a State Institution has an on-line platform for public information, anyone can make request via this platform, however such an online tool is not an obligation for State Institution). State Institution has to deliver information immediately (law does not specify timeline, however in practice this is 2-3 working days) or in case there is some complexity, maximum amount of time for responding to request is 10 working days, only copying fee can be asked from the person (GEL 0.5 (USD 0.3) for regular A4 page).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22, 2014; 5. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; 4. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 5. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        Article 48 of the Election Code prohibits the use of state resources. Specifically, any person having the right to participate in campaigning according to Article 45.4 of this Law (any person except for: election commission members; judges; public officers of the Ministry for Internal Affairs and the Ministry for Defense, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Intelligence Service, and the Special State Protection Service of Georgia; the Auditor General; the Public Defender of Georgia; aliens and foreign organisations; charitable and religious organisations; public officers of state authorities and local self-government bodies during normal business hours and/or when they are directly performing their duties; members of the Georgian National Communications Commission and the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission) shall be prohibited from using administrative resources in the course of the election campaign in support of or against any political party, candidate for electoral subject, or electoral subject. In addition, it is prohibited to: a) use premises occupied by state authorities and local self-government bodies, also by organisations funded from the State Budget of Georgia, provided that other political parties, candidates for electoral subject, or electoral subjects are unable to use similar premises under the same conditions; b) use means of communication, information services, and other kinds of equipment designated for state authorities and local self-government bodies, also for organisations funded from the State Budget of Georgia (except for political parties); c) use means of transportation owned by state authorities or local self-government bodies (this restriction shall not apply to the use of service vehicles by public political officials that are protected by the Special State Security Service as defined in this Law)

        According to article 29 of the Election Code, a person having the right to participate in campaigning (stated above as prescribed by the article 45.4 of the Election Code), who holds an office within the state authorities or local government bodies, shall be prohibited to use his/her official status or capacity in the course of canvassing and election campaign in support of or against any political party, candidate for electoral subject, or electoral subject. For the purposes of this article, the above-stated shall include: a) getting any career subordinate or otherwise dependent person involved in an activity that may support to presentation and/or election of a candidate; b) collecting signatures and conducting campaigning during business trips funded by state authorities or local self-government bodies; c) conducting campaigning during working hours and/or in the course of performing official duties (This restriction shall not apply to public political officials determined by this Law, as well as to the cases where TV and radio broadcasters use air-time allotted for election campaign).

        From the 60th day before and including Election Day, it is prohibited to implement such projects/programs that have not been previously included in the State Budget of Georgia, the republic budget of any Autonomous Republic of Georgia, or the budget of any local self-government unit, except when projects/programs are funded within the allocations provided for by the respective program code of the respective budget and/or by the funds from such allocations, as well as by the funds allocated by donors at least 60 days before Election Day. If the procedures under this paragraph are not met, an authorized person may apply to the court to suspend expenses. From the 60th day before and including Election Day, it is prohibited to increase the amount of welfare benefits (pensions, hardship allowances, allowances, etc.), except for benefits the increase of which was provided for by the legislation of Georgia at least 60 days before Election Day. It is also prohibited to fund the welfare benefits (pensions, hardship allowances, allowances, etc.) that were not provided for by the legislation of Georgia at least 60 days before Election Day. If the procedures under this paragraph are not met, an authorized person may apply to the court to suspend expenses. These restrictions shall not apply to financing the setting up of electoral precincts by state and/or local self-government bodies under this Law and to financing the measures for remediation of the consequences of natural disasters or other force majeure circumstances. During by-elections, the above paragraphs shall apply only to the electoral precincts, where by-elections are held.

        In the course of campaigning, it is prohibited to produce, by funds from the State Budget/local self-government unit budget of Georgia, campaign materials, video or audio materials, or to create the website or any part thereof where any electoral subject/political party or its sequence number assigned during elections is displayed and/or which comprise materials in support of/against any electoral subject/political party. It is also prohibited to show an electoral subject/political party or a sequence number assigned thereto during elections in a public service announcement (PSA) made by funds from the State Budget/local self-government unit budget of Georgia in the course of any election campaigning.

        From the expiration of the registration term for electoral subjects until the end of polling day, it is prohibited to reshuffle head officers of any local self-government body, police, and the Prosecutor’s Office, except when the term of their office has expired and/or they violate the law.

        It is prohibited to conduct election campaign (canvassing) in the premises of the following institutions: a) executive agencies of Georgia; b) courts; c) military units.

        Local self-government bodies shall be obliged to support political parties/electoral subjects to organize and hold meetings and gatherings with voters, public debates and discussions, assemblies and manifestations, and to ensure the safety of those events.

        It is prohibited to carry on election campaigning at any event/presentation funded from the State Budget of Georgia/the budget of local self-governing unit. That action shall be regarded as the use of administrative resources.

        In order to conduct mass electoral events, the premises administered by state authorities or local self-government bodies shall be available free of charge for the election commissions. Local self-government bodies shall draw up, within five days after the commencement of election campaign, a list of premises where election campaign (canvassing) is likely to be conducted and shall submit it to the District Election Commission (DEC). The DEC shall make public the list of premises allocated by the local self-government bodies within two days after the receipt thereof, shall ensure equal availability of the premises for all political parties and electoral subjects, and shall draw up a schedule, in agreement with political parties and electoral subjects, for the electoral events (if the events of different electoral subjects coincide and the electoral subjects fail to come to agreement, the sequence of events shall be determined by casting lots). The list of premises allocated by local self-government bodies shall be also posted on the Central Election Commission (CEC) website. A DEC shall give a well-grounded written response to any respective application filed by an electoral subject for the use of premises within 24 hours from filing the application. Any failure to give a response within the above time frame shall be regarded as the consent to the application.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. While the legislative framework is relatively strong, there have been recommendations from CSOs on further improvements needed in the law.

        International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) , in its report on 2013 Presidential elections, has recommended that " participation of public servants in agitation should be limited; in particular, list of political office holders outlined by the Election Code should be narrowed down and specific definition of the term “agitation” should be offered."

        Similarly, after the 2013 presidential elections, TI Georgia has recommended that the Election Code define more clearly what campaigning entails, as well as participation in a campaign. The report further recommends that "the list of officials allowed to campaign at any time should not include political officials who are not elected, such as deputy ministers, governors and gamgebelis"

        NDI noted in its post-election statement that the" legal framework for distinguishing between state, party and campaign resources remains inadequate". Specifically, there is a confusion about which government officials are permitted to campaign during office hours and ongoing debates about whether attendance at campaign events constituted campaigning.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 45, Article 48, Article 49. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

        Reviewer's sources: Source: Report of Monitoring of the October 27, 2013 Presidential Elections by ISFED: http://www.isfed.ge/main/525/eng/

        Source: TI Georgia Final Report on Misuse of Administrative Resources during 2013 Presidential Elections: http://transparency.ge/en/node/3719

        Source: Statement of the NDI Election Observer Delegation to Georgia's 2013 Presidential Election

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        6
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Abuse of State Resources (ASR) has been problematic issue in Georgia for the past years in the last two national elections considered the study period for this report (the 2012 Parliamentary and 2013 Presidential). Although 2013 Presidential Elections are considered a step forward in this context, certain types of resources have been still used by the ruling party.

        For 2012 Parliamentary Elections major cases of ASR included following trends: a) civil servants involved in campaigning - TI Georgia and GYLA experts underlined certain cases, where there was hard evidence of civil servants being forced to get involved in campaigning. b) abuse of powers by State Audit Office - almost 300 opposition activists or affiliated people (contractors mainly) were questioned in mainly intimidating manner by SAO and number of fines were imposed without strong grounds. TI Georgia and GYLA experts considered this as abuse of power and using SAO as a weapon against opposition parties (such allegation is supported by number of other sources, for instance the Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance by Coalition "For Freedom of Choice” discusses the issue in details); in many instances SAO also misinterpreted the laws and used excessive fines, which could also be politically motivated decisions c) electorally motivated public spending - analysis of state and local budgets was done by TI Georgia and GYLA and the trend showed that high number of infrastructural, social, cultural and sporting programs were implemented during pre-election period (when comparing with non-electoral years, such or similar programs were either non-existent, or distributed during the whole year, not just few months prior to elections); d) legal resources - laws were used as a tool against political opposition. The regulations on party financing was made stricter right after Bidzina Ivanishvili claimed he wanted to run for elections (see indicator 33 for details); Mr. Ivanishvili’s citizenship was removed so that he was unable to run for elections and although this could have been decision based on law, it was still considered as politically motivated decision; the interpretations to the laws were made in biased way - for instance Georgian Dream was not given the candidate number it requested, the law was unclear and interpreting it in a way that GD faced restrictions and damages (they had already printed materials based on their prognosis) was considered politically motivated; the by-law was passed soon before polling day limiting video and photo recording on the polling station, which was also considered as a mean to restrict political activism and observation; the courts often did not consider hard evidences regarding the ASR cases and were not imposing fines on obvious offenders, while on the other hand the fines imposed on opposition parties were upheld without proper grounds. e) coercive resources were used by government against the opposition parties - arresting activists on small violations imposing high sanctions; not allowing to conduct campaigning activities in certain areas (city centre or squares, municipalities refused the requests of Georgian Dream, based that some other activities were planned on the same scene) f) dismissals of civil servants where the servants were affiliated with political opposition.

        Some major cases of ASR during 2013 Presidential Elections include: a) civil servants being involved in campaigning - in most cases the proof that law was violated was not there, since legal requirement is quite ambiguous, however TI Georgia and GYLA experts considered that this is a trend in Georgia. GYLA expert Lela Taliuri added, that in 2013 the systematic approach has been relatively different from 2012, particularly considering state entities prohibited the servants from participating in campaign and it would result in disciplinary measures. b) electorally motivated public spending - while there were no legal violations, budgetary programs were aimed at winning voters’ hearts (main infrastructural, social projects implemented during pre-election period). There was one case which TI experts underlined, where budgetary resources were abused - the Autonomous Republic of Adjara amended its budget to increase funding for specified programs, but while the court was reviewing the case, the law regulating usage of budgetary resources (the Election Code) was amended and the case was not considered violation any more. c) coercive resources or improper protection to opposition party - there were instances when opposition party was hindered from conducting campaign activities and protective measures were improper. d) arrest of former high officials and current opposition leaders - the criminal charges were brought against former leaders (currently active in party activities) and this was considered as possibly politically motivated. TI Georgian and GYLA experts could not claim criminal charges were completely unsubstantiated, however the questions arised.

        Mikheil Matchavariani, representative of opposition party UNM, argued, that the Government amended laws to make Georgian Dream more comfortable (allowed legal entities to donate and these entities according to Mr. Matchavariani’s claim, are reluctant to donating to opposition party), leaders of the party were also arrested to intimidate and coerce against them.

        As for resources that have to be equally accessible to all candidates, there have been no cases when candidates were discriminated.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. It has to be noted, that there have been some positive trends in decreasing the number of instances of usage of public resources for electoral campaign purposes. Local CSOs as well as international election observation mission of OSCE/ODIHR have noted that the number of cases have decreased for 2013 Presidential elections when compared to 2012 Parliamentary elections. Also for 2014 local government elections, less cases were observed compared to 2012 parliamentary elections, although when compared to 2013 elections, the last election has been characterised with more problems.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        Online sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia: a) Report on the misuse of administrative resources during 2013 presidential elections; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 24 October 2013; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/ti-georgia-releases-new-monitoring-report-misuse-administrative-resources b) Final report on misuse of administrative resources during 2013 Presidential elections Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 18 December 2013; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/final-report-misuse-administrative-resources-presidential-elections-2013 c) Pre-Election Period Monitoring Results (2012 Parliamentary Elections); Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 28 September 2012 http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-pre-election-period-monitoring-results 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 3. News Reports: a) news reports by Kakheti Information Centre: Case of possible vote-bribing when natural disaster victims are given gifts, August 31, 2012: http://ick.ge/articles/12020-------video.html\ Information Digests on Election monitoring reflecting cases of vote-bribing: http://ick.ge/articles/11902--n1.html August 11, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/11988-----n2.html August 18, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12076--n2.html August 25, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12180-----n-4.html September 1, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12348-----n-5.html September 16, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12523-1-n-6.html September 27, 2012 4. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia 5. Report by HumanRights.ge reflecting information collected by Journalists during 2013 Presidential Elections. Webpage, November 2013. http://humanrights.ge/admin/editor/uploads/pdf/HR%20Elections%20Report.Pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Misuse of Administrative Resources during the Electoral Processes: 2014 Municipal Elections in Georgia; TI Georgia, June 13, 2014; http://transparency.ge/sites/default/files/post_attachments/Misuse%20of%20administrative%20resources%20during%20the%20electoral%20processes.pdf

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        7
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        According to article 51 of the Election Code, During the election campaign in their respective coverage areas, the Public Broadcaster, Ajara TV and Radio of the Public Broadcaster, as well as any community broadcasting licensee shall broadcast in every hour (for not more 60 seconds), free of charge and without discrimination, the pre-election advertisements presented to them by each qualified electoral subject. The airtime not used by an electoral subject may not be added to other airtime allotted to the electoral subject. During the general election campaign, a national broadcaster holding a general broadcasting license shall broadcast every three hours, for at least 90 seconds, free of charge and without discrimination, the pre-election advertisements submitted to the broadcaster by each qualified electoral subject. The airtime not used by an electoral subject may not be added to any other airtime allotted to the electoral subject. A broadcaster, other than the ones referred to in the fifth and sixth paragraphs of this article, shall broadcast pre-election advertising free of charge for the last 30 days until the Election Day if during the election campaign within its coverage area it airs any paid pre-election advertising of the electoral subject. In that case, the broadcaster shall allot time to pre-election advertising free of charge (if the paid advertising is aired during the prime time as defined by the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting, the free advertising shall be aired in the proportion provided for below and in the same time period, on the same day or, in agreement with the client, on another day. In all other cases, free advertising shall be broadcast in a three-hour interval from the time of broadcasting paid advertising in the broadcasting network, on the same day or, in agreement with the client, on another day. The free advertising airtime not used by an electoral subject may not be added to other advertising airtime allotted to such subject): a) for the above electoral subject, the time equal to the advertising time purchased by the electoral subject. The time shall be distributed so as not to take up more than 90 seconds in three hours;
        b) for the qualified electoral subjects defined below – the time, which equals the total advertising time purchased by the subjects referred above divided by the number of these subjects and which must be equally apportioned among the qualified subjects defined below, provided that the time allotted to one electoral subject does not take up more than 90 seconds in three hours; c) for other qualified electoral subjects (those that receive annual funding from state), the time twice as much as the total advertising time purchased under this paragraph, which must be equally apportioned among the electoral subjects, provided that the time allotted to one subject does not take up more than 90 seconds in three hours.

        Public Broadcaster - broadcaster funded by State and established on the basis of the law; General Broadcaster - private broadcaster that broadcasts news-reports together with any other material (musical, scientific or other); Other Broadcaster - anything left beyond the above-mentioned, including Specialized Broadcasters (the ones that broadcast only one type of material - music, movies, sport, science, etc. but no news-report).

        For the purposes of this article, a qualified electoral subject shall be an electoral subject, the affiliated party of which meets the following requirements: a) independently ran in the previous parliamentary election and received not less than 4% of votes; b) independently ran in the previous election for local self-government held under the proportional system and received not less than 3% of votes throughout the country; c) was the first member in the list of the electoral bloc that received in the previous parliamentary election not less than 4% of the votes; d) was the first member in the list of the electoral bloc that received in the previous local self- government election held under the proportional system not less than 3% of votes throughout the country.

        For the purposes of this article, a qualified electoral subject for presidential elections shall be considered a candidate nominated by a political union funded from the State Budget of Georgia according to Article 30 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens based on the results of the previous parliamentary or local self-government elections.

        A broadcaster shall have the right to recognize as a qualified electoral subject the political party that, according to the public opinion poll conducted throughout the territory of Georgia according to the terms and conditions referred to in this article, has gained not less than 4% of votes in not less than 5 public opinion polls conducted during the election year or in the public opinion poll conducted a month before elections. Discriminatory use of sociological surveys by any broadcaster shall not be permitted. A local broadcaster (having a license in spcific geographic area) shall be obliged to recognize a political party/bloc as a qualified electoral subject if: a) it meets the requirements referred to in the fourth paragraph of this article; b) its candidate(s) won the previous parliamentary elections held in the majoritarian electoral district falling within the local broadcaster’s coverage area, the candidate(s) moved to the second round of elections or received not less than 25% of votes; c) it received not less than 25% of votes in elections for Sakrebulo (local city council).

        A local broadcaster shall have the right to recognize the following as a qualified electoral subject: a) a political party that obtained not less than 10% votes in the previous parliamentary or local self-government elections held in the respective majoritarian electoral district; b) a political party that enjoys support of not less than 25% of voters according to the public opinion poll conducted in the respective majoritarian electoral district as defined by this Law, as identified by not less than two successive surveys conducted during the election year; c) a majoritarian candidate nominated by an initiative group of voters that enjoys support of not less than 25% of voters according to the public opinion poll conducted in the respective majoritarian electoral district as defined in this Law, as identified by not less than two successive surveys conducted during the election year.

        The Public Broadcaster and Ajara TV and Radio of the Public Broadcaster (legal entities under public law) shall be obliged to allot airtime for pre-election advertising for all other parties and electoral blocs, other than the qualified electoral subjects, and the airtime shall be equally distributed among these subjects. If the parties united in an electoral bloc used free airtime before uniting in the bloc, the free advertising time used thereby (except for the free airtime period of the party being the first in the list of the bloc) shall be deducted from the free airtime period to be allotted for the bloc, as an electoral subject, following its creation.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 51. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian; https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).
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        8
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        During 2013 according to the representatives of NGOs and Political Parties there had been no cases when free airtime distribution has been provided against the law. All parties that recieve funding from State are allocated free airtime for advertisment from Broadcasters (see indicator 7 for details), and some candidates with high rating are also given free airtime for advertisments.

        However representatives of GYLA and TI Georgia mentioned that Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) has interpreted the law in a way that was unfavorable for certain media organizations, particularly small regional media. GNCC requested all broadcasters to allow political parties (falling within the criteria defined by Election Code of Georgia) free airtime for their Advertisements. Experts from NGOs claimed that this interpretation was not following the law, since the law only required broadcasters to do so if they allowed at least one paid advertising from an electoral subject. This controversy caused problems to the broadcasters, however it did not affect the fact that political entities were provided airtime in an equitable and transparent way and law was consistently applied to all of them.

        Lela Taliuri from GYLA noted that two of the Political Parties (Free Georgia and New Rights) brought case in front of the Constitutional Court of Georgia (the institution of Judicial Review) regarding the free airtime allocation rules (according to Election Code of Georgia, only qualified electoral subjects have right to free airtime and qualified subjects are defined precisely). These two political parties consider that the law is inconsistent with the political rights. Particularly, they consider that it discriminates those political parties or candidates, that are not "qualified", they might have high rating, but not fulfil the criteria provided by law (see indicator 7 for details), which puts such parties/candidates in an unfavourable position.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22; 5. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

    More about category
    composite
    100
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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
      • expand button!
        9
        Score
        YES
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        According to Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens article 27 paragraph 4, contributions (donations) from the citizen (individuals) shall be admitted only via bank wire transfer and cannot be made in cash. Donations shall be made only by a commercial bank licensed in Georgia, from the account of contributor.

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits apply to contributors of both - political parties and individual candidates. According to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima).1; 26(prima).3; 27.5. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        10
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        According to Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens article 26 paragraph 1, anonymous contributions (donations) are forbidden (banned).

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits apply to contributors of both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens. Article 26.1; 26(prima).1; 26(prima).3. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        According to Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens article 25 paragraph 2, (c) any material or immaterial of value (including a credit on concessionary terms) and service (except for a voluntary work performed by a volunteer) received by a party free of charge or at a discounted price/on concessionary terms is considered a donation. According to the same Law, article 27(prima) paragraph 1, information about donations shall be submitted to the State Audit Office of Georgia (Oversight Authority) by a party within the period of 5 business days.

        It is noteworthy, that the Law does not use term "in-kind contributions", however the Order of the Auditor General of the State Audit Service "To Establish Financial Report Templates and the Rules for Filling the Templates to Ensure Transparency of Political Activity Financing" N142/37 does use term "non-monetary contributions" and requires a party/individual candidate to include all details regarding such contributions in its financial declaration (report). Which means all in-kind contributions have to be disclosed in a separate sheet of the financial declaration of the political union/individual candidate. It has to be mentioned, that the Order of the Auditor General governs both annual financial declarations and electoral campaign declarations. The information regarding non-monetary contributions have to be included in both types of declarations.

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits and regulations apply to both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 25.2; 27(prima).1. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

        3. Order of the Auditor General of the State Audit Service "To Establish Financial Report Templates and the Rules for Filling the Templates to Ensure Transparency of Political Activity Financing" N142/37. Article 5, paragraph 1. August 17, 2012. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=1728087&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian, can be accessed only with subscription to the official webpage of Georgian Legislative Herald; attachment of the downloaded version made on July 17, 2014 is provided)

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        The Order of the Auditor General of the State Audit Service regarding Financial Report Templates requires all election subjects (parties and individual candidates alike) to include a special sheet regarding the loans and credits acquired during election campaign.

        According to Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens Article 25.1. a credit on concessionary terms is considered as a donation (See indicator 11 for details)


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. While the law mandates political parties and candidates to report loans, the process of obtaining loans and subsequent reporting lack sufficient safeguards and regulation.

        OSCE/ODIHR report from 2013 Presidential Election has recommended to amend the legislation to ensure that loans recieved by political parties for the purpose of election campaigning could be subject to the same restrictions and reporting requirements as donations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 25.2. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Order of the Auditor General of the State Audit Service "To Establish Financial Report Templates and the Rules for Filling the Templates to Ensure Transparency of Political Activity Financing" N142/37. Article 2, paragraph 1. subparagraph aa ("?"). August 17, 2012. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=1728087&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian, can be accessed only with subscription to the official webpage of Georgian Legislative Herald; attachment of the downloaded version made on July 17, 2014 is provided)

        Reviewer's sources: Georgia Presidential Election, 27 October, 2013; OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, Final Report: http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/110301?download=true

    • expand button!
      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
      • expand button!
        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens Article 27 paragraph 1 establishes that a political party cannot receive contributions (donations) over GEL 60 000 (USD 34 205 with the current rate) from a single individual during a year.

        According to Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens article 27 paragraph 3 the contributions can be made by sole individual to several political unions, in such case the overall amount during whole year (including election campaign period) cannot exceed aforementioned limit of GEL 60 000 (USD 34205). According to the article 27 paragraph 4 the limit also applies to in-kind contributions, such as services in the name of the Party goals.

        According to article 26 paragraph 1 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, donations cannot be received from citizens of other country or persons without citizenship.

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits apply to contributors of both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens. Articles 26.1; 26(prima).1; 26(prima).3; 27.1; 27.3; 27.4. October 31, 1997; https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian);

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

      • expand button!
        14
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        According to the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, Article 25.2, donations also include financial contributions transferred to party’s account by legal entity which is registered in Georgia and whose partners and beneficiaries include only Georgian citizens. According to the same law, article 27.1, total amount of donation received by party from a legal person shall not exceed GEL 120 000 (USD 68 519) per year. This annual limit, according to article 27.2: A legal entity who received more than 15% of its annual income from simplified government procurement (public contracts) carried out in its favor or in favor of an enterprise established with its participation shall be prohibited from donating.

        Article 27.3. provides, that a citizen or a legal person may donate in favor of several political parties per year; however, total amount of donations shall not exceed the limit prescribed to the party by this Law. Furthermore, the total sum of donations by one beneficiary through different legal persons shall not exceed the donation limit prescribed to a legal person.

        According to Artice 26.1 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, there is a ban on contribution from Legal Entities (corporations or non-corporate entities) established/owned fully or partially by State.

        According to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 25.2, Article 27. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        YES
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        According to Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens article 26 paragraph 1, contributions (donations) from the any foreign source is prohibited - this ban applies to individual foreigners, as well as legal entities of other states, international organisations and others. The exception applies only in cases when lectures, workshops and other public arrangements are held with the funds from foreign sources and in such cases general limits apply (for individuals GEL 60 000 (USD34 205 and for legal entities GEL 120 000 (USD 68 410)). The Law allows lectures, workshops and other public arrangements to be held at any time, including campaign period, there is no prohibition on that. There is no clear definition in law what public arrangement means, however, defined within the context of the law it can be concluded that such arrangement has to bear character of developing the party (training, study visits, etc.).

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits apply to contributors of both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.


        Peer Reviewer comment: The spirit of the law in banning foreign funding is clear in Article 26(1) of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens: "it is prohibited to accept financial and material contributions from: a) physical and legal persons of other countries, international organizations and movements, except when/if lectures, workshops and other public arrangements are held;" Within the context of the law such public arrangements would have to be of educational nature and could include e.g. study visist abroad, or training of party members and staff in the country.

        If this type of support were to be banned as well, it would be impossible for example, for foreign donors and foundations to organise traininng events and workshops for political parties, which is a common practice at the moment and is beneficial for building a viable multiparty system in Georgia. Up till now, no concerns have been expressed about this part of the article either by the international organisations (notably Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) of the Council of Europe) or local CSOs monitoring political financing in Georgia.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima).1; 26(prima).3; 27.5. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Aritcle 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        YES
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        According to Artice 26.1 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, there is a ban on contribution from following types of third parties: State Bodies; State Organisations; Legal Entities of Public Law (legal entities established by on a statutory basis and having special personality); Legal Entities established/owned fully or parcially by State (unless there is any exception by law - such exception would be special statutory financing disseminated from the Center of Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings). Contribution is also banned from - non-corporate entities (NGO, Charity Foundations, Associations, etc); Religious Organisations (except of finances given/services delivered for the aim of conducting lectures, Seminars and similal public events).

        Article 25. 3 and article 25.4 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens provide that contribution regulations (caps for individuals or legal entities, bans on certain individuals or cetrain entities and other norms) fully apply to the following:

        1) Funds provided for supporting a party or an individual envisaged by Article 26(prima) of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens (mainly individual candidate), material or immaterial of value or services provided free of charge or at a discounted price/on concessionary terms (except for a voluntary work performed by a volunteer);

        2) Funds, material or immaterial of value or services provided free of charge or at discounted price/on concessionary terms (except for a voluntary work performed by a volunteer) provided against supporting a party or an individual envisaged by Article 26(prima) of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens (mainly individual candidate).

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits apply to contributors of both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 25.2, Article 26(prima); Article 27. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        17
        Score
        YES
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        According to Article 25(prima).1 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, Political Party or an Electoral Subject (party or coalition of parties registered to run for elections) can spend up to 0.1% of last year’s GDP (in 2014 this cap amounted to USD 16,126,400) per year (the cap is for annual spending including election campaign period). This incorporates all expenses, including those made by third parties in favor of the parties (only in cases where State Audit Service notified parties that third party had to be included in expenses).

        The same article, paragraph 1(prima) provide that individual candidate has ceiling for annual spending (including election campaign period) calculated in following way: maximum amount of party spendings (provided above) has to be divided by the number of voters in the whole country and then multiplied by number of voters in a district where an individual candidate runs (for presidential elections this is amount of all voters, therefore the party ceiling and individual candidate ceiling is the same).

        Article 25(prima).3 provides that expenses for expert-consultancy works (such as audit, legal services) can not exceed 10% of the overall expenditure costs (provided above).

        According to article 25(prima).4 party can spend up to GEL 5,000 (USD 2,855) for low-cost gifts to voters when celebrating holidays (Christmas, easter gifts and so on).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 25 (prima). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).
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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        According to Article 6 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, Forming a party according to a regional or territorial principle is prohibited. According to the Constitution of Georgia, article 3, human rights regulation is the exclusive right of the Georgian Central Government Organs. Georgia is a unitary state and does not have federal subjects, however, it does have autonomous regions, which govern election procedures of respective autonomous republic bodies. However, the latter regulations do not include anything regarding financing, which stays within the authority of the central government organs of the country.

        State Audit Office representative Mr. Aznaurashvili agreed that there is no separate regulation regarding political finances, party financial transparency or accountability in sub-national levels. All national laws are directly and fully applicable to all autonomous republics and all municipal bodies. Representatives from GYLA, TI Georgia and IFES also agreed that there are no other regulations other than the Organic Law of Georgia regarding political finances.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Sources 1. Constitution of Georgia. Article 3. August 24, 1995. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=30346&impose=translationEn&lang=ge (official codified translation)

        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 6. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Davit Ghonghadze; Political Process/Election Law Officer; International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES); July 18, 2014.

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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, Mr. Aznaurashvili, the main funding for political parties or individual candidates varies based on the size and popularity of the party. The bigger parties, which are represented in the Parliament or gained relevant portion of support during elections are funded by private donations more than by public funding (United National Movement (although in 2013 public funding took bigger portion than donations for UNM), Georgian Dream, Democratic Movement). Remaining parties entitled to state funding are depending on those public funds and with donations being a small portion. The other parties not entitled to state funding are mainly depending on membership fees and rarely on small donations. Individual candidates are mostly self-financed making the sole or most contributions to their own funds (For instance, Presidential Candidate Giorgi Chikhladze was the sole donor for his campaing, donating GEL 15 157 (USD 8 722) to his campaing fund during the period of October 2-30 2013; another Presidential Candidate Nugzar Avaliani was the main donor with GEL 2 685 (USD 1 545) out of all GEL 2 805 (USD 1 614) amounting to 96% of the donations, donated during October 2013). As for generating funds, since law restricts such generation and allows it to certain ceiling, it is not frequently used by electoral subjects and amounts to irrelevant portion of funds, if any. Mr. Aznaurashvili also compared 2012 and 2013 periods of financing. Since in 2012 donations from Legal Entities had been prohibited, donations from individuals were naturally the bigger portion. In 2013 although legal entities were allowed to contribute to parties, their donation portion was still not too high.

        Same assessment was made by the Experts from TI Georgia. They have only analyzed finances from Major political parties and observed that such parties did not depend on public funding much and donations made up larger portion, mainly from individuals (in 2012, only from individuals). According to Transparency International Georgia experts, important trend has also been seen: though legal entities are not main donors, 387 individual contributors of different parties (during the period of January 1, 2013 to June 1, 2014, presidential elections inclusive) were affiliated with 875 companies (See Georgian Political Party Finances in 2013 report).

        Mr. Ksovreli from Georgian Dream claimed that individuals have been the main donor for the coalition both in 2012 and 2013. Mr. Matchavariani from United National Movement also claimed that individual contributors were their main financiers, however he underlined, that for 2013 and 2014 elections public funds were used more than donations (United National Movement accumulated public funding from previous period and reimbursements so that they could use it for campaign, this amount made up for larger portion than donations).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22; 5. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Financial Declaration of one of the individual Presidential Candidates: Giorgi Chikhladze: http://sao.ge/files/finansuri%20monitoringi/2013saprezidentoarchevnebi/01-0712-11/giorgi-chikhladze.pdf Nugzar Avaliani http://sao.ge/files/finansuri%20monitoringi/2013saprezidentoarchevnebi/01-0712-11/nugzar-avaliani.pdf 4. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; 5. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, Mr. Aznaurashvili, in 2013 there was only one case of contribution limit violation, and in 2012 there were no instances of contribution limit violations, however there were high number of cases when contributions were illegal in total (donated indirectly by legal entities, while such donations were prohibited) or were deemed to have been made circumventing the regulatory framework. As for expenditure limit violations, so far it has not occurred.

        In the 2013 election, one of the donors had contributed to several political parties and in sum it was over the donation cap provided by law. Therefore according to the law the extra donation was returned to the contributor upon request of the SAO. Another case of violation regarding the donations, was non-disclosure of donations by the Political Union of Citizens “Democratic Movement - United Georgia” (in the amount of GEL 32 318 - USD 18 759), resulting in double amount fine of the received donation.

        As for the 2012 election, several major cases where State Audit Service found violations of law (illegal donations or cases of circumvention of the law): a) On 7 June 2012, the Georgian Chamber of Control (current State Audit Office) issued a protocol finding that Bidzina Ivanishvili of violation of law, specifically, finding that he had intent of avoiding the requirements of the Organic Law on Citizens’ Political Unions, unlawfully contributed GEL 12 410 253 (USD 7 203 612.83) to the political party “Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia”. In particular, Bidzina Ivanishvili provided the population with technical equipment free-of-charge and installation services needed for receiving a broadcasting signal from Global Contact Consulting Company. Tbilisi City Court found Bidzina Ivanishvili to have committed the administrative offense: the direct or indirect transfer of financial or in-kind assets by a political party … through another person to a citizen of Georgia. On this basis, Bidzina Ivanishvili was fined with GEL 126 220 190 (USD 73 265 338). The Appeals Court reduced the amount of fine by half on the grounds that “the prohibited contribution had not been committed repeatedly, since Bidzina Ivanishvili committed the administrative offense at a time when the legislation was not imposing liability for repeated commission of the same offense”.

        b) During May-July period in 2012 the SAO announced regarding investigations on LLC “Elita Burji” and Ltd “Management Service” and later concluded them to be in violation of the requirements of the law, specifically, claiming that the companies were making in-kind donations to the political entities united in the coalition of “Georgian Dream”. “Management Service” had allegedly rented offices for the political parties and paid for their communal services, while “Elita Burji” bought cars that were used for the political parties. Since Companies were forbidden from donating to political parties at the time, both entities were found in violation of the law (details reasoning why investigation started can be found on SAO statements: http://sao.ge/news/154 and http://sao.ge/news/21) .

        c) On 14 July 2012, the Financial Monitoring Service of the State Audit Office published information about its examination of the financial documentation of the “Elita Burji” Limited Liability Company (LLC). The State Audit Office concluded that “as a result of examining the documentation, we ascertained that in 2012 the company purchased two sets of offset printers with a total value of GEL 679 487.94 (USD 394 413.24), to further the objectives of the political coalition, “Georgian Dream.” In the same announcement, the State Audit Office emphasized that “Elita Burji LLC had never carried out any printing or related activities in the past. The company purchased the mentioned devices and equipment specifically for the purpose of supporting the activity of the mentioned political subject.” It was the second time that the State Audit Office claimed Elita Burji LLC transgressed election financing laws by unlawfully contributing to members of the political coalition and once again, seized the company’s bank accounts and all its movable and immovable property. On 14 July 2012 the Court fined Elita Burji LLC with GEL 3.4mln (USD 1 973 552) - five times the value of violation.

        d) On 8 August 2012, the State Audit Office of Georgia (SAO) imposed fines on 5 individuals, claiming they failed to justify the origins of contributions made in favor of the political union “Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia” and the public movement “Georgian Dream”. These people had made contributions, while according to SAO investigation, their annual incomes had never been enough to justify such donations, hence, SAO concluded, that their employer legal entity tried to circumvent the regulations (the legal entities were prohibited from donations).

        e) In January 2013 SAO made a statement regarding a case that could have been a violation of the donation regulations. Particularly United National Movement during September 2012 had used several hundred automobile services to drive supporters to the campaign events. The payment for these services were not made from party funds and it had not been reported as a donations. Hence, it was illegal donation (partially services were made by individual drivers and partially by Ltd “Tbilisi Microbus”, the latter had no right to make contribution, since legal entities were prohibited to do so at a time). The fine was not imposed on UNM, since by January 2013 an Amnesty was issued for all violations committed prior to October 1 2012 (details of the case are provided by SAO statement: http://sao.ge/news/46).

        Experts from GYLA and TI Georgia also noted these cases and underlined, that in 2012 SAO was way more active and in some instances even used as a political means against the opposing party, fining Georgian Dream with large sums of money, while in 2013 it was relatively passive.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014;

        On-line sources: 1. Statements by SAO: Management Service and Elita Burji cases: June 25, 2012 http://sao.ge/news/154 July 6, 2012 http://sao.ge/news/21 Case on United National Movement finances (not violation due to amnesty): January 25, 2013 http://sao.ge/news/46

        1. Blogs by Transparency International Georgia: a) Why the Seizure of the Broadcasting Equipment of “Global Contact Consulting” LLC is Illegal; webpage; 22 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/why-seizure-broadcasting-equipment-“global-co b) Has a member of the Rustavi City Council engaged in vote buying?; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/has-member-rustavi-city-council c) What are the reasons for imposing fines on Bidzina Ivanishvili?; 28 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/what-are-reasons-imposing-fines-bidzina-ivani

        2. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) Donations to Political Parties since the 2012 Parliamentary Elections; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 22 October 2013 http://transparency.ge/en/blog/donations-political-parties-2012-parliamentary-elections c) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012;

        3. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

        4. Press release by SAO regarding the case of "Burjanadze Democratic Movement": http://sao. ge/files/PDF%20PresRelizes/09-24-13.pdf

        5. News stories by on-line media Netgazeti 29 September 2013; "Audit Office to Investigate the Opposition Party", http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23810/ 8 October 2013; "Burjanadze's undeclared election expenses", http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24256/ 24 October 2013; "Passive Monitoring of Political Finance, Audit Work", http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24737/

        Article discussing Fines imposed by SAO during 2013 Presidential Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 24 September 2013; "Audit: the political power of the Communist Party and four others were fined," http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23807/

        Article discussing Fines imposed by SAO during 2013 Presidential Election Campaign by on-line media Nesposts.ge 17 January 2014; "Campaign Violations: "Georgian Dream" will be fined," http://newposts.ge/?l=G&id=28517

        Article discussing SAO (named Chamber of Control at the time) sanction to Kartu Bank during 2012 Parliamentary Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 12 March 2012; "The Chamber of Control: "The Bank" fined 822 thousand," http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/96/News/8666/

        1. "Ruling Party Member May Faces Fine for Giving Sheep, Wine to Voters"; webpage; civil.ge; 11 June 2012; http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878

        e) Article discussing response from SAO (named Chamber of Control at the time) to the NGO allegations regarding Bidzina Ivanishvili Sanctioning process during 2012 Parliamentary Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 5 July 2012; "State Audit Office's response to the case of non-governmental organizations", http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/10613/

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    67
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        The Law requires Parties and Individual Candidates to report itemized contributions upon reception of such contributions and in Annual and Election Campaign Reports. The information should be disaggregated for all contributions, according to donor, and has to be grouped by donations. However, Law does not require for parties or individual candidates to report itemized expenditures, apart from expenditures regarding: salaries (and any money given directly to individuals); rent (immovables or automobiles) and some types of Advertisement details (TV and Printed Media Advertisement). All other types of expenditures shall merely be categorized and no more details are required by the Law.

        According to Article 27(prima).1 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, a Political Party has to report reception of contribution within 5 working days and deliver detailed information.

        Article 32 provides, that every year before February 1, each party shall submit its financial declaration together with an auditor’s (auditing firm’s) report to the State Audit Office (oversight body). The declaration shall indicate yearly income (the amount of membership fees and donations, identity of persons paying membership fees, finances allocated by the state as well as finances received from publications or other party activities) and expenditure of the party (spent on elections, financing of various activities, remuneration, official trips and other expenditures), as well as a property report (owned buildings, quantity and type of means of transportation, their total value, the amount of money available on its bank accounts). Income and expenses related to elections shall be shown separately in financial declaration of a party.

        Election Code of Georgia article 57 requires, that “Election subject is under a duty to publish information, based on the defined forms, indicating the donation sources, amount and date of receipt, once in 3 weeks following the registration.” Same article paragraph 3 provides, that “Election subjects, no later than 1 month from the announcement of election results, and those election subjects, which, based on the preliminary data, receive required number of votes stipulated by this Law, - as well as no later than 18 days from the polling day, shall submit to the State Audit Office of Georgia a statement on election funds, as of submission of the statement, indicating the source of funds along with the auditor’s (audit firm) report. An auditor (audit firm) operating in the territory of Georgia shall be authorized to carry out an audit inspection”. Paragraph 4 of the same article requires, that “Political unions united in the election bloc, while submitting to the State Audit Office the statement on their election campaign expenditures, shall also submit a document issued by the bank certifying the suspension of financial operations on the accounts of their funds.” According to Article 57.5 “Election subjects, who nominated majoritarian candidates, participating in the second round of elections, no later than 1 month following the publication of final results of the second round, whereas election subjects, who, based on the preliminary data, receive required number of votes stipulated by this Law, no later than 8 days from the polling day, shall submit the information on unused funds by the election subject, in accordance with the procedures established by the State Audit Office.”

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits and regulations apply to both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        The Regulation adopted by State Audit Office provides list of details that have to be submitted to the oversight authority. And on web-page of State Audit Office the forms of declarations can be also accessed (http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/declaration-forms)

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 27(prima).1; Article 32; Article 32(prima); Article 26(prima). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55, Article 57. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

        3. Order of the Auditor General of the State Audit Service "To Establish Financial Report Templates and the Rules for Filling the Templates to Ensure Transparency of Political Activity Financing" N142/37. August 17, 2012. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=1728087&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian, can be accessed only with subscription to the official webpage of Georgian Legislative Herald; attachment of the downloaded version made on July 17, 2014 is provided for indicator 11)

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        22
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        According to article 32(prima) of the Organic Law of Poitical Unions of Citizens, all parties (independently participating in elections or within the coalition) have to submit financial reports to State Audit Office every three weeks from the day of announcing the Election Date. This report is different from the report that is published after the elections are completed (the final election campaign report). Specifically, it includes sheets on following details: Monetary Donations; Non-Monetary Donations (in-kind contributions); Loans taken on concessionary terms; Donations received via public events (fundraising events). This requirement is for both political parties as well as candidates.

        Election Code of Georgia article 57 requires, that “Election subjects are under a duty to publish information, based on the defined forms, indicating the donation sources, amount and date of receipt, once in 3 weeks following the registration.” Same article paragraph 3 provides, that “Election subjects, no later than 1 month from the announcement of election results, and those election subjects, which, based on the preliminary data, receive required number of votes stipulated by this Law, - as well as no later than 18 days from the polling day, shall submit to the State Audit Office of Georgia a statement on election funds, as of submission of the statement, indicating the source of funds along with the auditor’s (audit firm) report. An auditor (audit firm) operating in the territory of Georgia shall be authorized to carry out an audit inspection”. Paragraph 4 of the same aritcle requires, that “Political unions united in the election bloc, while submitting to the State Audit Office the statement on their election campaign expenditures, shall also submit a document issued by the bank certifying the suspension of financial operations on the accounts of their funds.” According to Article 57.5 “Election subjects, who nominated majoritarian candidates, participating in the second round of elections, no later than 1 month following the publication of final results of the second round, whereas election subjects, who, based on the preliminary data, receive required number of votes stipulated by this Law, no later than 8 days from the polling day, shall submit the information on unused funds by the election subject, in accordance with the procedures established by the State Audit Office.” According to the Law, official Electoral Campaign lasts at least for 60 days prior to Elections (however President of Georgia has authority to set election date earlier than 60 days prior, which will extend pre-election period). The counting takes up to maximum 20 days from election date for national elections.

        According to Article 26(prima) paragraphs 1 and 3 the Organic Law applies to individuals that have stated election goals. The individuals that have such goals and are also spending money for these goals, are considered individual candidates. Therefore, the limits and regulations apply to both - political parties and individual candidates. Also, according to Election Code of Georgia article 55 Election Campaign funding transparency is governed by Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens and applies to all electoral subjects, including independent candidate.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima). Article 32(prima). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 55, Article 57. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

        3. Order of the Auditor General of the State Audit Service "To Establish Financial Report Templates and the Rules for Filling the Templates to Ensure Transparency of Political Activity Financing" N142/37. Article 5, paragraph 1. August 17, 2012. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=1728087&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian, can be accessed only with subscription to the official webpage of Georgian Legislative Herald; attachment of the downloaded version made on July 17, 2014 is provided for indicator 11)

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        23
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        According to article 32 of the Organic Law of Poitical Unions of Citizens, all parties, but not individual candidates, have to submit financial reports to State Audit Office, but only once a year. All regulations on contribution and expenditure limits as well the persons/entities allowed to donate apply to the period outside electoral campaing as well (see indicators 9-17).

        Specifically, “every year until February 1, each party shall submit its financial declaration together with an auditor’s (auditing firm’s) report to the State Audit Office of Georgia. A party shall send copies of its financial declaration and auditor’s (auditing firm’s) report to a local tax agency in accordance with party’s legal address. The declaration shall indicate yearly income (the amount of membership fees and donations, identity of persons paying membership fees, finances allocated by the state as well as finances received from publications or other party activities) and expenditure of the party (spent on elections, financing of various activities, remuneration, official trips and other expenditures), as well as a property report (owned buildings, quantity and type of means of transportation, their total value, the amount of money available on its bank accounts).” The Auditor’s report is not required for the party that has annual overturn below GEL 10 000 (USD 57 901), according to article 32.7.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima).1; Article 32. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).
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        24
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        Assessment of financial reports from election candidates proved that the declaration forms approved by SAO do not provide itemized information regarding all expenditures, but does for all contributions. For more details about the declaration requirements see indicators 21-22.

        Mr. Aznaurashvili from State Audit Office stated certain details are provided by the reports, but he did agree that most expenditures are not itemized and are only categorized (only salaries, business trips, other funds given to individuals, rent of offices and cars are itemized). As for the reporting period almost all parties send in the financial reports during the pre-election period every 3 weeks (there have been rare cases when it did not happen, mainly for smaller parties or individual candidates) and all parties submitted annual financial declarations (which are only obligatory to political parties, not individual candidates). It should be noted, that in 2012, pre-election period amounted to 60 days from August 1 till October 1, which means there were two 3 week reports to be delivered to SAO, while in 2013 pre-election campaing was longer from July 1 to October 27 and there were six 3 week reports. There were minor issues with these reports (late submission, miscalculated data, etc. which according to Mr. Aznaurashvili was mainly due to lack of knowledge and experience.

        The pre-election reports every three weeks include information on contributions, but not on expenditures. At the same time, all electoral subjects send information regarding TV and Newspaper Advertisements at the time of purchasing such advertisements. This is more like a notification to SAO regarding the specific purchase of the advetrisement. These letters are not published on the web-page, but can be obtained with FOI request, State Institution has to deliver information immediately (law does not specify timeline, however in practice this is 2-3 working days) or in case there is some complexity, maximum amount of time for responding to request is 10 working days, only copying fee can be requested from the person (GEL 0.5 (USD 0.3) for regular A4 page).

        Representatives from Transparency International Georgia also agreed that reports do not provide itemized information of expenditures with exception to some types of expenditures, while all contributions are always itemized. All major parties and candidates submit the information at a time prescribed by law. Also, third party expenditures are included in financial reports (this was the case in 2012, there were no third parties in 2013).


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Political parties and candidates do not always report their expenditures accurately. For example, OSCE/ODIHR observed examined a number of presidential candidate declarations in 2013 and found that in multiple cases there was no declared expenditure for printed materials although the candidate’s respective campaign posters were visible throughout the country. Additionally, the OSCE/ODIHR media monitoring results indicated that while several candidates purchased airtime on national TV, such expenditures were not declared to the SAO.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22;

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Reports provided by the party regarding contributors to the State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/contributions 4. Declaration Forms and Guidelines of filling them out by State Audit Office (oversight body) http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/declaration-forms 5. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances.

        Reviewer's sources: Georgia Presidential Election of October 27, 2013; OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report; January 14, 2014; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreportgeo.pdf

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        25
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        After reviewing Financial Reports of Political Parties and Individual Candidates it is obvious, that information about contributions is very detailed. The standards of financial reports (or declarations) and the templates of declarations (templates are in .xls format) provide that a separate sheets should be dedicated to information regarding contributions. Declaration forms adopted by State Audit Office include several such sheets providing details on contributors in a dis-aggregated format - four different groups: Monetary Contributions from individuals; Non-Monetary Contributions from individuals; Monetary Contributions from legal entities; Non-Monetary Contributions from legal entities. All these groups include details: name of contributor; ID Code; Amount or Price of the Donation; Date; Type of the asset or Service (for in-kind contributions);

        The reports provided by the parties (for both elections relatively and reports regarding contributions alone) reflect all required data. Respondent from State Audit Office underlined that details provided by the parties are always matching the requirements of the laws or by-laws. There have been instances where declarations had been provided later, or some declarations were filled in by mistake (this has mainly happened in case of individual candidates), however after communicating to the candidates mistakes had been corrected and this has not caused big harm.

        All information provided in the financial reports are freely available on the oversight body webpage (sao.ge State Audit Office webpage). A review of the information shows that complete contribution information is reported. No part of the data is redacted. Respondents from Transparency International Georgia and Liberali confirmed, that all such information is itemized.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014; 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Reports provided by the party regarding contributors to the State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/contributions 4. Declaration Forms and Guidelines of filling them out by State Audit Office (oversight body) http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/declaration-forms 5. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; b) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        YES
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        According to Article 32.3 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens, the State Audit Office is obliged to disseminate any requested information regarding political party/electoral entity (individual candidates and coalitions inclusive) financial declarations to any person. Also, SAO is required to publish the financial reports in their entirety on its web-page within 5 working days (www.sao.ge). The information should include everything that political parties/electoral entities delivered to the SAO - details of incomes and expenditures.

        As for request, according to General Administrative Code of Georgia, hard copies of public information can be requested in written form (in case a State Institution has an on-line platform for public information, anyone can make request via this platform, however such an online tool is not an obligation for State Institution). State Institution has to deliver information immediately (law does not specify timeline, however in practice this is 2-3 working days) or in case there is some complexity, maximum amount of time for responding to request is 10 working days, and only copying fees can be asked from the person (GEL 0.5 (USD 0.3) for regular A4 page).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article32.3. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Law of Georgia General Administrative Code of Georgia. Chapter 3. June 25, 1999.
          https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=16270&lang=en&Itemid= (official translated codified version in English)

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        27
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        All relevant information is available freely via the webpage of State Audit Office, it's free of charge and does not take time. The reports are uploaded on the webpage almost instantly. However, according to Transparency International Georgia experts in 2012 some information was uploaded two months later (while law required the information to have been published within 5 working days). State Audit Office argued at the time that it was due to large volume of the reports and scanning took a lot of time.

        Both, annual party finance reports (only for political parties) and all election campaign reports (for parties and individual candidates) have been published on State Audit Office web-page including all information provided to the oversight authority, this includes - itemized information on contributions, categorized information on other types of income (state funding, funding from special fund, party membership fees, incomes from fundraising activities, other incomes); categorized expenditure information (disaggregated in about 70 different types, such as, salaries, goods and services, acquisition of actives, etc.) and itemized information regarding certain types of expenditures (salaries, business trips, rent of immovable/automobiles). The Respondent from the oversight body mentioned, that they have legal access to more information (primary financial data, checks and others), but this is the case when they want to conduct investigation and candidates are not requested to provide such information or documents with reports, hence it is not made public via webpage, and accounting documents are not made public.

        While available online, the format of the information is not machine-readable, as all reports are scanned pdfs of printed material that is delivered to the oversight body (See the reports provided at the webpage of State Audit Office and also 2012 report of Transparency International Georgia "An analysis of the election campaign finances", page 20, part 1.3; also 2013 report of Transparency International Georgia "Party Finance in 2013" page 22). According to Transparency International Georgia experts this means that it takes several weeks to input the data into excel sheets to start analysis (considering that Transparency International Georgia experts conduct research only on selected candidates and not all). A journalist from Liberali argued that when she had to work with the data it required her to type up or write down by hand information and could not directly copy, furthermore most reports are rotated for 90 degrees and a user needs to download pdf files and try to rotate pages to be able to read them, or print the information. At the same time, some scanned information is low quality - Transparency International Georgia experts argued that they sometimes had trouble identifying numbers in the reports and in 2012 they even requested information as hard copies to read and analyse them better.

        It is visible from uploaded reports that some data was cut during scanning (such as first numbers in the first columns), which means that users must consult with hard copies delivered by Parties. According to Transparency International Georgia experts, when they were working on 2011 Annual reports, even hard copies had low quality and at that time State Audit Office (then called Chamber of Control of Georgia) requested political unions to change reports into more readable font. Mr. Nadiradze talked about similar issue, when one of the scanned documents was missing data due to scan quality and he said that after officially requesting this particular document from SAO, he received full information.

        Representative of State Audit Office noted, that they are planning to make at least a portion of information machine-readable (.xls format), and this will include details on contributions and party membership fees (itemized) and certain expenditures, such as itemized information on expenses made for TV and newspaper advertisements. He also noted that pre-election reports for the 2014 local elections regarding contributions were available in machine-readable in .xls format or .pdf format (not scanned, but converted from .xls).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014; 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014. 5. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 6. Davit Ghonghadze; Political Process/Election Law Officer; International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES); July 18, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Reports provided by the party regarding contributors to the State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/contributions 4. Declaration Forms and Guidelines of filling them out by State Audit Office (oversight body) http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/declaration-forms 5. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; b) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013.

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        28
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        Assessment of financial reports from election candidates proved that the declaration forms approved by SAO are filled in by all candidates – political parties, coalitions and individual candidates alike. The forms include classification of incomes and expenses and certain more detailed sheets providing information on specific income types and expenditure types. All candidates fill in the forms similarly using these forms (which are obligatory).

        Mr. Aznaurashvili from State Audit Office stated that all candidates must and do comply with forms that are created by SAO. He also claimed that SAO conducts training and consults candidates regularly giving detailed instructions on how to work with the forms. In reality, all parties and candidates comply with standardized format and there are no cases when parties or candidates provide reports in other format. There might be cases, when parties make mistakes; for example, some candidates were late with reports for several days (mostly smaller parties); or in data submitted during pre-election campaign was not summarized in final reports (also mostly by smaller parties). In almost all cases mistakes were corrected upon SAO's official notification letters (only Communist Party was fined since even after notification they did not provide correct reports).

        Member of United National Movement, Mikheil Matchavariani underlined that their party has never had any problem with the format State Audit Office approves and have always complied with it. Similarly, Georgian Dream Accountant Giorgi Ksovreli confirmed, that their financial reports are in compliance with approved forms and hence, are in standardized format.

        Representatives from Transparency International Georgia also agreed that categories of incomes and expenditures are same for all candidates and in reality the data is mostly comparable. However, there are some cases where questions arise on where certain types of expenses should be inputted. As an example they mentioned expenses regarding the candidate coordinators (activists that conduct campaign in small communities and monitor whether the voters went to vote on election date), specifically the experts argued, that some parties include the expenses on such coordinators as a salary and some – as a service. Therefore for some categories comparison might not be exact.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014; 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22; 5. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Reports provided by the party regarding contributors to the State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/contributions 4. Declaration Forms and Guidelines of filling them out by State Audit Office (oversight body) http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/declaration-forms 5. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; b) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013

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        29
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, Mr. Aznaurashvili, media outlets frequently use political finance data for their reporting. SAO contacts media when they issue statements and Mainstream Journalism Media Outlets are frequently interested in party financing issues. Mr. Aznaurashvili recalled that biggest media outlets, such as Public Broadcaster, TV Imedi, Maestro, Rustavi2 frequently get interested in political finance issues, however in most cases they report SAO statements or possible violation cases, the declarations itself are not that frequently used (although there have been over 3 such reports by such media outlets). Mr. Aznaurashvili claimed that sometimes violation case investigations are started based on News stories published in Media, for instance the case of “Democratic Movement”, when the party was fined for irregularities in their declarations (they had offices rented, which they did not report about), the investigation used news articles and tv-stories where the party offices were shown to prove that these offices were indeed rented by the political party.

        According to Transparency International Georgia experts in 2012 and 2013 they often obtained factual information from media sources (vote bribing cases or possible contribution regulation violation cases had been reported by media and TI would engage in checking the facts, then addressing the complaint to SAO). For instance, case of Rustavi, when voters were given lamb and wine by political party representatives was brought to TI by Rustavi regional media outlet.

        Journalist Keti Ghvedashvili underlined that collaboration with SAO is quite active and productive. Media outlets usually get contacted from SAO when important statements are made and whenever Liberali has needed to clarify something from SAO, the office has always been responsive (she works on the issue since 2013). She mentioned that she has used financial reports while making news, however statements are the more usual source for the articles.

        Some news reports using official reports include the following articles: a) Media Investigation: Political Party Financing by Natia Orvelashvili (published by GHN news agency on November 15, 2012 http://ghn.ge/news-77344.html) reviews legal regulations during previous years and in 2012 and practical trends as shown by political party financial reports and statements from SAO.

        b) Netgazeti article describes case of individuals getting fined for trying to circumvent the legal regulations (published on webpage on 12 March 2012 - http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/96/News/8666/), the article uses official reports and statements from SAO

        c) National Broadcaster Maestro discusses Political party declarations of 2013, reviewing data from the official reports published on SAO's web-page (news report from September 15 2013 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCcs5swKLhw)

        d) Radio Freedom (Radio Tavisufleba) which transmits nationwide publushed a news report on August 28, 2012 on possible illegal donations or bypassing the legal requirement cases on United National Movement Donors (http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/auditis-samsaxuri-da-nacionaluri-modzraoba/24690355.html), the article uses financial reports of Party and statements from SAO.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 5. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. News reports: a)Media Investigation: Political Party Financing; Natia Orvelashvili; GHN news agency, webpage; November 15, 2012; http://ghn.ge/news-77344.html b) Ruling Party Member May Faces Fine for Giving Sheep, Wine to Voters; webpage; civil.ge; 11 June 2012; http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878 c) case when opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili was fined for several million GEL for illegal donations or other means of by-passing the law - webpage; Netgazeti.ge; 5 July 2012; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/10613/ d) case of individuals getting fined for trying to circumvent the legal regulations webpage; Netgazeti.ge; 12 March 2012; - http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/96/News/8666/ e) Case of UNM violation of political finance regulations and amnesty of the violation - webpage; Tabula; January 25, 2013 - http://www.tabula.ge/ge/story/63752-auditis-samsaxuri-nacionaluri-modzraobis-samartaldarghvevebze-amnistia-vrceldeba f) Political party declarations; TV Maestro, September 15 2013 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCcs5swKLhw g) Political Party Contributions during 2014 local elections; TV Imedi; July 1, 2014 http://imedi.ge/index.php?pg=nws&id=33608&ct=1 h) Party incomes during Pre-election period of 2014 Local Elections; TV Imedi; May 16. 2014 http://imedi.ge/index.php?pg=nws&id=30474&ct=1 i) news story on certain violation cases and fines imposed to Georgian Dream during 2012 Parliamentary Elections; Public Broadcaster Channel 1; June 7, 2012 http://1tv.ge/news-view/38822 j) news story on fines imposed on Georgian Dream members for illegal donations (unjustified income sources); Liberali; webpage liberali.ge; July 8, 2012 http://www.liberali.ge/ge/liberali/articles/111820/ k) news report on possible illegal donations or bypassing the legal requirement cases on United National Movement Donors; Radio Freedom; webpage; August 28, 2012 http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/auditis-samsaxuri-da-nacionaluri-modzraoba/24690355.html

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        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, Mr. Aznaurashvili, media outlets report violation cases quite frequently. For instance the case of “Democratic Movement”, when the party was fined for irregularities in their declarations (they had offices rented, which they did not report about), the investigation used news articles and tv-stories where the party offices were shown to prove, that these offices were indeed rented by the political party.

        According to Transparency International Georgia and GYLA experts there have been cases when media outlets are the ones to investigate cases as well, particularly investigative journalists. TI Georgia experts claimed, that they have obtained factual information from media sources . For instance, case of Rustavi, when voters were given lamb and wine by political party representatives was brought to TI by Rustavi regional media outlet. TI then engaged in checking the facts, then addressing the complaint to SAO.

        TI Georgia experts recalled, that some news stories report cases where doubt arises to the sources of funding of the parties. For instance, investigative journalists in 2011 and 2012 interviewed donors of some parties and found that it was impossible for these people to donate to parties or the donation was made by someone else, since either these people refuted the fact of contribution or were too poor to have been able to make high contributions (TI Georgia reports reflected such facts by their own investigation as well).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014.
        2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014;
        3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014;
        4. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. News reports: a)Media Investigation: Political Party Financing; Natia Orvelashvili; GHN news agency, webpage; November 15, 2012; http://ghn.ge/news-77344.html b) Ruling Party Member May Faces Fine for Giving Sheep, Wine to Voters; webpage; civil.ge; 11 June 2012; http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878 c) Case when opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili was fined for several million GEL for illegal donations or other means of by-passing the law - webpage; Netgazeti.ge; 5 July 2012; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/10613/ d) Case of individuals getting fined for trying to circumvent the legal regulations webpage; Netgazeti.ge; 12 March 2012; - http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/96/News/8666/ e) Case of UNM violation of political finance regulations and amnesty of the violation - webpage; Tabula; January 25, 2013 - http://www.tabula.ge/ge/story/63752-auditis-samsaxuri-nacionaluri-modzraobis-samartaldarghvevebze-amnistia-vrceldeba f) news story on certain violation cases and fines imposed to Georgian Dream during 2012 Parliamentary Elections; Public Broadcaster Channel 1; June 7, 2012 http://1tv.ge/news-view/38822 g) news report on possible illegal donations or bypassing the legal requirement cases on United National Movement Donors; Radio Freedom; webpage; August 28, 2012 http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/auditis-samsaxuri-da-nacionaluri-modzraoba/24690355.html h) news story on Party Financing in 2012, including controversial donation cases; newspaper Banks and Finances; Guram Lomidze; webpage; April 20, 2013 http://bfm.ge/index.php?newsid=5587#.U-5av_mSxec

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        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, media outlets often report cases of possible vote-bribing and SAO has investigated them accordingly. In case of finding violations they have used sanctions (Rustavi Case of wine and lamb distributed in voters, although vote-bribing was not proven, the sanction on illegal donation was used).

        According to Transparency International Georgia and GYLA experts media outlets, particularly regional ones bring up a lot of cases which might include vote bribing, for instance, case of Rustavi, when voters were given lamb and wine by political party representatives was brought to TI by Rustavi regional media outlet. TI then engaged in checking the facts, then addressing the complaint to SAO. The cases in Kakheti and Guria have been considered as possible vote-bribing too, (see information Digests on Election monitoring by ICK.ge including cases of vote-bribing and articles by gurianews.com).

        In 2012 vote-bribing cases reported by media were quite a lot, main cases of vote-bribing include delivering food and drinks to voters (wine and meat during or close to holidays), small gifts to socially vulnerable people (for rennovation works), some budgetary activities - delivering aid to those affected by natural disasters by political candidates, while aid was purchased with state money (voters assimilated aids to candidates and were thanking them). Opposition Party at the time, Georgian Dream had been accused of vote-bribing by SAO mainly and media outlets covered those stories (such as delivering satellite dishes to citizens by companies affiliated with Georgian Dream, dishes were allegedly delivered in favourable conditions for citizens, which was considered as a vote-bribing).

        In 2013 there were fewer cases reported. Two examples are: 1) The prime-minister of Georgia gifted newly-wed couple a golden ring, though Prime-Minister was not a candidate, making such a gift during pre-election period was assumed to have electoral goals and was considered by experts as vote-bribing case, however no prosecution had been made (reported by Gurianews and TV25 regional broadcaster of Adjara, details can be seen in English here: http://humanrights.ge/index.php?a=main&pid=16947&lang=eng );

        2) Wheelchairs were given by a charity organisation to disabled persons, the charity organisation was accompanied by a Candidate and gift was assimilated to the political party (ruling coalition Georgian Dream), however no prosecution has been made (reported by Gurianews), GYLA sent complaint to SAO, which considered the case not vote-bribing, but illegal donation to Georgian Dream from a Charity Organisation (charities are prohibited from donating parties), the court did not find illegality and did not impose fine.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014. 5. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014;

        On-line sources: 1. News reports: a) Ruling Party Member May Faces Fine for Giving Sheep, Wine to Voters; webpage; civil.ge; 11 June 2012; http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878 b) news story on certain violation cases and fines imposed to Georgian Dream during 2012 Parliamentary Elections; Public Broadcaster Channel 1; June 7, 2012 http://1tv.ge/news-view/38822 c) news report on possible illegal donations or bypassing the legal requirement cases on United National Movement Donors; Radio Freedom; webpage; August 28, 2012 http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/auditis-samsaxuri-da-nacionaluri-modzraoba/24690355.html d) news story on Party Financing in 2012, including controversial donation cases; newspaper Banks and Finances; Guram Lomidze; webpage; April 20, 2013 http://bfm.ge/index.php?newsid=5587#.U-5avmSxec e) news reports by Kakheti Information Centre: Case of possible vote-bribing when natural disaster victims are given gifts, August 31, 2012: http://ick.ge/articles/12020-------video.html\ Information Digests on Election monitoring reflecting cases of vote-bribing: http://ick.ge/articles/11902--n1.html August 11, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/11988-----n2.html August 18, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12076--n2.html August 25, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12180-----n-4.html September 1, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12348-----n-5.html September 16, 2012 http://ick.ge/articles/12523-1-n-6.html September 27, 2012 f) news story on distribution of wheelchairs to voters, possible vote-buying case. Guria News (regional outlet). August 3, 2013 http://www.gurianews.com/viewleftwide.html?item=11868&title=%E1%83%A1%E1%83%90%E1%83%94%E1%83%A0%E1%83%97%E1%83%90%E1%83%A8%E1%83%9D%E1%83%A0%E1%83%98%E1%83%A1%E1%83%9D+%E1%83%9D%E1%83%A0%E1%83%92%E1%83%90%E1%83%9C%E1%83%98%E1%83%96%E1%83%90%E1%83%AA%E1%83%98%E1%83%98%E1%83%A1+%E1%83%93%E1%83%90+%26quot%3B%E1%83%A5%E1%83%90%E1%83%A0%E1%83%97%E1%83%A3%E1%83%9A%E1%83%98+%E1%83%9D%E1%83%AA%E1%83%9C%E1%83%94%E1%83%91%E1%83%98%E1%83%A1%26quot%3B+%E1%83%AC%E1%83%98%E1%83%9C%E1%83%90%E1%83%A1%E1%83%90%E1%83%90%E1%83%A0%E1%83%A9%E1%83%94%E1%83%95%E1%83%9C%E1%83%9D+%E1%83%A1%E1%83%90%E1%83%A9%E1%83%A3%E1%83%A5%E1%83%90%E1%83%A0%E1%83%98%3F%21&catid=131&lang=ka h) news story on possible vote-bribing by a party which offered free meal to socially vulnerable people. Guria News (regional outlet). August 3, 2012. http://www.gurianews.com/viewleftwide.html?item=3197&title=%26quot%3B%E1%83%A5%E1%83%95%E1%83%94%E1%83%9A%E1%83%9B%E1%83%9D%E1%83%A5%E1%83%9B%E1%83%94%E1%83%93%E1%83%98%26quot%3B+%E1%83%9C%E1%83%90%E1%83%AA%E1%83%98%E1%83%9D%E1%83%9C%E1%83%90%E1%83%9A%E1%83%A3%E1%83%A0%E1%83%98+%E1%83%9B%E1%83%9D%E1%83%AB%E1%83%A0%E1%83%90%E1%83%9D%E1%83%91%E1%83%90&cat_id=66&lang=ka g) See report by HumanRights.ge reflecting information collected by Jounralists during 2013 Presidential Elections. Webpage, November 2013. http://humanrights.ge/admin/editor/uploads/pdf/HR%20Elections%20Report.Pdf

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        100
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        According to Mr. Aznaurashvili, Civil Society Organizations are becoming increasingly interested in political financing issues and for this they mainly use financial declarations, SAO statements or request additional information from the SAO. According to numerous assessment, including Parliament of Georgia, SAO Financial Monitoring Service (division responsible oversight of political financing) has been deemed as rather collaborative.

        Experts from TI Georgia and GYLA claimed that they base their research on officially published financial declarations, SAO statements and additional information received from the SAO. TI Georgia, however, remains to be most vested in researching financial declarations to observe political financing trends, while other NGOs mainly review investigation and audit procedures.

        Specifically, TI Georgia selects some major parties for research, then they review their financial reports fully, type them up (since published data is not machine-readable) and researchers make comparisons between parties, compare amounts of expenses or incomes with previous years, review trends and describe them, researchers also review donors if any of individuals could be incapable of donating due to their social status, or if any legal entities had been participating in State Procurement contracts, etc.

        GYLA representative claimed, that they use financial declarations mainly when they have information or doubt on violations and try to find some indications in the reports as well. For instance, GYLA had information on possible illegal spending by a ruling party (hiring microbuses to bring people to the event), they reviewed the reports to see if the expenditure was shown there, when they could not find it, they sent complaint on possible violation to SAO.

        Coalition "For Freedom of Choice" used financial reports and SAO statements to conduct a study, how SAO worked during 2012 and analyse its efficiency, whether there were any political decisions taken, etc.

        Experts from TI Georgia claimed that they might receive information from non-official sources as well, however in such case they always conduct their own investigation to find evidences and only after that they make complaints or use information in their reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014;

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) Donations to Political Parties since the 2012 Parliamentary Elections; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 22 October 2013 http://transparency.ge/en/blog/donations-political-parties-2012-parliamentary-elections c) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 3. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

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        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        The Organic Law on Political Unions of Georgia, the main legislative act governing political financing has been amended 17 times since its first adoption: 1. 22/03/2005; Organic Law N1136; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N13, 12/04/2005; 2. 16/12/2005; Organic Law N2260; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N55, 27/12/2005; 3. 29/12/2006; Organic Law N4272; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N51, 31/12/2006; 4. 25/05/2007; Organic Law N4817; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N19, 01/06/2007; 5. 08/06/2007; Organic Law N4918; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N22, 19/06/2007; 6. 11/07/2007; Organic Law N5292; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N29, 27/07/2007; 7. 15/07/2008; Organic Law N230; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N17, 28/07/2008; 8. 30/12/2008; Organic Law N963; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N41, 30/12/2008; 9. 27/02/2009; Organic Law N1026; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N3, 11/03/2009; 10. 25/12/2009; Organic Law N2476; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (printed) N49, 30/12/2009; 11. 28/12/2011; Organic Law N5661-??; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line) N111229001, 29/12/2011; 12. 08/05/2012; Organic Law N6116-I?; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line); 29/05/2012; 13. 22/06/2012; Organic Law N6551-I?; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line); 29/06/2012; 14. 29/07/2013; Organic Law N900-??; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line); 20/08/2013; 15. 07/08/2013; Organic Law N923-??; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line); 20/08/2013; 16. 07/03/2014; Organic Law N2095-II?; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line); 14/03/2014; 17. 07/03/2014; Organic Law N2097-II?; published on Legislative Herald of Georgia (on-line); 14/03/2014.

        However, these amendments according to the respondents can be grouped as parts of larger reforms and main ones can be outlined in a following way: 1) 2005-2006 amendments – they brought in the concept of State funding of the political unions (not the individual candidates) and regulations on contributions. The main reason arguably mentioned by TIG, GYLA researchers and IFES representative was to establish some source of funding for the political unions that had certain support of the population (state funding was and still is based on a formula that includes criteria of voter support and amount of seats in Parliament). There have been arguments that prior to 2005-2007 reform the main source of party funding was “black money” (mentioned in GHN article and raised as an issue by TIG representatives). The same amendment package established transparency and accountability requirements, although they were rather soft (parties were obligated to create declarations, with no standardized format and had to send them to Central Election Commission, but the latter had almost no powers and according to TIG analysis of political finances conducted in 2011, prior to 2011 Central Election Commission had not been active and had no cases of violations or sanctions imposed. UNM member Mikheil Matchavariani, who was one of the authors of this amendment, recalled that in 2003-2004 political parties of Georgia met in Strasbourg and made agreement to amend the Law and introduce the public financing. Central Election Commission being the oversight entity was probably a mistake coming from inexperience of new government, according to Mr. Matchavariani and proved to have been ineffective.

        2) December 2011 reform – according to TIG and GYLA representatives when in September-October period of 2011 Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgian billionaire (later prime-minister of Georgia) made a public statement that he wanted to take part in upcoming 2012 Parliamentary Elections, the Government of Georgia, specifically Ministry of Justice of Georgia rapidly drafted amendments to the Organic Law of Political Unions, which was later almost fully adopted by the Parliament. The major amendments were:

        a) Establishing high level of restrictions – legal entities were prohibited from donating to any party or candidate; cap of expenditures were introduced; donation cap from individuals did double to GEL 60 000 (USD 34 560), however it became more regulated, such as only citizens could contribute and only via his/her Georgian Bank account; b) The term “connected party” (third party somehow connected to party or candidate, or simply a person/entity having any relations with political processes, such as expressing political choice) was established and all limitations existing for political parties would apply to them (including caps and limitations of contributions, caps of expenditures, prohibition of commercial activities, etc.); c) Sanctions were introduced and had high value (mainly 10 times the price of violations); d) Vote-buying regulation brought sanctions to both parties on giving and receiving ends; e) State Audit Office (named Chamber of Control at that time) became monitoring agency and received vast rights (including right to collect private data, bank account information and right to seize property).

        Mr. Ksovreli from Georgian Dream contested that all this strict regulations were intended to limit Mr. Ivanishvili from exercising his political rights and gave freedom to State Audit Office to abuse rights against Georgian Dream. Mr. Mikheil Matchavariani mentioned in his interview that this regulation did intend to create limitations, but they were aimed at controlling previously uncontrollable money in politics, bring more transparency and accountability, though obviously the previous amendments did not suffice and lacked a lot of things.

        This law was considered unjustifiably limiting human rights and an abuse of State’s legislative resources by several civil society organisations (including GYLA, TI-Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), etc.). It was considered, that State was trying to limit Mr. Ivanishvnili from spending his huge financial resources for the politics, since existing law did not provide enough restrictions. According to the interviews and reports from local NGOs, this was further supported by the fact that just few weeks before, during August draft law on amending Election Code and Organic Law on Political Unions of Citizens was prepared as a result of agreement between 7 opposition parties and ruling party (so called “Agreement of 8”) to liberalize political financing regulations, for instance – double donation caps from both individuals and legal entities to respectively GEL 60 000 (USD 34 560) and GEL 120 000 (USD 69 121). Ms. Taliuri recalled that in October 2011, few weeks later when Mr. Ivanishvili made a public statement, the Ministry of Justice of Georgia called a meeting of NGOs (with one day notice) claiming that they had a draft law they were sending to European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) for review and wanted to consult NGOs as well. The amendment proposal was rather surprising, considering that during the same period Parliament was working on completely different proposal (according to the “Agreement of 8”).

        3) May 2012 amendments – Local NGOs and Media organizations united into a campaign in the beginning of 2012 “This Affects You Too” (esshengexeba.ge) and started active work requesting the organic law to be amended and be in consistency with Human Rights Standards. According to TIG and GYLA representatives international organizations, diplomats and other prominent actors supported the claims made by this campaign. With all this pressure Parliament agreed with most part of proposed amendments and made law more precise, humane, less limiting human rights and so on. Mr. Mikheil Matchavariani from UNM said during the interview, that it was a compromise to Civil Society. The major amendments of that time were:

        a) sanctions were cut down to half - from 10 times the violation to 5 times the violation; b) receiver of the gift (in vote-buying case) would not face criminal sanctions; also criminal sanctions to the giver required certain minimal price of the gift (GEL 100 (USD 58); c) property rights would be less limited - in order to seize property SAO would need an approval from the Court; d) third party actor definition became more precise, not all legal entities were under the risk of facing limitations established for political parties, but only those who were spending money in favor or against an electoral subject could be considered as a "connected entity" (third party).

        4) Summer 2013 – As a result of 2012 Parliamentary Elections new party (coalition Georgian Dream led by Bidzina Ivanishvili) came as a majority in Parliament. They started process of amending the law regulating political financing and elections. The InterFraction Group was established in the Parliament, NGO sector was collaborating with the group and a package of amendments was made. Major changes included: a) returning the ability to donate from the legal entities to a cap of GEL 120 000 (USD 69121); b) sanctions were cut down even more (not more than 2 times the violation price); c) certain rights of State Audit Office were removed - Mr. Natroshvili from TIG and Ms. Taliuri from GYLA argued that before that during 2012 Parliamentary Elections State Audit Office was mainly a political weapon in the hands of ruling party against its strong opponent; after the amendment SAO would need Court approval for collecting private data.

        Another reform took place in late summer raising state funding amount and providing parties with certain support during presidential elections (but not winning) ability to receive funding and reimbursement from State Budget.

        Mr. Matchavariani from UNM underlined, that these amendments were more or less acceptable, sanctions should be efficient and if the existing law enables this goal, it can be considered positive. On the other hand, the prohibition of contribution from legal entities should exist, since it has become clear that legal entities are more inclined to donate to ruling parties and in this context, 2013 amendments were aimed at making more comfortable environment for the ruling party.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Davit Ghonghadze; Political Process/Election Law Officer; International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES); July 18, 2014; 5. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22; 6. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; c) Party Finances in 2011; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 28 June 2011; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/political-party-finance-report; d) Political Parties in Georgia: Issues of Party Financing; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 2007; http://transparency.ge/sites/default/files/Political%20Parties%20in%20Georgia%2C%20Issue%20of%20Party%20Financing.pdf 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf c) Political Party Funding in Georgia; Nino Gobronidze; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; published on their webpage 2008 http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2007/POLITICALPARTYFUNDINGINGEORGIA(2006-2007).pdf 3. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens. Articles 26.1; 26(prima).1; 26(prima).3; 27.1; 27.3; 27.4. October 31, 1997; https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian) - different codified versions are also accessible through the web-page. 4. Media news reports/articles Media Investigation: Political Party Financing; Natia Orvelashvili; GHN news agency, webpage; November 15, 2012; http://ghn.ge/news-77344.html

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    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    66
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
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        34
        Score
        YES
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        According to Article 26 (prima) of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens, any entity or individual person, that has expressed electoral goals and spends money for such goals is bound by all regulations prescribed for the Political Party. Also, if a person/entity is considered to be repeat violator of the contribution regulations of this organic law or of vote-bribing rules, financial transparency regulations of political parties will apply to this person/entity (the so-called linked party).

        Paragraph 5 of the same article expressly claims that these restrictions do not apply to international organisations or entities that aim at developing political parties, unless their actions are supporting or going against a specific political party.

        The above mentioned entities, if considered as having electoral goals or if it is the so-called linked party, all financial transparency regulations apply to them fully - they report itemized contributions and expenditures (not completely itemized as described in indicator 21) to the oversight body. The State Audit Office is obliged to disseminate any requested information regarding political party/electoral entity (individual candidates and coalitions inclusive) financial declarations to any person. Also, SAO is required to publish the financial reports with its entirety on its web-page (www.sao.ge). The determination, whether an entity is linked, is made by SAO according to the law, specifically, SAO checks if a person/entity is a repeat violatior of the contribution regulations or of vote-bribing rules. It notifies a person/entity that they are considered "linked" and have to comply with transparency and accountability rules. The determination is made by SAO only, with no external approval, but this decision can be appealed in courts as a regular administrative act (all three instances can be used - City/District Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court).

        As for the person/entity that has electoral goals and spends money for it, whenever such declaration is made, SAO may consider such person/entity based on the fact of declaration and fact of spending. The fact of declaration has to be reasonable and the fact of spending has to be proven (this criteria is provided in the methodology of party financing monitoring, which is not a legally binding document, but is approved by SAO as a working document for it).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima); Article 32.3. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Law of Georgia General Administrative Code of Georgia. Chapter 3. June 25, 1999.
          https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=16270&lang=en&Itemid= (official translated codified version in English)

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        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        According to Mr. Aznaurashvili of the State Audit Office, third party actors always have followed the transparency requirements imposed on "linked parties" and have reported. They report itemized contributions, but not all expenditures are itemized (see indicator 21 for details).

        Experts from TI Georgia and GYLA claimed that it was questionable which entities were “linked” during 2012 Parliamentary Elections (there has been no entity considered such in 2013), however they did report contributions and expenditures, though expenditures have not been detailed and itemized completely. The law was vague at the time and required any person affiliated to the political party/candidate or spending in favour/against any candidate to be considered as "linked entity" (at the same time, there was no clear procedure on determining a linked entity). Respondents claimed that SAO exercised its rights excessively while considering some organizations linked only due to the fact that founders were political figures (one of the NGOs "Republican Institute" founded and financed by political party "Republican Party" was deemed as linked and was requested to follow transparency regulations by the SAO (Chamber of Control at a time), with the sole argument, that it was funded by Politial Leaders, hence had some affiliation news report discussing the fact.

        As for the less contested cases, according to TI Georgia Experts, there was a charity organization which was giving donations to people oppressed by the ruling party United National Movement, during 2012 Pre-election campaign, the presentation of this organization was made by political leaders of opposition coalition Georgian Dream, which made the public think that the charity was affiliated to political party and spending was made in favour of the party. Another case involved an NGO "Georgia not for Sale", which created TV ads during 2012 Pre-election Campaign against opposition coalition Georgian Dream leaders, these Ads were later donated to ruling party United National Movement and some NGOs (includin TI Georgia and GYLA) demanded this organization to be considered "linked" as well. Another case included Movement "Georgian Dream" which during 2012 Pre-election period was conducting concerts and other events in support of opposition coalition "Georgian Dream". All these entities reported their financial declaration to the SAO.

        It has to be noted as well, that in 2014 there was a campaign by Business Entities named “come to the elections” it called for voters to vote on second round elections and in return they would receive discounts at their stores. Some considered it as a possible third-party actor. However, since the campaign cannot be deemed to be in favour or against a specific candidate, there is no way of forcing the business entities to make their expenditure/income on this campaign public. Keti Ghvedashvili claimed, that it would be interesting to know whether it was indeed a “marketing move” and ensuring transparency of the financial information regarding this campaign could bring some light.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. Those third-party actors who have been qualified as "linked entities" have submitted their financial declarations to the SAO.

        The case of a campaign of businesses, entitled "come to the elections" is not a clear example of a third party actor campaigning in support or against a political party or a candidate. The law neither bans such activity nor qualifies it as a third party activity.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014 5. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 3. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia 4. Article by newspaper Tabula regarding the campaign “Vote and receive discount” and US Ambassador comment on it: http://www.tabula.ge/en/story/85699-richard-norland-questions-are-raised-about-discount-concept-for-voters 5. Article by online outlet presa.ge describing case of Republican Institute being affiliated with political party and requested to follow transparency regulations. Presa.ge; 14 February 2012, http://presa.ge/new/?m=politics&AID=13319

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        36
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        According to Mr. Aznaurashvili, third party actors (the so called “linked parties”) reports are published on the website of the State Audit Office (www.sao.ge) within 5 working days from receiving the reports. Any person can freely receive this information via webpage or if they need hard copies, SAO will deliver them as prescribed by law (maximum 10 working days from request, if volume is too high, usually 2-3 working days).

        Experts from TI Georgia and GYLA claimed that reports from third-party actors if such exists and is deemed so by SAO, is freely available and it has not been an issue. Journalist Keti Ghvedashvili also claimed that whenever needed this information was easily accessible to her. It has to be noted, that on SAO webpage this information is not easily searchable and only one third-party actor report can be found easily (Public Movement “Georgian Dream”). However, by conducting a general google search using the names of third party actors one can find other reports on the SAO webpage. Overall, if the media or public is already aware of the name of a third party, this can be searched and often found, but navigating through third party reports from 2012 and 2013 national elections is currently not fully supported by sao.ge.

        As for the format of the published information, similarly to the political party or candidate reports, they have also been scanned in a pdf format. TI experts underlined that it has not been machine-readable and merely scanned with quality flaws. However, some of the third-party actor reports (Public Movement “Georgian Dream”, NGO “Georgia not for Sale)) are in pdf format, but not scanned, and the data may be easier to analyze electronically. In case the information can not be found on web-page, any person can request it and within 10 working days copies will be delivered, only fee for copying (GEL 0.05 per page) will be charged to the person requesting information.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014 5. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 3. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia 4. Financial Declaration from third-party actors a) Public Movement “Georgian Dream”: http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/monitoring-subjects b) contributions of “Georgia not for Sale” http://sao.ge/files/finansuri%20monitoringi/shemocirulebebi/01-01-12_28-11-12/saqartvelo-ar-ikideba.pdf

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        Score
        --
        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        During 2013 elections there have been no third-party actors according to Mr. Aznaurashvili. While for 2012 their number was relevant and mainly included charity organisations or NGOs. For instance, there were two charity organizations that were considered to have affiliations with Georgian Dream (at that time an opposition party), also two NGOs were deemed to had been “linked parties” - one was conducting events that were deemed to be in favor of Georgian Dream and another was creating political advertisements against the Georgian Dream which they later gifted to United National Movement (deemed to have been “linked” to UNM).

        According to the financial reports of the third-party actors, their source of income is private donations. For instance Public Movement “Georgian Dream” had received donations in amount of GEL 16 708 840 (USD 9 696 787) all from same person: Bidzina Ivanishvili, who later became Prime Minister of Georgia and was leader of the political coalition Georgian Dream. As for “Georgia Not for Sale” it had donations in amount of GEL 2 599 029 (USD 1 508 317). Both amounts very relevant sum of money for the political financing in Georgia (considering that Georgian Dream and United National Movement, parties that above mentioned entities were linked to had donations in sum of approx. GEL 12 000 000 - USD 6 964 065).

        The goal of the regulations regarding the third party actors is to limit circumvention of legal restrictions. Georgian Young Lawyers Association in 2012 claimed that “Georgia Not for Sale” was indeed acting to avoid legal regulations (http://gyla.ge/eng/news?info=1282) and it was later deemed to be a linked entity.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 3. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia 4. Financial Declaration from third-party actors a) Public Movement “Georgian Dream”: http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/monitoring-subjects b) contributions of “Georgia not for Sale” http://sao.ge/files/finansuri%20monitoringi/shemocirulebebi/01-01-12_28-11-12/saqartvelo-ar-ikideba.pdf 5. Statement of SAO regarding one of the Third-party Actors, NGO “Voters’ League” (in Georgian). September 5, 2012: http://sao.ge/news/79?year=2012&month=9 6. Georgian Young Lawyers Association Statement regarding “Georgia not for Sale”. July 16, 2012: http://gyla.ge/eng/news?info=1282 Statement from SAO on “Georgia not for Sale” (in Georgian). August 27, 2012: http://sao.ge/news/42

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
    composite
    77
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      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
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        38
        Score
        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        Political financing in Georgia is monitored by State Audit Office. It is an entity established by the Constitution of Georgia and is independent from Legislative or Executive branches. Article 97 of the Constitution of Georgia stipulates: “The State Audit Office shall supervise the use and expenditure of public funds and other material values. It shall also have the right to examine the activities of other state bodies of fiscal and economic control and to submit proposals for improving tax legislation to Parliament. The State Audit Office shall be independent in its activity. It shall be accountable to the Parliament of Georgia”.

        According to article 6, paragraph 2 of the Law on State Audit Office, the SAO conducts monitoring on financial activities of the political unions as defined by the Organic Laws on Political Unions of Citizens and Election Code. SAO is authorized to conduct audit, to seize the property of individuals, legal entities or political unions (including their bank accounts), draft protocol on violations of law and make relevant decision. According to article 3 of the same law, SAO is independent and only follows the Law. It is prohibited to interfere in the SAO's work, control it, or ask for reporting from the SAO unless the Law prescribes so. Any kind of political pressure or any other hindering activity is prohibited. SAO is independent by its structure, financially, functionally and organizationally.

        According to Article 34(secunda) of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, State Audit Office (oversight body) shall monitor lawfulness and transparency of financial activities of a party. The office has following investigative and audit powers: a) Elaborate a template of financial declaration; b) Determine auditing standards for political party funding; c) Verify that a party’s financial declaration and report of election campaign funds is complete, accurate and lawful; d) Conduct audit of financial activities of the party no more than once a year; e) In the event of reasonable doubt regarding party’s illegal financial activities party may approach court with the request to conduct additional financial audit; f) Ensure transparency of party funding; g) Request information on party’s finances from parties, administrative agencies and commercial banks, if necessary; h) Request information from persons about the origins of property transferred to or received from property parties or persons determined in Article 261 of this law; i) Provide consultations on party funding for interested persons; j) React on violations of party funding regulations and apply sanctions prescribed by law; k) Apply to prosecuting agencies if signs of crime have been detected. l) Request a financial report from a person, provided there is a reasonable doubt about the existence of circumstances envisaged by Article 261 of this Law (a person is spending money for his/her own political goals or in favor/against a political party); m) Elaborate methodology for financial monitoring of a party.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Constitution of Georgia. Article 97. August 24, 1995. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=30346&impose=translationEn&lang=ge (official codified translated version in English)

        2. Law on State Audit Office. Article 3; Article 6. December 26, 2008. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=17506&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian).

        3. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima); Article 34(prima). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

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        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        State Audit Office, the oversight body of political finances is an entity established by the Constitution of Georgia as an independent body from Legislative or Executive branches. Article 97 of the Constitution of Georgia stipulates: “The State Audit Office shall supervise the use and expenditure of public funds and other material values. It shall also have the right to examine the activities of other state bodies of fiscal and economic control and to submit proposals for improving tax legislation to Parliament. The State Audit Office shall be independent in its activity. It shall be accountable to the Parliament of Georgia”. According to paragraph 2 of the same article, the Parliament of Georgia shall elect the General Auditor of State Audit Office for a term of five years by a majority of the full list of MPs on the recommendation of the Chairperson of Parliament. The grounds and procedure for dismissal of General Auditor from office shall be determined by the Constitution and law”.

        According to article 9, of the Law on State Audit Office, the Auditor General is elected by the Parliament as defined by the Constitution. The article stipulates, that Auditor General cannot hold any other position, or conduct any payable duty, with exception of pedagogical, scientific and artistic work. Auditor General cannot be a member of party while holding a post. Independence of Auditor General shall be guaranteed, no one can interfere or influence his decisions.

        It has to be noted, that Auditor General is not directly involved in political finance monitoring, there is a special division for it at the SAO. The head of this division is selected based on public appointment process as defined by the Law on Civil Service. The process is described in articles 31-34 in a following way: Article 31 - public appointment process (Competition) is publicly announced on a web-page of Civil Service Bureau. The period for submitting applications shall be no less than 10 days. The announcement should include - title of the institution and the job; qualifications of the job; job description; salary amount; time frame for submission of application and documents; address of the Competition Commission. Article 32 - Applications for Competition are submitted in an electronic way through the web-page of Civil Service Bureau. Article 33 - Competition Commission evaluates the candidates with respect to the vacancies in accordance with qualification requirements, if necessary it hears the arguments from a person authorized to appoint the candidate and makes decisions based on Law. Article 34 - The Commission proposes one candidate for each vacancy or refuses to propose anyone.

        Hence the Auditor General is appointed by the Parliament despite merit, without a completely public appointment process, as the AG candidate is presented to Parliament by Chairman of Parliament with no prior process. (furthermore, the law prohibits AG to conduct political activities during his term, but not before or after that), while Director/Head of the Division directly responsible for political finance monitoring undergoes public appointment process and is appointed based on merit.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Constitution of Georgia. Article 64; Article 97. August 24, 1995. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=30346&impose=translationEn&lang=ge (official codified translated version in English).

        2. Law on State Audit Office. Article 3; Article 9. December 26, 2008. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=17506&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian).

        3. Law on Civil Service. Articles 31-34 . October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28312&lang=en&Itemid= (official codified version in Georgian).

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        25
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties he was appointed on his position based on merit and public vetting process. He went through the Competition of civil servants, successfully passed all stages and was appointed as vice-director. When Ms. Natia Mogeladze, former Director left the position, he was promoted to Directorship.

        According to GYLA expert and researchers from Transparency International Georgia, there were questions regarding appointment of Ms. Natia Mogeladze, who was in charge of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, she was running this division during 2012 Parliamentary Elections. Another issue that caused controversy was the Auditor General’s appointment. Former Auditor General, Levan Bezhashvili left his post on his own accord and was in the Political Party list of the United National Movement (ruling party at a time) during the Parliamentary Elections of 2012, as well as Deputy Head of the State Audit Service, Ms. Tina Bokuchava. This issue raised a question of independence of those officials. At the same time, Mr. Lasha Tordia was appointed by the Parliament of Georgia prior to 2012 Elections, who was before appointment a member of United National Movement, hence raising additional questions on political bias of the Auditor General.

        Ms. Ghvedashvili from Liberali underlined that Mr. Tordia was pressured by the Georgian Dream, which became ruling party after the 2012 Elections, however Tordia kept his position. It can be assessed, that Tordia was politically appointed and the change of ruling party caused him to be more careful. Appointment of Mr. Aznaurashvili cannot be considered political and was most probably based on merit.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. According to the report by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), in the run up to the 2012 parliamentary elections, NDI has recommended to “remove the perception of a conflict of interest by ensuring that neither the chairman, deputies, nor staff run for political office or engage in partisan political activity.” Contrary to this recommendation, the UNM chose to appoint the former head of the State Audit Office, Levan Bezhashvili, as a majoritarian candidate and his deputy, Tinatin Bokuchava, to its party list."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014. 5. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013.

        1. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: NDI Long-Term Election Observation: 2012 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia, Second Interim Report, https://www.ndi.org/files/Georgia-Interim-Report-2-092512.pdf

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        YES
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        Political financing in Georgia is monitored by State Audit Office. It is an entity established by the Constitution of Georgia and is independent from Legislative or Executive branches. Article 97 of the Constitution of Georgia stipulates: “The State Audit Office shall be independent in its activity. It shall be accountable to the Parliament of Georgia. The Parliament of Georgia shall elect the General Auditor of State Audit Office for a term of five years by a majority of the full list of MPs on the recommendation of the Chairperson of Parliament. The grounds and procedure for dismissal of General Auditor from office shall be determined by the Constitution and law”. According to article 64 of the Constitution, dismissing Auditor General requires impeachment procedure, specifically, at least one third of the total number of MPs shall have the right to raise the question of removing the Auditor General of the State Audit Service from office via impeachment if they have violated the Constitution and/or committed an offense. After having received the conclusion from the Constitutional Court of Georgia that violation of Constitution or criminal offense has been committed by the Auditor General, Parliament shall have the right to remove him by a majority of the total number of MPs.

        According to article 3 of the Law on State Audit Office, SAO is independent and only follows the Law. It is prohibited to interfere in its work or control it, ask for reporting from the Audit Office unless the Law prescribes so. Any kind of political pressure or any other hindering activity is prohibited. SAO is independent by its structure, financially, functionally and organizationally. According to article 9, of the Law on State Audit Office, the Auditor General is elected by the Parliament as defined by the Constitution. The article stipulates, that Auditor General cannot hold any other position, or conduct any payable duty, with exception of pedagogical, scientific and artistic work. Auditor General cannot be a member of party while holding a post. Independence of Auditor General shall be guaranteed, no one can interfere or influence his decisions.

        Article 11 of the Law on State Audit Office provides security of tenure of Auditor General. Specifically: Bringing forward criminal liability; arrest; search and seizure of home, car or working place, or personal search and seizure of the Auditor General is only allowed with the prior authorization from the Parliament of Georgia. In case of an exception when Auditor General was caught during the crime, the Parliament of Georgia shall be notified immediately and if the Parliament does not provide the authorization, Auditor General shall be freed. If Parliament provides authorization on arrest of the Auditor General, his tenure is stopped until the criminal case is dismissed or the Court delivers final judgment. Removing Auditor General from the post is only allowed by the Parliament with the impeachment procedure. Termination of office of Auditor General can take place in following cases: by his/her own request; removal from the post as prescribed by the Law (impeachment); recognition by the court that he/she is incapable, partially incapable, missing, or dead; Auditor General assumes position that is in conflict with the post of AG; he/she loses citizenship of Georgia; he/she dies.

        As for the Director of the Division directly responsible for political finance monitoring, his tenure is not secured by fixed term, his removal or disciplinary actions are based on Civil Service Law. Specifically, article 79 provides, that a person/body authorized of appointment of the director can use following means of disciplinary sanctions: notification; warning; no more than 10 day salary seizure; suspension with no pay for no more than 10 days; degrading the position for no more than 1 year; dismissing from the job. The basis for disciplinary sanction can be following cases prescribed by article 78: not conducting required job or conducting it insufficiently; material damage to the institution or creating threat to such damage by maleficent intent; committing an act against public moral or aimed at discrediting the institution intentionally, despite the place of commission such act. There is no procedure prescribed by law how to conduct disciplinary hearings, only a regulation mentioned above that a person authorized to appoint is the one authorized to use disciplinary sanctions.

        As for dismissal of the Director of the Division, Civil Service Law article 93, a person can be removed from the post by a person authorized to appoint him/her. There are several grounds for removal prescribed by law, including liquidation of the entity (article 96); redundancy (article 97); incompetency based on unsatisfactory performance during provisional period; attestation results; not knowing state language sufficiently; not having document necessary to hold the post; not having health conditions necessary to conduct work; not having sufficient professional skills; in case of abuse certain types of drugs prescribed by law (article 98); long-term incapability to conduct work (article 100); person is called for military service (article 102); person has been found guilty in criminal case by the court (article 103); appointment procedure was in violation of the law (article 104); person was appointed in another entity (article 105); person lost citizenship of Georgia (article 106); person died (article 107).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Constitution of Georgia. Article 64; Article 97. August 24, 1995. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=30346&impose=translationEn&lang=ge (official codified translated version in English).

        2. Law on State Audit Office. Article 3; Article 9. December 26, 2008. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=17506&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian).

        3. Law on Civil Service. Article 78; Article 79; Article 93; Article 96; Article 97; Article 98; Article 100; Articles from 102 through 107. October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28312&lang=en&Itemid= (official codified version in Georgian).

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties he exercises independence in his decisions, he is never asked by any other branch to be biased, even Auditor General does not interfere in his work and gives him full discretion to act.

        According to GYLA and Transparency International Georgia experts, during 2012 Election period State Audit Office was frequently used as a weapon against opposition party and the fact that high-level appointees later became election candidates, the bias becomes more tangible.

        Experts from TI Georgia claimed, there were allegations that after the ruling party changed, the leader of the Georgian Dream asked Tordia to leave the post of Auditor General, however so far he stays in his seat. There is a doubt, that this could be the reason as to why in 2013 the State Audit Office lacked efficiency. Compared to 2012, it almost did not act on violations and whenever it acted, it was rather careful.

        Ms. Taliuri from GYLA recalled cases when State Audit Office (named Chamber of Control at a time) during 2012 Parliamentary Elections conducted investigations that were deemed by NGO activists as intimidation (see report of) against the opposition party representatives. While in 2013 SAO became much softer.

        Mr. Matchavariani from United National Movement claimed that Mr.Tordia (Auditor General) faces pressure from both parties - ruling Georgian Dream and opposition party United National Movement. He also considered, that SAO could be making favors to government, for this he mentioned a case, where SAO found United National Movement to have used illegal means of party financing from State Budgetary Funds; however, this case was not sanctioned, since it took place prior to 2012 Elections and an Amnesty was issued by Parliament. The Amnesty was regarding party financing, but not regarding the criminal liability for relevant government officials. Hence, the conclusion made by SAO was used by the Court in a criminal proceeding of former government official, Mr. Ivane Merabishvili, who was a Secretary General of United National Movement. Therefore, SAO was indirectly used as a tool to prosecute opposition political leaders, which raises questions with regards to bias of SAO decisions.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The reason for the Auditor General currently exercising a different, more neutral approach when compared to the situation during the 2012 Parliamentary elections lies in the fact that he was appointed by the party, which after that election went into the opposition, and the current ruling party could not easily remove him. In short, the shift of political power in the country has contributed to the SAO no longer being a "political weapon" in the hands of the ruling party.

        Givent that the previous Auditor General has been politically active before his appointment to the Office and together with his deputy joined the party list immediately after his departure from office, leaves little doubt that unless political circumstances change, the independence of high level appointees of the monitoring body are not guaranteed.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013.

        1. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf
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        --
        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties his division unites 9 civil servants (auditors). It is completely based in the capital, however for 2013 Presidential Elections they hired a person in Kutaisi, to conduct investigations in Western Georgia. In 2012 same body comprised of 19 officials.

        Mr. Aznaurashvili described the process of decision making - he is the person entitled to making decisions. There is no commission-based decisions. SAO makes decisions regarding audit, investigations, sanctions and transparency of political funding as prescribed by law. According to Mr. Aznaurashvili, he is the one to decide taking investigative steps, he might deliberate with his staff, or consult with NGO representatives, but ultimately he makes the decision alone. Auditor General is merely notified about the decision, but is not involved in making it and does not have to approve. There is no voting, since Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties is a sole person entitled to make decisions. No outside approval is needed for deciding to start and conduct investigation.

        Experts from Transparency International Georgia and GYLA underlined, that in 2013 there have been claims that SAO is ineffective, or trying to avoid sanctioning violations. Mr. Aznaurashvili agreed that the policy of SAO is more liberal than it was in 2012, since they are trying to prevent violations, not necessarily repress them.

        GYLA recalled some cases during Presidential Elections where a violation could have been found - a case where disabled people were gifted with wheelchairs from a person affiliated with ruling political party (possible vote-buying case) - SAO did not consider this as a vote-buying case, but did found an illegal campaigning; There was a case, when some donors were found to be listed as socially vulnerable (extremely poor) citizens, hence they could not have been donors, as a response to this case SAO claimed that in these cases donors were in the lists by mistake. In The response was not very trustworthy and raised questions of efficiency of the oversight body.

        Experts from TI Georgia and GYLA recalled cases from 2012 Parliamentary Elections, when SAO was on the contrary more active and in some cases politically engaged in the process. For example, over thousand people were questioned by the SAO and the questioning process was considered to have character of political intimidation; a company affiliated with Georgian Dream (at a time, main opposition coalition) which was distributing satellite dishes for concessionary terms was found to have bribed voters and the process raised number of questions (link to the blog discussing procedural details: http://transparency.ge/en/blog/why-seizure-broadcasting-equipment-%E2%80%9Cglobal-co); There was a substantiated claim that a vote-buying case had taken place in one of the cities, experts of TI Georgia had witnesses in the case and delivered a complaint to the SAO (named Chamber of Control at a time), however according to the experts, the decision did not reflect reality (link to the blog discussing the details of the case: http://transparency.ge/en/blog/has-member-rustavi-city-council; result of the investigation discussed in news-report: http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878 and Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance, para 22).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 2. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 4. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. b) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; c) Party Finances in 2011; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 28 June 2011; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/political-party-finance-report; 2. Blogs by Transparency International Georgia: a) Why the Seizure of the Broadcasting Equipment of “Global Contact Consulting” LLC is Illegal; webpage; 22 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/why-seizure-broadcasting-equipment-“global-co b)Has a member of the Rustavi City Council engaged in vote buying?; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/has-member-rustavi-city-council 2. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 3. News Reports: a) Ruling Party Member May Faces Fine for Giving Sheep, Wine to Voters; webpage; civil.ge; 11 June 2012; http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878 4. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

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        50
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties his division unites 9 civil servants (auditors). It is completely based in the capital, however for 2013 Presidential Elections they hired a person in Kutaisi, to conduct investigations in Western Georgia. In 2012 same body was comprised of 19 officials. As for the budget, it does not have a separate budget; the State Audit Office has an overall budget and in case there is some need in the Financial Monitoring Service, Mr. Aznaurashvili drafts a request to Auditor General. In practice there has not been a case when Auditor General refused to buy any goods/services requested.

        Mr. Aznaurashvili noted that unless they have doubt or information that something is wrong in the reports, they do not conduct investigation. The Financial Monitoring Service does indeed check the reports to confirm if they have all required data and if data is inputted correctly, but will not conduct an investigation if reports reflect the reality (unless they have suspicion or information from someone). Mr. Aznaurashvili claimed that number of staff is not currently sufficient to conduct full and in-depth investigations. For instance, for 2014 local elections there are over 40 000 documents that need review, therefore it was impossible for oversight body to conduct in-depth audit. They can only review documents sent to them, not the accounting information that is behind the reports. During 2013 Presidential Elections (and in 2014 too) one of the political parties - “Budjanadze - Democrats” were considered to have been hiding certain expenses from SAO. The oversight body only had opportunity to investigate the cases of office rent, since it was in plain sight, however they were not capable to investigate salary or service expenditures. Mr. Aznaurashvili claimed, that with more stuff it could have been possible.

        According to TI Georgia experts, in 2012 SAO was more efficient, capacity-wise, it had 19 staff members and managed to investigate more cases in more detail, than in 2013, when staff had been reduced to 9. Since in 2012 SAO was extremely active and in many cases was considered to have used excessive force, the number of staff was mainly conducting questioning all around Georgia. After 2012 elections SAO had different approach and mass questionings did not take place, hence staff of 9 was considered enough, in case there is a need for auditors in regions, SAO contracts auditors in other cities (not regular members of Staff). Hence, it can be concluded that SAO lacks capacity to review all incoming reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014;

        On-line sources: 1. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. 2. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, during the 2013 Presidential Elections they investigated more than 3 cases that were beyond the compliance review of the report. Specifically, they investigated the following cases:

        a) the case of “Burjanadze Democratic Movement”, where there was a doubt, that expenditures shown by a political party did not reflect the reality, SAO investigators checked the party offices in regions and capital and concluded that in some cases they had rented offices and did not show it in their reports (press release by SAO: http://sao. ge/files/PDF%20PresRelizes/09-24-13.pdf and news reports by http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23810/; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24737/; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24256/; http://newposts.ge/?l=G&id=28517);

        b) four parties were fined because they were found to have used cash without following the procedures prescribed by law - Industry Will Save Georgia; European Democrats; New Rights and Movement for Just Georgia (news report by http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23807/)

        There were more cases when investigations were conducted but no sanction was used, as a violation was not proved (case of wheelchairs gifted to people with disabilities, court found no violation).

        As for 2012 Parliamentary Elections, the cases where investigations were conducted was way above 3, including controversial cases. TI Georgia indicated several most prominent cases:

        a) a case where there was a vote-bribing, but the SAO found different violation: http://transparency.ge/en/blog/has-member-rustavi-city-council

        b) a case when satellite dishes were sold for certain terms and it was considered to be illegal gifts or donation - (link to the blog discussing procedural details: http://transparency.ge/en/blog/why-seizure-broadcasting-equipment-%E2%80%9Cglobal-co)

        c) a case when opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili was fined for several million GEL for illegal donations or other means of by-passing the law - http://transparency.ge/en/blog/what-are-reasons-imposing-fines-bidzina-ivani newsreport by http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/10613/

        d) a case when a legal entity was fined for giving bonuses to its collaborators, since it was deemed to serve a goal of bypassing the law and donating to a party via individuals - http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/96/News/8666/


        Peer reviewer comment: Disagree. Suggests a 50 score. The SAO does not appear to be proactively investigating political financing, unless it is informed about the specific violation. Several organisation and election observation missions have pointed out about inefficiencies of SAO's activities during the 2013 Presidential elections.

        According to the election assessment report by NDI, during the 2013 Presidential elections, several factors impacted the SAO’s effectiveness. It did not clarify whether its policy was to respond immediately to campaign finance violations or to address them after the election and it did not apply this standard consistently; some issues were addressed right away while others were deferred, causing confusion. SAO published parties’ and candidates’ reports on campaign finances, but it did not report on its own findings related to analysis of campaign finance declarations.

        The same concerns are raised in the 2013 Presidential election monitoring report by the Georgian Young Laywers Association (GYLA), referring to the low level of active engagement of SAO when it came to reactions to violations referred to the Office by GYLA.

        OSCE/ODIHR international election observation mission considered monitoring of campaign finance for the 2013 Presidential elections largely insufficient and formalistic. SAO has not taken any actions against those electoral subjects who have not submitted their financial reports before the election as required by the law. The observation mission examined a number of candidate declarations and found that in multiple cases there was no declared expenditure for printed materials although the candidate’s respective campaign posters were visible throughout the country. Additionally, the OSCE/ODIHR media monitoring results indicated that while several candidates purchased airtime on national TV, such expenditures were not declared to the SAO.The report concludes that a more proactive approach by the SAO could have improved the effectiveness of campaign finance oversight.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 5. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Report by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. 2. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia 3. News-reports: a) press release by SAO regarding the case of "Burjanadze Democratic Movement": http://sao. ge/files/PDF%20PresRelizes/09-24-13.pdf news stories by on-line media Netgazeti 29 September 2013; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23810/ 8 October 2013 http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24256/ 24 October 2013; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24737/ b) Article discussing Fines imposed by SAO during 2013 Presidential Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 24 September 2013; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23807/ c) Article discussing Fines imposed by SAO during 2013 Presidential Election Campaign by on-line media Nesposts.ge 17 January 2014; http://newposts.ge/?l=G&id=28517 d) Ruling Party Member May Faces Fine for Giving Sheep, Wine to Voters; webpage; civil.ge; 11 June 2012; http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24878 e) Article discussing response from SAO (named Chamber of Control at the time) to the NGO allegations regarding Bidzina Ivanishvili Sanctioning process during 2012 Parliamentary Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 5 July 2012; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/10613/ f) Article discussing SAO (named Chamber of Control at the time) sanction to Kartu Bank during 2012 Parliamentary Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 12 March 2012; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/96/News/8666/ 4. Blogs by Transparency International Georgia: a) Why the Seizure of the Broadcasting Equipment of “Global Contact Consulting” LLC is Illegal; webpage; 22 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/why-seizure-broadcasting-equipment-“global-co b) Has a member of the Rustavi City Council engaged in vote buying?; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/has-member-rustavi-city-council c) What are the reasons for imposing fines on Bidzina Ivanishvili?; 28 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/blog/what-are-reasons-imposing-fines-bidzina-ivani

        Reviewer's sources: Statement of the NDI Election Observer Delegation to Georgia's 2013 Presidential Election; October 28, 2013; https://www.ndi.org/files/Georgia-Final-statement-10.28.pdf

        Report on Monitoring the Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and Post -election Period; 2013 Presidential Election Observation Mission; Georgian Young Lawyers' Association; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreportgeo.pdf

        Georgia Presidential Election of October 27, 2013; OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Reportl; January 14, 2014; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreportgeo.pdf

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        State Audit Office regularly publishes information regarding investigations on its webpage (sao.ge), if these investigations result in finding violations. As a result of reviewing the webpage, two issues can be observed: both during the campaign of the 2012 Parliamentary Elections and of the 2013 Presidential Elections information regarding the results of investigations and sanctions were published consistently; on the other hand, during the election campaign of 2012 Parliamentary Elections, in some cases materials obtained during the investigation were published (protocols of witness questionings were published on the webpage after the election period; certain presentations showing some evidences were made and some published on the webpage), while during the 2013 Elections mainly only factual descriptions and general information had been published, namely - the article that was violated, what action was considered as violation and what reaction the SAO took, there was of course argumentation, but not evidence (no protocols of witness questionings, copies of original documents, etc.).

        As for the period of publication of the information regarding investigations, State Audit Office representative claimed that all information is published almost immediately after conclusion of investigation if they find violations. TI Georgia representatives argued that information is published on the webpage within 3-5 days from conclusion of investigation, in case there is any suspicion of violation; if there is none and the investigation is closed, it is not published (this was not denied by the SAO representative). As for Audits, in case the audit shows any violations of law or problems in financial declarations of the parties, such information is individually published (as facts of violation cases). This claim was corroborated by TIG representatives and Liberali journalist as well. However, Mr. Aznaurashvili from SAO said that overall results of audit (or more fairly – revision of the financial declarations) is done at most within six months from when the electoral subjects submit financial declarations and is more an internal document within the State Audit Office. If anyone requests this report it is made public according to law. Annual Report of the State Audit Office also includes certain generalized information about the oversight body.

        This trend was underlined by Representative of State Audit Office (SAO), as well as by researchers at Transparency International Georgia. Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties at SAO underlined that his office was actively collaborating with NGO sector and Media holding press-conferences, meetings and sharing information. Journalist from Liberali agreed to this statement and underlined that during 2013 Presidential Elections it was indeed so. Lela Taliuri from GYLA also supported the argument. GYLA and Transparency International Georgia (TIG) representatives also mentioned that during 2014 there was a Temporary Consultancy Commission established at State Audit Office with the latter’s initiative; Commission includes 9 NGOs and holds meetings once every week. IFES has an observer status there and monitors the meetings. GYLA, TIG and IFES representatives claimed during the interviews that at the meetings of the Commission details of cases are being discussed, the status of investigations are reported to the NGOs from SAO. The Commission meetings are advisory and recommendations given by NGOs are reflected in the protocols. TIG and GYLA representatives claimed that this commission helped raise transparency and openness of the oversight body and the investigation processes. Lela Taliuri from GYLA argued, that during 2013 Presidential Elections the investigation processes held by SAO were not clear enough and the Commission is a step forward. TIG representatives recalled that during 2012 Parliamentary Elections period State Audit Office was holding some informal meetings discussing details of the cases, evidences they had in hand; sometimes press-conferences were held presenting information about certain cases.

        TIG representatives also mentioned that in 2012 after the election campaign the organization requested from State Audit Office information regarding all cases the oversight body conducted investigation about, case materials and the results of investigations; all requested information was freely sent to the TIG only requiring price of photocopy as prescribed by Law (GEL 0.05 (USD 0.3) per page), the volume of the received documentation was huge (above 14 binders) and included official protocols of witness questionings, copies of financial and accounting documents, etc. In 2013 no such request was made, according to TIG representatives, the process did not raise many controversies and they did not need the information. Mr. Aznaurashvili from SAO underlined, that if request is made all details will be sent to any interested person.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014; 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 5. Davit Ghonghadze; Political Process/Election Law Officer; International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES); July 18, 2014; 6. Keti Ghvedashvili; Journalist; Liberali (printed media outlet, also published on-line at liberali.ge); July 16, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Parliamentary Elections of 2012 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/fund-declarations-of-election-campaign 2. Financial Declarations of the Political Entities for Presidential Elections of 2013 State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/the-2013-presidential-election 3. Reports provided by the party regarding contributors to the State Audit Office (oversight body): http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/contributions 4. Declaration Forms and Guidelines of filling them out by State Audit Office (oversight body) http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/declaration/declaration-forms 5. Reports by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: a) An analysis of the election campaign finances; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 20 December 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-analysis-election-campaign-finances; b) Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013 6. Reports by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association: a) Monitoring Report for Pre-Election Environment, Election Day and the Post-Election Period of Presidential Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; 20 December 2013; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreporteng.pdf b) Monitoring Report of Pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Post-election period of Parliamentary Elections; Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; webpage; December 2012; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2012/p176.pdf 7. Statements available at the webpage of State Audit Office a) Statement regarding the investigation/audit of a specific political party during Presidential Elections 2013, published on 2013-09-24: http://sao.ge/news/313 b) Statement regarding the investigation/audit of a specific political party during Parliamentary Elections 2012, published on 2012-03-07: http://sao.ge/news/122 c) Statement regarding the case of "Burjanadze Democratic Movement": http://sao. ge/files/PDF%20PresRelizes/09-24-13.pdf d) Other statements can be found at: http://sao.ge/financial-monitoring-service/statement 8. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

        Reviewer's Sources: Statement of the NDI Election Observer Delegation to Georgia's 2013 Presidential Election; October 28, 2013; https://www.ndi.org/files/Georgia-Final-statement-10.28.pdf

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        According to Article 34(secunda) of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, both Political Parties and individual Candidates can be subject to sanctions imposed by State Audit Office (oversight body). The Law provides detailed regulations on sanctions, specifically:

        1. Receipt or concealment of donations/membership fees prohibited under the Georgian legislation (for example, receipt from foreign entity, foreign person or above the allowed cap) by a party or an individual envisaged by Article 26(prima).1 of this Law, shall result in transfer of the donations/membership fees to the state budget and imposition of a fine twice the amount of the donation/membership fee.

        2. Making donation/paying fees prohibited under the Georgian legislation (for example, receipt from foreign entity, foreign person or above the allowed cap) by a natural or legal person, their union or any other type of organizational unit in favor of a party or a person envisaged by Article 26(prima).1 of this Law, in case the recipient had no knowledge or could not have any knowledge of the illegality, shall result in imposition of a fine on donor/membership fee payer concerned twice the amount of the donation made/membership fee paid.

        3. Accepting and/or concealing information regarding donations/membership fees prohibited under the Georgian legislation (for example, receipt from foreign entity, foreign person or above the allowed cap) or hiding information about donations/membership fees by a person in favor of a party or a person envisaged by Article 26(prima) of this Law, shall result in imposition of a fine twice the amount of donation made/membership fee paid.

        4. Failure of a party or a person envisaged in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 26(prima) of this Law to fulfill the requirements and obligations prescribed by this Law (any requirement that is not specifically mentioned in this list of violations, including submitting declarations to oversight body, meeting the requirements of the expenditure cap for specific spending and not overall), shall result in imposition of fine in the amount of GEL 5 000 (USD 2 895).

        5. Failure to provide information requested by the State Audit Office, - shall result in imposition of fine in the amount of GEL 1 000 (USD 579) in case of natural and GEL 2 000 (USD 1 158) in case of legal person.

        6. Violation of stipulations of Article 252 of this Law (prohibiting giving gifts to voters), as well as receipt of an unlawful present, income or service by a natural person envisaged by this Law, provided the value of property (service) or agreement is less than GEL 100 (USD 58),- shall result in imposition of fine ten times the value of the property (service) or the agreement on a party, its representative, legal person, and imposition of a fine two times the amount on a natural person.

        7. Violation of paragraphs 1 and 11, Article 251 of this Law (providing cap on overall expenditures) - shall result in imposition of fine two time the amount of expanses made by exceeding the maximum amount.

        The action envisaged above if committed repeatedly or if committed by one and the same person through different natural or legal persons, - shall result in imposition of fine twice the amount of fine established under the applicable paragraph.

        A person may be subject to liability envisaged by this Article during 6 years after committing the action. For purposes of this law prohibited donations/membership fees are considered to be: a) donations/membership fees received by violating rules of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens; b) whole amount of donation/membership fee received from an unauthorized person as defined by the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens; c) receiving donations/membership fees from an authorized person but exceeding the amount defined by the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens.

        Individual Candidate is included in the article 26(prima).1 that is mentioned in article 34(prima), article 26(prima) also includes third parties that are spending money in favor or against political parties/individual candidates without making direct donations (third parties). Hence, sanctions apply to all: political parties, individual candidates, third parties - depending on the character of the sanctions.

        Article 57.6 of the Election Code of Georgia provides, that “If the election subjects, receiving required number of votes stipulated by this Law, do not submit the statement on their election campaign fund within a fixed time frame, or if a violation of requirements by law is confirmed, they shall be notified in a written form by the State Audit Office and requested to correct such an error and submit detailed information on the relevant violations in a written form. If the State Audit Office deems that the violation carries substantial character and could have affected the election results, it shall be authorized to submit a recommendation to the relevant election commission so that the commission can apply to the court and request a random sum up of election results of votes received by the election subject.” (For 2012 Parliamentary Elections, the President of Georgia announced Moratorium on this article and it had no force during those elections).

        Article 85 of the Election Code provides, that Failure to fulfill the obligation of the law requiring the submission of the report on election campaign funds and/or the submission of inaccurate data on the election campaign funds report shall entail imposition of fine upon the political union of citizens in the amount of GEL 1 500 (USD 867). The same action conducted by a political union of citizens receiving state funding shall lead to the imposition of a fine in the amount of GEL 3 000 (USD 1 737) upon the political union of citizens.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima); Article 34(secunda). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).

        2. Organic Law of Georgia Election Code of Georgia. Article 57.6. December 27, 2011. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=ge (official codified version in Georgian); https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=comldmssearch&view=docView&id=1557168&Itemid=&lang=en (official translated codified version in English).

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        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        According to Article 34(secunda), paragraphs 11 through 16 of the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Union of Citizens, sanctions by State Audit Office (oversight body) are imposed based on specific procedure. The Law provides detailed regulations on sanctions, specifically:

        An authorized official of the State Audit Office of Georgia shall draw up a protocol of administrative offense for an administrative offense. The protocol which shall be immediately referred to a District/City Court. The Court shall examine the protocol of administrative offense and shall deliver its ruling within 15 days after submission of documents. The Court’s ruling may be appealed once in the Court of Appeals within 10 days. The Court of Appeals shall deliver its ruling within 15 days. The decision shall be final and may not be appealed.

        During the pre-election period the Court shall examine the protocol of administrative offense envisaged above and shall deliver its ruling within 5 days after submission of documents. The Court’s ruling may be appealed once in the Court of Appeals within 72 hours. The decision shall be final and may not be appealed. The Court of Appeals shall deliver its ruling and the case files no later than 12 pm of the day after the decision has been taken.

        If there are any circumstances that may hinder enforcement of sanction for violation committed, in addition to drawing up a protocol of administrative violation the State Audit Office is also authorized to seize the property of a party and/or person (including bank account) in proportion to the sanction envisaged for the offense. The seizure shall be immediately effective and submitted to the Court together with the protocol of administrative offense for validation. The Court shall examine the protocol of seizure and shall deliver its ruling within 48 hours after submission of documents. The Court’s ruling may be appealed once in the Court of Appeals within 48 hours. Appeal does not stop seizure. The Court of Appeals shall deliver its ruling within 48 hours.

        The decision shall be final and may not be appealed. The Court of Appeals shall deliver its ruling and the case files no later than 12 pm of the day after the decision has been taken.

        No requirement is provided by law for State Audit Office to seek authorization from executive or legislative bodies when imposing sanctions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens. Article 26(prima); Article 34(secunda). October 31, 1997. https://matsne.gov.ge/index.php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=28324 (official codified version in Georgian).
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        50
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, Political Parties conform with the sanctions imposed. In several cases they appeal the decisions, however when the sanctions are final, they are paid. He did underline a case from 2013 annual reporting, when a Communist Party was fined by GEL 5 000 (USD 2 895) for not providing information requested by Law and this sanction has not yet been paid fully, since the party does not have enough money.

        Mr. Aznaurashvili also mentioned that with Political Movement “Burjanadze - Democratic Movement”, there was an argument, that they had rented offices, but were not reflecting it in declarations, in several instances these offices were found by SAO after investigation and fine was imposed, the fine was paid, however Mr. Aznaurashvili considers that there were more cases of violation which the SAO could not gather enough evidences for.

        Experts from Transparency International Georgia could not recall any case of non-compliance or repeat violation, they did also underline the case of “Burjanadze-Democratic Movement” and claimed it does raise questions, but since there is no evidence, it is hard to prove there was any violation.

        Mr. Matchavariani from “United National Movement” claimed they always comply with any requirement from State Audit Office. Mr. Ksovreli from “Georgian Dream” underlined, that when State Audit Office used sanctions on them, they always complied and there were no repeat violations.

        It should be underlined, that in 2013 Parliament of Georgia issued amnesty for all political finance violations prior to 2012 Parliamentary Elections, which, according to Mr. Aznaurashvili and Experts from TI Georgia, could have included many violations. The State Audit Office is not interested any more in conducting investigations on those cases. Mr. Nadiradze said, that there were some case which included large sums of money as sanctions (several million GEL overall) and it is impossible to say if those sanctions would be complied if amnesty was not issued.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Giorgi Ksovreli; Accountant at a political coalition Georgian Dream; phone interview on July 22; 5. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Report by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. 2. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia 3. News-reports: a) press release by SAO regarding the case of "Burjanadze Democratic Movement": http://sao. ge/files/PDF%20PresRelizes/09-24-13.pdf news stories by on-line media Netgazeti 29 September 2013; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23810/ 8 October 2013 http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24256/ 24 October 2013; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/24737/ b) Article discussing Fines imposed by SAO during 2013 Presidential Election Campaign by on-line media Netgazeti; 24 September 2013; http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/105/News/23807/ c) Article discussing Fines imposed by SAO during 2013 Presidential Election Campaign by on-line media Nesposts.ge 17 January 2014; http://newposts.ge/?l=G&id=28517

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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        After sanctions are imposed by State Audit Office (made effective with court revision), the enforcement is in the hands of State Enforcement Agency. According to the Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, there have been no cases when the Enforcement Agency had problems in enforcing the sanctions. At the same time there is no question of efficiency of enforcement mechanisms. Mr. Aznaurashvili claimed, there are some problems in the law, mainly caused by unclear wording, however none of them impede enforcement and there is no need to reform anything in that aspect. Experts from GYLA, TI Georgia and IFES also could not identify any issue that could be hindering the enforcement and to their knowledge enforcement has not been problematic either. Therefore no reform is necessary.

        Mr. Matchavariani who was one of the authors of the reforms conducted in 2004-2012 on the Political Financing regulations claimed that current enforcement mechanisms are rather efficient, especially when compared with the period prior to 2011, when Central Election Commission was the oversight body and had neither investigative nor enforcement mechanisms and concluded that the current situation in enforcement is sufficient and needs no reform.

        As for other areas beyond enforcement, respondents underlined several issues: 1) Mr. Aznaurashvili stressed the importance of making the law as unambiguous as possible. There have been cases when problems arose due to non-clarity in the law. For instance - the law provides "obligations" and "limitations" terms, but they are not interchangeable and create problems. Another instance is the wording "hiding illegal donations" - this is a offence according to law, however it is unclear, whether "hiding" itself is offence, or only the instance when "illegal donations" are not disclosed is the offence, thus limiting the scope of offending actions.

        2) TI Georgia experts underlined, that most problematic issue is SAO competences and independence. Though in 2013 compared to 2012 the SAO has not been used as a political intimidation tool, it still needs some improvement in its work. It is not efficient since it does not have enough capacity (for instance, it does not conduct audits of initial financial data, unless it has knowledge that there has been a violation). At the same time, machine-readability of the reports remains a problematic point and it is positive that a portion of reports will become readable in the future; Another issue pointed out was the itemization of the financial reports; without having itemized expenditures neither SAO can be efficient, nor can Civil Society Organizations or Journalist fully monitor party finances.

        3) GYLA expert underlined Vote-Bribing regulation particularly and considered this was a vital area that needs to be addressed the most, since it remains ambiguous, hence non-efficient (or with the risk of being abused).

        4) Mr. Matchavariani from UNM stressed out that Legal Entities should be again prohibited from making contributions at all, since this is a tool abused by Government and entities are reluctant to donate to opposition parties. He confessed that this had been a mistake before, when UNM was in government; Another issue he underlined was the provision that when State Audit Office can consider that the violation of law by a candidate has been so grave that its votes can be annulled. Such a provision bears a high risk of abuse and should be removed from law.


        Peer reviewer comment: The law does not provide clear deadlines by which violations of campaign finance regulations need to be addressed by the SAO. According to the assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR international election observation mission, this has resulted in some concerns about the effectiveness of campaign finance oversight.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Interviews with: 1. Zurab Aznaurashvili; Director of Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties; State Audit Office (oversight body); July 16, 2014. 2. Levan Natroshvili; Election-related Programs Director; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 3. Andria Nadiradze; Lawyer in Election-related Programs; Transparency International Georgia; July 17, 2014; 4. Lela Taliuri; Election Projects Coordinator; Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); July 18, 2014; 5. Davit Ghonghadze; Political Process/Election Law Officer; International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES); July 18, 2014; 6. Mikheil Matchavariani; Member of Parliament from political party United National Movement, Member of Political Council (main executive body of a party) of the United National Movement; July 30, 2014.

        On-line sources: 1. Report by Transparency International Georgia analyzing the financial declarations of the political parties: Party Finance in 2013; Transparency International Georgia; webpage; 13 June 2012; http://transparency.ge/en/post/report/new-report-assesses-financial-transparency-and-accountability-political-parties-2013. 2. Analysis of the State Audit Office Monitoring Service of Political Parties’ Finance; Coalition "For Freedom of Choice"; OSGF; November 2012. http://www.slideshare.net/Le1ccg/state-audit-offices-activities-during-the-2012-election-process-in-georgia

        Reviewer's sources: Georgia Presidential Election of October 27, 2013; OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Reportl; January 14, 2014; http://gyla.ge/uploads/publications/2013/monitoringreportgeo.pdf

Georgia has a unicameral legislature with a directly elected head of state. The Parliament of Georgia consists of 77 members elected by a proportional voting system and 73 members elected by a majoritarian voting system (FPTP) in single mandate constituencies. The MPs shall serve for a term of four years based on universal, equal, and direct suffrage through secret ballot. The President of Georgia is the Head of the State of Georgia, elected through universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a term of five years. The most recent Presidential Elections took place on October 27, 2013 and most recent Parliamentary Elections took place on October 1, 2012.

Campaign funds are managed on the party level and a candidate nominated by an electoral subject (party or coalition) shall use the fund of the electoral subject nominating the candidate. Individual candidate's funds are managed through the fund opened by an initiative group of voters.

Specifically: a) Party funds the campaign if the party independently participates in the election/referendum; b) the first party on the list of an electoral bloc (coalition) funds and manages funding if political unions come together as one electoral subject; c) the election funds opened by an initiative group of voters are used to fund and manage funding of the campaign of an independent (individual) candidate.

Political parties receive public funding only if they are "qualified" subjects, having gained a specific number of votes in previous elections. Independent candidates may get their electoral campaign costs reimbursed after the election if they gather a certain number of votes.

Currently there is an ongoing reform working on amending the electoral system of Parliament. Specifically, it is considered that the system is not providing equal vote weight to all voters, since Majoritarian Districts in Georgian FPTP system are distributed according to the existing municipalities, which have different number of voters. Therefore, voters from one district can have a vote-weight up to 27 times more than voters from another district.