On March 18, the Democracy Research Institute presented a report “Anti-Corruption Agency - Legal Framework and Gaps in Practice”.
The main purpose of the study was to explore the activities of the structural subdivision of the State Security Service - the Anti-Corruption Agency and to establish whether the cases investigated by the Agency were related to state security. The study was focused on the investigation of cases inconsistent with the work direction of the Service and the duplication of competencies between different agencies.
According to the main findings of the study, the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service is an inefficient agency and its activities do not correspond to the work directions of the State Security Service. Despite the fact that the Anti-Corruption Agency has three times higher funding than the investigative unit of the Georgian Prosecutor's Office, the Agency launches investigations into a much smaller number of cases. The cases investigated by the State Security Service and other anti-corruption investigative agencies are identical in terms of the prosecution of officials, public danger of the cases investigated and the qualitative indicator, which shows that corruption crimes should not remain under the investigative jurisdiction of the State Security Service.
According to the standards and recommendations of international organizations, an anti-corruption agency should be an independent, apolitical body and should have a high degree of accountability, transparency and openness. Duplication of investigative competencies, weakness in the fight against high-level corruption, problem with the independence of the State Security Service, high quality of secrecy of its activities and practical lack of oversight mechanisms over such activities result in the non-compliance of the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service with international standards.
The organization recommends the following:
- To completely deprive the State Security Service of its investigative powers (especially relating to corruption crimes); the Parliament of Georgia to continue working on the establishment of an independent anti-corruption investigation mechanism
- Prior to implementing the proposed changes, the Democracy Research Institute believes that it is necessary for the State Security Service to limit itself to investigating only actions that actually pose a risk to the security and interests of the State.