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Why Is Police Funded from District Budgets?

04.07.2011

Maka Malakmadze, Adjara

Agricultural sector is funded with 0 GEL from the district budgets in Adjara Autonomous Republic; but local police stations receive several thousand GEL every year. The amount of funds allocated for the police department in each district varies from 10 000 to 40 000 GEL.

The Human Rights Center interviewed the chairpersons of several municipal boards and members of the opposition political parties on the issue.

In 2011, Khelvachauri district budget received 7 810 500 GEL and the estimated expenditure was 5 182 950 GEL. Among them, 196 200 GEL is allocated for social welfare (last year it was 354 400 GEL) and the police is funded with 40 000 GEL.

Malkhaz Partenadze, chairperson of the Khelvachauri municipal board. “About half million GEL was accumulated in the district budget from the fine-sanctions imposed by the MIA. So, the police are funded based on our agreement. We pay communal and electricity bills for local police stations. If additional expenses are needed, we will introduce amendments to the budget and add the expenditure sums. It is not problem for us. We did not envisage the agricultural expenses in our budget because the Ministry of Agriculture covers similar expenses. We will allocate funds for the agricultural field in the next amendments to the budget. More precisely – we will envisage expenses for citrus poisoning. Population will have to pay for those poisons-chemicals but they will have some advantages.”

Suliko Mikeladze, member of the Khelvachauri municipal board from the National Council: “It is so-called budget hole because police do not need funding from the district budget at all. They have their own budget; however, the district authority allocates funds for them. Although board members from the opposition parties did not support the initiative, they approved the budget.”

50 000 GEL was allocated for the police in Khelvachauri district budget for 2010.

In 2011, the budget of Keda district was 3 338 800 GEL. 3 028 200 GEL was estimated expenditure sums. 108 900 GEL is allocated for social welfare that is 72 000 GEL less in comparison with last year. Nevertheless, the amount of funding for the police was not changed and in 2011 like in 2010 the police received 10 000 GEL from the district budget.

Badri Diasamaidze, chairman of Keda municipal board: “We allocated sums for the fields which urgently needed funding. They are more advantageous and important fields for our district. The governmental structures serve the entire state so, it makes no difference where they get funding. The police have always been funded from district budgets so we continue in the same way.”

Jambul Beridze from the Movement for Just Georgia: “The opposition party members voted for the budget. Last year, the police received funds from the district budget too. We have a fraction with two council members from the Christian-Democrat Movement and after consultations we decided to vote for the budget.”

According to the 2011 budget of Shuakhevi district only 116 500 GEL was allocated for social welfare that is 84 000 GEL less than the social funs in 2009 budget. The funding of the local police department has not changed and it amounts to 10 000 GEL. The agricultural field is not mentioned in the budget at all.

Iuri Katamadze, chairperson of the Shuakhevi municipal board: “Is funding of police department extra expense? We spend the allocated sums for other purposes too, but we also foresee the necessity of police. This necessity is caused by specific character of the department, by promoting their efficient activities through purchasing their fuel and covering their communication, cell phone and communal expenses. We are working on agricultural field and will finally agree which particular field shall be funded – poultry, cattle-breeding and viticulture. We could not spend funds in advance. We could not allocate funds at random. Nobody requested additional funds from the police department. We allocated these sums based on the verbal applications of local police officials.”

Zaza Davitadze, member of the political party Industry Will Save Georgia; chairperson of the Education, Culture and Sport Commission of the Shuakhevi municipal board: “I voted for the budget. Everything was fair in it and I did not doubt about anything. There are enough funds for our citizens in the budget. We do not have any problems in funding.”

Tariel Dumbadze from the Christian-Democrat Movement, member of Shuakhevi municipal board: “I did not vote for the budget because funds for social projects were reduced and other funds were increased. The funds for police remained the same as last year.”

According to the Khulo districtbudget, this year expenditure is 5 614 370 GEL. There is a special box in the budget which reads: local office of the MIA – 10 000 GEL. Chairman of Khulo municipal board Nodar Tavartkiladze confirmed with us that 95% of the budget falls on transfer but apparently they still have funds for local police department in the district budget.

Nodar Tavartkiladze, chairman of Khulo municipal board: “We only pay communal and electricity bills of the district police offices. There are police offices in our district and we think we have to cover their communal expenses. There is no agricultural institution funded from the district budget, so we do not fund the agricultural field at all.”

Guram Dekanadze from the National Council, member of Khulo municipal board: “I did not vote for the budget. There were several social articles which needed amendments. Now, the municipal board allocated funds for the salaries of 7-8 police officers, who were recruited based on labor contracts. I do not think it is correct that district budget funds salaries for police officers. Though, different position of only one person could not impact the final decision.”

The Human Rights Center called head of information and public relation department of the MIA Zurab Gvenetadze. He interrupted us and said –“I will find out and call you back.” However, then he did not answer our phone-calls as it usually happens.

In accordance to the Georgian Organic Law on Local Self-Government, Article 49 Part V, the self-governing units are independent in exercising their property rights. The regulations of the self-governmental units have been in force since January 1, 2010. However, in comparison with the last year district budgets in Adjara, it is evident that the district governors do not enjoy their rights; as for members of the municipal boards from the opposition parties, they cannot change the situation because their number in the boards is not high. Board Chair of the Union of Adjara Independent Experts Aslan Lortkipanidze said agriculture is the leading field for the residents of mountainous districts of Adjara Autonomous Republic. Nevertheless, no single tetri is envisaged in the district budgets for the development of this field. “Thus, the funding of the police stations from district budgets can be considered unreasonable expenditure because the total budget of the MIA is 829, 1 million GEL that makes 13% of the total state budget. No other state in the civilized world spends 13% of its budget to the police. As a rule, their funding does not exceed 5%. In addition, every district authority has subordinated municipal police departments which ensure public order in the local level. The institution is strictly centralized in Georgia.”

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Name: Leidy
2011-07-15 20:28
I really apperciate free, succinct, reliable data like this.
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