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The Chairman of the Tskaltubo branch of the United National Movement, Mamuka Saghareishvili, talked about the increased administrative spending in the Tskaltubo Municipality. According to his statement: "Administrative spending has increased in Tskaltubo. A total of 35 people used to work in the Amenities Centre whilst today this number has grown to 118 but these people do not go to work and receive their wages for nothing."

As Mamuka Saghareishvili explained to us, his statement concerned the non-commercial entity, the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre. Mr Saghareishvili also pointed out that similar situations are the case in almost all non-commercial entities based in Tskaltubo with the employees of these entities being so numerous that it would be impossible for all of them to have enough room in the offices. There is a total of 12 non-commercial entities in Tskaltubo.

FactCheck

requested information about the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre based in the Tskaltubo Municipality. We learned that the Tskaltubo Municipality has allocated a total of GEL 637,000 for the Amenities Centre in Tskaltubo. This amount appears in the budget line designated for subsidising the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre.

The documentation provided to us by the Municipality as concerns the Amenities Centre contains data from 2012 to 2016. As the documents show, the Centre was called Tskaltubo Municipality Amenities until 2015. It had 47 employees in 2012, 50 in 2013 and 34 in 2014 and the first six months of 2015.

The non-commercial entity Tskaltubo Municipality Amenities changed its name in 2015 to the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre. The number of employees also changed with the name. The Centre had 104 employees from June 2015 and then added two more people in 2016 to bring the total to 106 employees. Hence, the number of people working in the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre increased from 34 to 106 from the first half of 2015.

We asked the Director of the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre to explain the actual reason for almost tripling the number of employees. Mamuka Kutateladze explained this by the merging of various services. Specifically, two non-commercial entities, the Tskaltubo Municipality Amenities and Tskaltubo Outdoor Lighting, merged to produce a new non-commercial entity called the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre. However, as we found out, only 28 employees from Tskaltubo Outdoor Lighting were added to the 34 employees of the Tskaltubo Municipality Amenities as a direct result of the aforementioned merger. Hence, the number of employees at that point reached 62 which is almost half as much as it is today. The number of employees in the Centre also increased after the merger.

Unsurprisingly, the growth in the number of employees also caused administrative spending to increase. If the overall annual salary of the employees (including bonuses and surpluses) amounted to GEL 169.6 thousand in 2014, these expenses almost doubled in 2015 (after merging the two non-commercial entities and hiring additional staff), amounting to a total of GEL 316.9 thousand. Two more employees were added to the Centre’s staff in 2016 with the annual wage fund increasing to GEL 462.4 thousand which is three times as much as it was initially.

It should also be pointed out that apart from the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre, Tskaltubo City Hall also has an Infrastructure and Amenities Service which employed seven people in 2012 whilst the number of employees in 2016 is 12. Hence, the overall annual wage fund has also increased.

In total, after the 2014 local elections, the number of employees of non-commercial entities increased by 8,000 whilst the wage fund increased by almost GEL 4 million. Transparency International Georgia published its study on the issue at the end of July 2016. The study also notes that the highest growth rate of the number of employees of non-commercial entities was observed in Imereti municipalities (1,713).

Conclusion

The information provided by Tskaltubo City Hall makes clear that the number of employees in the non-commercial entity Tskaltubo Amenities Centre increased from 34 to 106 during the past year. Administrative spending has also increased as the Municipality’s budget needs to pay more money to subsidise the Centre.

The statement of the Tskaltubo Amenities Centre that the growth of the number of employees was due to the merger between two services is false as the number of employees increased by just 28 after this merger with an additional 44 employees having been added to the Centre since then.

Hence, FactCheck concludes that Mamuka Saghareishvili’s statement is TRUE.

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