Nodar Ebanoidze, Head of the Temporary Parliamentary Commission, presented a report regarding the State Audit Office at the plenary session on 26 June 2013. The Member of the Parliamentary Majority stated: “Regarding the access to public information, it was impossible to request any kind of public information from the Chamber of Control in 2012 and it stayed the same even after long litigations."FactCheck
wondered about the possibility of getting the requested public information from the Audit Office of Georgia. We checked this at the Audit Office and Tbilisi City Court.
We requested statistical data from the State Audit Office on the provision of public information for the year 2012.
According to the letter received from the Audit Office, 81 requests regarding public information were submitted to the Office in 2012. Of these, 56 received satisfactory answers. As for the rest of the requests, 25 letters were not issued for the following reasons:1)
Information was not kept in the archives - 4 cases2)
Needed further clarification - 5 cases3)
Requested information was being processed - 8 cases4)
Requested information concerned those audits which were not conducted by the State Audit Office - 6 cases5)
Requested information was already forwarded to those who sent requests - 1 case6)
It was posted on the website of the Office - 1 case
Nodar Ebanoidze states that it was impossible to obtain public information even after litigations. According to the information of the State Audit Office four complaints were submitted to the Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court in 2012 regarding the rejection of the provision of public information by the State Audit Office. They were:
- Suit of Georgian Young Lawyers' Association - The case was not reviewed by the Court because of the withdrawal of a law suit by the plaintiff;
- Suit of Guria News correspondent, Tamar Lephsveradze - Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court did not satisfy the plaintiff's claim;
- Suit of Studio Monitor - Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court did not satisfy the plaintiff's claim;
- Suit of Tskriala Shermadini - Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court did not satisfy the plaintiff's claim. This decision was appealed at Tbilisi Appeal Court. The ruling of a lower court was upheld.
We also contacted Tbilisi City Court which reviews administrative complaints regarding the withholding of public information. According to the letter received from Tbilisi City Court, two complaints were submitted against the Audit Office regarding the rejection of the provision of public information in 2012. One plaintiff's claim was partly satisfied and another suit was not reviewed by the Court.
requests for the provision of public information were submitted to the State Audit Office in 2012 of which 56 were satisfied while 25 were rejected for the following reasons: the Audit Office did not have requested information, requested information was not clarified, requested information was already forwarded to those who sent a request or it was posted on the website of the Office.
As for the court litigations about the rejection of the provision of public information, the information received from the Audit Office and Tbilisi City Court contradict each other. According to the Audit Office four suits were brought to the Court. Tbilisi City Court explains that only two complaints were received regarding this subject. However, the fact is that litigations have indeed taken place on the matter of the rejection of the provision of public information. In one case a plaintiff's claim was satisfied, although partly, which means that a claim was indeed grounded.Correspondingly, we rate the statement by Nodar Ebanoidze that "It was impossible to obtain any kind of public information from the Chamber of Control [sic], even after court litigations," MOSTLY FALSE.