UK Government, UNDP Support Public Administration Reform in Georgia

Feb 16, 2017

Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

The Government of Georgia, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Georgia and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled key findings of a recent research which examines public perceptions towards the Georgian civil service and job satisfaction of civil servants.

The survey was carried out in 2016 by the research agency ACT, and is based on interviews and focus groups with 831 civil servants and 2,400 citizens across Georgia.

The research provides the baseline information for a new GBP 4.5 million initiative for the Public Administration Reform (PAR) in Georgia, funded with UK aid from the UK Government and implemented jointly by UNDP and a team of state agencies – the Administration of the Government of Georgia, Civil Service Bureau (CSB), Data Exchange Agency (DEA) and Public Service Development Agency (PSDA).

“The public administration reform is one of the priorities of a four-pillar plan of the Government of Georgia. It aims to promote the merit-based civil service, raise professional standard of civil servants and increase quality of public services”, said Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia, on February 16, speaking at the presentation of the survey and the Public Administration Reform (PAR) initiative.

According to the survey, 78% of Georgian civil servants are proud of their work. However, almost half of them think that their salaries do not reflect their qualification and performance, and almost 30% do not feel appreciated at work.

“Effective public administration is vital for so many of our hopes and ambitions, whether in Georgia or Britain.  We are pleased to back the Georgian Government’s efforts to build the strong, professional and impartial civil service that Georgians deserve, “said H.E. Justin McKenzie Smith, British Ambassador to Georgia.

The research shows that people’s perception of civil servants and public services is mostly positive. 79% of Georgians consider working in the civil service as prestigious. Nevertheless, 34% state that decisions in public institutions are politically influenced and 49% do not see any opportunity for people to get involved in decision-making. Only 19% have ever heard of the civil service reform. The majority of respondents (88%) tend to rate the quality of public services high even though they do not fully use them. For example, 90% of ID-card owners never used it for electronic operations. 

“The success of reform will be assessed by the benefits it brings to people – those who work in civil service and those the civil service works for”, said Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia.

The public administration reform is one of the priorities of a four-point reform programme developed by the Government of Georgia in 2016. The UK-funded Public Administration Reform (PAR) initiative will be assisting the key areas of reform till the end of 2020. 

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