Georgian Parliament Approves Irakli Mekvabishvili as New Auditor General

The Parliament of Georgia has supported the candidacy of Irakli Mekvabishvili to the post of Auditor General with 80 votes in a 150-seat legislative body.

Mekvabishvili’s candidacy was named by the Parliament Speaker of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, on September 8.

Kobakhidze stated that Mekvabishvili is a highly qualified financier and for several years was a senior banker of the EBRD. “Irakli Mekvabishvili meets all the requirements necessary for the post of Auditor General,” he stated.

“The Auditor General should have such qualities as high qualification, impartiality, honesty, and we think that Irakli Mekvabishvili has them all,” he added.

Mekvabishvili will hold the chief Auditor’s position for a term of five years, replacing Lasha Tordia, who was appointed in 2012 and whose term in office expired in July.

After being elected, the new Auditor General stated that the State Audit Office (SAO) will not be a punitive agency, adding its main function will be prevention.

“This will not be a punitive structure, but if we reveal any violations, then an instant, strict response will be given and adequate assessments made,” he said.

Mekvabishvili said that particular attention will be paid to the direction of technological equipping of the agency, adding preventive measures require serious material-technical base and high quality equipment.

“For this purpose, we will use the best technical support we receive from our friendly donor countries,” he added, underlining that the relationship of the SAO with Parliament will also be intensified.

“We will spend time working with Parliament, because parliamentary control should be strengthened on recommendations made by the Audit Office,” he said.

Mekvabishvili does not exclude that he will launch a reorganization in the agency, though “all qualified employees will continue working as usual”.

"The law gives me the authority to carry out reorganization. The Auditor General has the right to make any personnel changes, even regarding Deputies,” he stressed.

The SAO is the supreme audit institution responsible for performing audits. The general activities of the SAO are: promoting efficient and effective public spending, protection of national wealth and the property of state of autonomous republics and local (municipal) entities, and improvement of management of public finances.

The SAO also conducts financial monitoring of political parties within the competencies defined in The Organic Law of Georgia on Election Code of Georgia and Political Union of Citizens.

Thea Morrison

21 September 2017 19:43