A model of the new Parliament building, designed by CMD Ingenieros. 40-meter high glass dome of the new building, according to its designers, will symbolize transparency and its 200-meter long thin shell concrete structure, covering the glass-dome like a stripe, will be a symbol of strength. The new Parliament building, designed by CMD Ingenieros, will have 4,200 square meters of common space with 217 offices and 11 conference rooms.
At least GEL 73,7 million (about USD 45.3 million) has been allocated in the past three years for ongoing construction of a new Parliament building in Kutaisi, but spending of these public funds is “totally non-transparent”, according to a report by Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), released on April 23.
GYLA says in its 12-page report, detailing legal aspects of the construction mainly related to the project’s finances, that information about the construction of the new Parliament building is actually in “secrecy”.
In the process of monitoring, GYLA sent under the freedom of information act about 45 requests for public information related to construction of the Parliament building to various state agencies, among them to Kutaisi local self-governance bodies; Imereti region governor’s office; central government; Ministry of Finance; Ministry for Regional Development and Infrastructure; the state fund for municipal development. Among the requested information was data about the project, its finances, state procurements related to construction, delivery and acceptance certificates. Requested information was either not sent at all by the state agency or provided only partially, according to the report.
Although requested information was public and there is no document making them secret, “it became obvious from the very beginning of the monitoring, that information about construction of Parliament building in Kutaisi was totally concealed,” the report reads.
Based on tracking of a local budget of Kutaisi, the report says that total of GEL 73.77 million has been allocated by the country’s central budget for the project in 2009-2011 (GEL 200,000 in 2009; GEL 68.42 million in 2010 and GEL 5.14 million in 2011).
“Absolutely non-transparent process gives a legitimate reason to conclude, that GEL 73.77 million has been handled in absolutely vague and, possibly, in corrupt manner,” the report says.
Till February, 2011 Kutaisi Mayor’s Office acted as a state agency, which has commissioned the construction of new Parliament building; but then it was replaced by the State Service Bureau LLC. The latter is a company wholly owned by the state, which was established in October, 2010 by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. The state-owned company has also declined GYLA’s requests for information about the project and its finances.
A woman and a child walk past a construction site of the new Parliament building in Kutaisi on March 8, 2012. Photo: Marco Fieber
The authorities plan to open the new Parliament’s building, which is still under construction, on May 26, when Georgia celebrates its Independence Day. The building will become a permanent residence for the next Parliament, elected in October, 2012.
40-meter high glass dome of the new building, according to its designers, will symbolize transparency and its 200-meter long thin shell concrete structure, covering the glass-dome like a stripe, will be a symbol of strength. The new Parliament building, designed by CMD Ingenieros, will have 4,200 square meters of common space with 217 offices and 11 conference rooms.
To give way for construction of the new Parliament building in Kutaisi, the authorities blown up World War II memorial in December, 2009; explosion was carried out with violation of safety standards resulting into death of a mother and her child.