Georgian electronic state procurement system and public service halls were among the recipients of this year’s annual UN Public Service Award, described by the United Nations to be “the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.”
According to the UN Public Administration Programme, in order provide a level playing field for nominations received from countries worldwide with varying levels of development and income, contestants are grouped based on geographical division into five regions: Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe and North America; Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Asia. Nominations from Georgia were among the contestants grouped in the Western Asia region.
Georgian electronic government procurement system, run by the State Procurement Agency, was awarded with second place in a category of “Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service.” SMS information system of Turkey's Ministry of Justice was the first place winner in the same category and in the same region.
Slight improvement of Georgia’s standing in the Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index last year was attributed to introduction of electronic state procurement system.
Georgian Ministry of Justice's Public Service Hall shared second place award with Egypt in a category of “Improving the Delivery of Public Services”; in the same region of Western Asia and in the same category Lebanon was awarded with the first place.
Public Service Halls, also called Justice Houses, represent a space where a citizen can get multiple services from various state agencies under the single roof. Public Service Halls currently operate in four cities in Georgia and eight more will be opened this year, including in Tbilisi, and other four is planned to be launched by 2013.
President Saakashvili hailed on May 16 the awards, saying that it showed “we are on the first place in the world in respect of some issues”.