Tetra Tech is helping the Government of Georgia (GOG) strengthen transparency and effectiveness of governance by improving public administration and policy making, increasing civic engagement, and strengthening parliamentary oversight.

The Government of Georgia (GOG) has made significant advancements in democratic and economic reforms, strengthening the rule of law, and improving social services in the last decade. Like the rest of the world, Georgia is striving to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency created by the crisis and the rapid responses required to mitigate harm unfortunately create opportunities for integrity violations, which can weaken the effectiveness of government response and undermine public trust. The crisis therefore poses great risks to decentralization and democratic governance in Georgia, but also provides an opportunity for targeted, accelerated progress to strengthen transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of governance systems.

Tetra Tech is supporting these efforts through the five-year Good Governance Initiative (GGI), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to improve administrative and financial management of GOG institutions, including Parliament; increase the openness of government; strengthen policy development and lawmaking processes; and support institutional oversight.

Tetra Tech is supporting the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure’s efforts to plan and implement decentralization reform to increase efficiency and effectiveness, as well as citizen trust in the state and its functions. To promote effective governance at the local level, we are deepening the existing level of decentralization and strengthening the power of local authorities to perform their tasks through legislative reform and capacity building.

To increase civic engagement, Tetra Tech supports the mobilization and institutionalization of effective e-participation mechanisms. In close partnership with the Estonian e-Governance Academy, GGI has introduced VOLIS, an innovative technology solution that allows citizens to virtually engage with their local government representatives. Through VOLIS, citizens and civil society groups can submit project ideas, proposals, initiatives, opinions, and amendments to drafts real-time.

Tetra Tech supports the GOG’s efforts to create and institutionalize effective oversight systems. For example, GGI supports the institutional development of the State Audit Office of Georgia by mobilizing and institutionalizing the innovative, web-based budget monitor platform. The tool enables stakeholders to participate in the monitoring process of public spending, including how taxes are spent and how efficiently the government uses budgetary resources to achieve various goals and objectives. It also provides a unique opportunity for Members of the Parliament, civil society, experts and the public to select their area of interest and receive up-to-date, reliable information about state revenues, expenditures, public debt, infrastructure projects, program budgeting, and public procurement along with relevant annual audit findings and recommendations.

Tetra Tech works closely with parliamentary committees to support evidence-based policy-making, enhancement of public awareness, and engagement in the legislative process. These efforts include piloting regulatory impact assessment methodologies on select pieces of legislation, nationwide public discussions held by the Budget and Finance Committee, and assistance to committees in developing and implementing strategies and action plans. We also are working to strengthen links between Parliament and the State Audit Office to improve oversight and develop the capacity of internal audit units to foster organization and consistency in their operations.

Highlights

  • An article in the Guardian highlighted Georgia’s new Budget Monitoring Platform, an innovative online tool developed by the State Audit Office with support from GGI
  • The platform received the following awards:
    • GIFT Public Participation in Fiscal Policy and Budget Making Award
    • World Summit Awards diploma and special prize winner
    • Georgia IT Innovations Award