By. Mate Melia
It is common knowledge that the bureaucratic apparatus of Georgia is by no means flexible, and it stands in the way of progress.
However, the state minister found himself in an especially difficult situation: despite the fact that he has worked in the governmental composition for a long time, still he was shocked by the situation he saw there: dissolute and negligent State Chancellery that was like a reserve battalion. Its personnel had the only dream – to reach another level of executive power.
Thus, the apparatus is completely paralysed – officials behave as sentimental schoolchildren, and they do not bring any use either to the state or the State Minister. At first, ministers did not even care to attend sessions (due to yesterday’s “hang-over”) not to mention adoption of actual issues and initiatives that, in fact, equalled zero. Everybody is keen on taking grant as soon as possible. So state officials are busy with their own business, with turning state functions into ltd. At the same time, almost no professionals were left in the ministry. Those who stayed there lost any work stimulus. Ministries became “rusted”, the personnel reminds of characters in Gogol’s comedy “Inspector”. They are, mainly, busy with rewriting things eleven times – things that have already been written before – and changing dates. Thus, the work of the executive power became so easy that even a janitor would easily manage it. Reforms and examinations resembled a farce with Parliament and Government members playing a main role in them as high posts are taken only by their unqualified relatives. Naturally enough, the State Minister who was indignant at the situation was thinking of reforms and creation of efficient government. The issue of the reorganisation of Chancellery was placed on the agenda, but this was not successful. It was blocked by representatives of Power who felt quite at home in this “boudoir “. Jorbenadze’s far going plans threatened their well-being. They are not ashamed of saying that they cannot do anything else except for work in the Chancellery. Can the Parliament vote for the decrease of Parliament members with them imagining they were born within the Parliament and did nothing else in life but working in the Parliament. I wonder what they would answer if they were asked about what they had been doing for the last 8 years apart from solving their own domestic problems, buying houses, flats, country-houses, appointing their children and wives to good posts and never missing a season to go abroad. Yet, what else could one person do for eight years? Are they Hannibals or Chavchavadzes to care about people. If they did so, who would appreciate them? No, it is really very difficult to destroy this business at one fell swoop. However, they do not support the idea of increasing the number of Parliament members. either.
Cannot you see that these people are very busy, and they have no time to concern themselves with public matters. There is nothing to be done.
In this situation the State Minister demands that all branches of the State Power should undertake responsibility for their work. Besides, they must have their own face both before International State Organisations (whom they often accused of things they have not done) and before people who are in constant expectation of reforms… Though vainly.
Serious changes in Chancellery personnel have started. Everything turned upside down. Nowadays, people who reached the Political Olympus thanks to Shevarnadze, decided to amass a political capital due to the President’s “furious” criticism. He encountered with problems. Two ministers who have always been in the state of discoordination were fired. Jorbenadze understood that reforms in the Finance Ministry and law-enforcement agencies were the only way of saving the country.
We used this introduction in order to describe the ideological background of the establishment of Finance Ministry. We did it to prevent somebody from thinking that it was a separate problem and one-shot act of the unification of ministries. In fact, it is a part of “velvet overturn” and an attempt to save the country. I do not want my reader to think that Oligarchs hold an important place in this overturn. It is a pure policy that will concern everybody as well as Oligarchs and their business plans.
Thus, the gauntlet has been thrown, but it is rather difficult to forecast the consequences. Everything depends on who will have enough courage, political shrewdness, and who will make a serious team of professionals.
Yet how many ways of establishing the Finance Ministry are there? – Two. The first is mechanic and the second one is appropriately reformative. The first way is comparatively easy and simple. It is more like a mechanic way. In these conditions nothing will change from the viewpoint of efficiency. It will hardly bring any positive results. It has inflexible mechanism, miserable management that has encountered with a great amount of problems in its work. This kind of state syndicate has already existed. One could get an impression that a minister of finance was concurrently a head of tax service, customs, treasury, etc with the departments being separate feudal states.
The second way is of qualitative nature that implies establishment of departments in accordance with their own functions. The second way is really reformative one. It is complex, but it will produce positive results. Besides, it has the very ideology that we have mentioned. At the same time, it will promote further implementation of reforms and give a country real ministers with portfolios.