Online Asset Declaration System OADS
Civil Service Bureau of Georgia

The Problem

The assets and income of top government officials have long been the subject of public interest in Georgia, and public disclosure of such information is a well-known tactic to combat corruption. For years Georgian society was unaware of the financial position of their public officials. The government could not provide disclosure of information concerning the assets of public officials to the public that showed that they had nothing to hide. Under these circumstances high-ranking government officials had the opportunity to obtain dishonest and unlawful earnings such as bribes, and thus perform their official duties in ways that were contradictory with the public’s interest.

Before the initiative began the information regarding the income of public officials and the assets they owned was not transparent and thus undisclosed to the public. The media and civil society were unable to monitor and react with regard to the legitimacy of the activities carried out by the Georgian government. Furthermore, the public’s confidence in the election process was put in jeopardy as the lack of transparency did not allow for citizens to make an ‘informed decision’ based on the impartiality and honesty of the government of their choice. Without doubt, when public disclosure is well-ensured, active media and civil society reactions can be significant instruments in the fight against corruption.

For these reasons, there was pressing need to create a well-designed and operational system of asset declaration, especially, given that, democracy had not yet matured in Georgia and corruption was still a topical problem.
The implementation of the Online Asset Declaration System (OADS) replaced the previous system of handwritten declarations in 2010. The OADS makes accessing important information much easier for the wider public, whereas before the implementation of the system, results of the paper-based system on preventing and combating corruption were not publicly known.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
In 2010, the Civil Service Bureau of Georgia (CSB) launched the Online Asset Declaration System with the aim of providing a solution to the out-dated and problematic paper based declaration system. The main purpose of the new system was to enable the online submission and public disclosure of asset declarations of high-ranking government officials. Through this online system government officials are required to fill out an asset declaration on an annual basis, reflecting the position of the assets owned by them and their family members.

The new system allows for the publication and instant access of declarations online at This public disclosure mechanism provides the Georgian people with free and real-time access to the asset declarations of relevant officials; an opportunity that was met with substantial interest by the public. This public disclosure requirement can be viewed as a cornerstone in the large-scale anti-corruption movement within Georgia.

The following senior officials and their family members are scrutinized within the OADS:
Members of the Parliament;
Ministers and their deputies;
Heads of Departments;
Other high ranking senior officials.

In total, there are more than 2,800 senior officials obliged to submit online asset declarations annually.

Public officials are required to submit the following information regarding both themselves and their immediate family members: real estate, movable property (including cars, jewellery, and other expensive belongings valued more than 10,000 GEL (USD 6,200 approximately)), bank accounts, cash, gifts, contracts, expenditures and shares.

The success of the initiative can be verified by the following statistical data: In 2008 the CSB received only 651 freedom of information requests for accessing paper copies of declarations kept by the Bureau and only 465 in 2009. At present, more than 250,000 online declarations have already been downloaded and there are more than 60,000 uploaded declarations and these numbers are growing constantly.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The solution was proposed and implemented by the Civil Service Bureau of Georgia. The Civil Service Bureau is a legal entity of public law, created under the Decree of the President of Georgia issued on 31 June, 2009. The CSB is responsible for reforms and innovations within the Georgian civil service. Based on research and international expertise they draft civil service legislation, develop and promote human resource management systems and carry out e-governance projects. Their main mission is to promote effective and transparent public governance in Georgia.

The Civil Service Bureau mobilised all of the subsequent resources, as well as entirely designed and implemented the software. The implementation of the initiative was led by the Asset Declarations Department of the CSB, specifically through the support of a team of lawyers, managers and IT specialists.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The Civil Service Bureau of Georgia created the strategy and implemented the OADS. However, before the introduction of the OADS, the CSB held comprehensive and inclusive research, carried out political consultations with Parliament and Government, as well as carefully considered preconditions and opportunities, including supportive actors and pre-existing legal frameworks. Afterwards they determined the best reasonable framework in terms of legal, financial, personnel and other conditions for implementing the OADS.

As a result of the consultations, the law on “Conflict of Interest and Fighting Against Corruption in the Public Service” was amended and the Decree of the President of Georgia No. 22, was issued on 14 January, 2010 on “The Rule of Submission of Officials’ Asset Declaration and Approval of the Official Register of Those Public Officials Who are Required to Fill in the Declarations”.

In conjunction with these consultations, it was imperative to inform the heads of HR units of public institutions about the main features and functions of the new system. To meet this demand, extensive three-day training sessions were held to disseminate the information to the relevant staff. In addition to the training sessions, a public awareness campaign and further development of the software were carried out to help promote the initiative. Nowadays, the Online Asset Declaration System is fully operational and is administered by the Civil Service Bureau of Georgia.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The CSB chose to use Internet – the easiest and most convenient tool - to ensure public accessibility of asset declarations. The technical scope of work was elaborated to design the program and the website by the end of October, 2009 and to start testing. Meanwhile, a Presidential Decree was issued on January 14, 2010, which mandated the submission of asset declarations for all public officials online at

One of the key elements ensuring the success of the OADS was the CSB’s effort towards raising the qualifications and awareness of the civil service sector’s high ranking officials. Extensive three-day training sessions were held for the heads of HR units of public institutions which focused on introducing the main features and function of the new system. HR managers served as key liaison points, disseminating the information among both their relevant high-ranking officials and departments. This process had the added benefit of allowing HR managers to provide assistance during the process of declaration submission. In addition to this, the CSB launched a hotline and online assistance services to provide additional support for those who enter their financial data into the system.

The Civil Service Bureau actively works to further simplify the procedures for submission of declarations. The CSB notifies a senior official by confidential letter, regarding the upcoming deadline no later than 20 days before the actual submission date and defines the legal consequences for late or non-submission. The confidential letter also includes a username and password assigned by the Civil Service Bureau to each senior official. The CSB sends SMS and e-mails to senior public officials to remind them about approaching deadlines, as well as informs them about the successful submission of the declaration. This procedure is carried out at intervals of 7, 5, 3 and 1 days before the declaration submission deadline.

Moreover, from September 1, 2012, everyone can access and download archives of paper-based asset declarations, maintained by the Civil Service Bureau since 1998, through the website For these reasons, the CSB scanned and uploaded more than 40,000 copies of paper declarations dated between 1998 and 2009 and published them online.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
Despite the overall success of the OADS, there were a number of concrete impediments to the implementation of the declaration system.

• The open publicity of assets and finances in the new system left some public officials uncomfortable, as they felt it limited their privacy. Also, lack of support and/or awareness among officials, especially in the early stages of implementing declaration system, was a major difficulty in making public officials aware of the new requirements and achieving due respect for the need to meet them properly. For this reason, CSB conducted a successful public awareness campaign within the Georgian civil service designed to increase knowledge and broad understanding about this novelty.

• A lack of computer literacy among senior officials was highlighted as an obstacle prior to implementation. Many expressed concern with their computer literacy; that they did not feel confident or possess the required internet and general IT skills. A contributing factor in overcoming this obstacle was the provision of in-depth training for all government officials and relevant HR managers. This ensured that prior to official introduction of the system on February 1, 2010 all relevant personnel possessed the required skills to operate the system. These training sessions not only enabled government officials to properly submit their declarations online, but also allowed them to increase their computer literacy, providing them with the skills to complete their daily objectives more efficiently.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The Civil Service Bureau has been the key institution behind the OADS, leading the initiative from its conception through to implementation. Due to this, all resources and consequent delivery of the initiative were mobilised in-house by a team of lawyers, managers and IT specialists.

In terms of financial expenditures for the design and implementation of the software, USD 20, 000 was budgeted for the OASD. In addition to this, a further USD 20, 000 was allocated in order to conduct training sessions, a public awareness campaign as well as further development of the software.

To compare, prior to the initiative it required between 10-20 days to get any financial information on a public official. Now it takes only seconds to find and download the relevant asset declaration using the OADS. Currently over 200,000 copies of asset declarations have been downloaded from the website by the public.

The OADS made it easy for the general public to control their senior officials by providing a direct and quick access to their asset declarations. After implementation of the OADS, citizens need only go to the website, search and download a free copy of relevant official’s asset declaration. The OADS also reduced time and costs for the CSB to process asset declarations.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The Civil Service Bureau works hard to guarantee the OADS’s operational sustainability and constant update and development. For these purposes, the CSB actively monitors the system to identify any potential opportunities for its further functional improvement.

The media, civil society and NGOs actively monitor asset declarations on the OADS website and react with regard to the legitimacy of the activities carried by the Georgian senior officials.

Transparency International Georgia uses OADS’s asset declarations data on a regular basis to support its research, and there are many journalists and NGOs who have made use of the information as well. TI Georgia has also converted the data into a spreadsheet, which allows even more detailed analysis of the information.

Based on Transparency International’s experience working with the OADS, TI has provided the CSB with feedback and suggestions for improvement on a number of occasions, and they were always found to be responsive and eager to make improvements. The availability of such information is a key tool for TI Georgia, journalists, and other organisations to promote accountability of officials in Georgia. The success of the CSB’s online system has, we believe, contributed to the positive trend of other Georgian government agencies choosing to publish information proactively online as well.

The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), with the assistance of the Open Society Foundation-Georgia, within the framework of the project “Public Information Database –” awarded the Civil Service Bureau for Ensuring the Accessibility of Public Information in 2012. The Bureau successfully obtained the status of the “Most Accountable and Transparent Organisation” for the implementation of the OADS.

According to the survey conducted by the OSCE in 2010, Georgia has made significant efforts in the fight against corruption. “An important step towards more public scrutiny has been the publication of asset declarations on the Bureau’s website since the end of 2009” (OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan, Report from the Second Round of Monitoring).

"Georgia is the first country among the ACN Istanbul Action Plan countries to establish a system that sets an excellent example of relatively simple solutions which can give a significant boost to building integrity of the public administration and preventing corruption" (Daniel Thelesklaf, Head of Financial Intelligence Unit of Liechtenstein, Team Leader of the 2nd Round of Monitoring in the framework of the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia - ACN).

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
In the three years since the OADS’s implementation, it is apparent that the initiative was very successful. The principal goal of the Online Asset Declaration System is accomplished already. It ensures accessibility and public disclosure of the financial information of high ranking public officials, promotes transparency and accountability of the government and increases public monitoring and control.

The success of the overall cycle of this project starting from the initiation of the idea to the implementation of the system and monitoring of its results, coupled with the major outputs that have been delivered to date, would have been impossible without the dedication and professionalism of the CSB employees actively engaged in this process. The success of the system was emphasised on numerous occasions in the reports of various international organisations, such as Transparency International, OECD, etc.

The Online Asset Declaration System should be commended for its dedication to public service and transparency, and Transparency International Georgia fully supports recognition of CSB’s commitment through a United Nations Public Service Awards 2013.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Civil Service Bureau of Georgia
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Irakli Kotetishvili
Title:   Mr.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +995322192727
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   7 Ingorokva Street
Postal Code:   0134
City:   Tbilisi
Country:   Georgia

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