Deputy Minister of Justice, Republic of Georgia
Focus: Civil Service
Topics: Corruption in the Civil Service, Computerization of Records
Keywords: corruption, training, reform sequencing, computerization, Georgia, public registry
Interviewer(s): Andrew Schalkwyk
Country of Reform: Georgia
Location: Ministry of Justice, Tbilisi, Georgia
Date: Mon May 4 2009
Jaba Ebanoidze talks about the reform of Georgia's Public Registry office, an agency that records all information associated with property ownership in the country. Under his tenure, the office streamlined various processes and undertook the computerization of all records and applications. This has allowed citizens to submit applications through the Internet and track the progress of their applications. Ebanoidze hired top Georgian programmers to develop a Georgia-specific software system. He looked at other countries in Europe, drawing inspiration from Estonia and taking lessons from places where he felt things didn’t work so well. He raised salaries of his key staff so as not to lose them to the private sector, while at the same time he worked on institutionalizing procedures so they were not person-specific. He also discusses the challenges and successes in extending the new system to rural and outlying areas. Ebanoidze talks about training a core group of people to work with new systems, and then unrolling it slowly. He was able to minimize expenses by having a training team go from region to region rather than trying to train all regions simultaneously. He also talks about successful attempts to combat corruption by minimizing citizen-staff interaction, and through the more direct means of firing staff resistant to increased transparency.
Full InterviewDownload MP3 (43.5MB)
Jaba Ebanoidze-Full Interview
At the time of this interview, Jaba Ebanoidze was the deputy minister of justice in Georgia. He was educated at Tbilisi Topographic Technical College and Georgian Technical University, earning a bachelor’s degree in topography and a separate bachelor’s degree in engineering geodesy. He was a co-founder of the Association for the Protection of Landowners Rights, an organization that “supports the orderly and transparent development of Georgian land and property markets.” He served as director of the association from 1999 to 2005 and as senior policy adviser from 2005 to 2006. In 2006 he was appointed chairman of the National Agency of Public Registry, where he served for three years before being appointed deputy minister of justice.