Delivering on the Hope of the Rose Revolution: Public Sector Reform in Georgia, 2004-2009
Focus: Building a Reform Team and Staff, Civil Service
Topics: Training, Promotion, Corruption in the Civil Service, Pay Reform, Civil Service Recruitment, Performance Management System, Downsizing
Type: Case Studies
Author: Richard Bennet
Keywords: Rose Revolution, corruption, consolidating ministries, downsizing, hiring, training, performance monitoring, public support
Following the peaceful Rose Revolution in November 2003, Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili and State Minister for Reform Coordination Kakha Bendukidze sought to overhaul the country’s Soviet-style bureaucracy, which had become the target of public anger. Borrowing ideas from libertarian, free-market think tanks and the New Public Management model, Bendukidze recruited a staff, eliminated redundant functions in the executive arm of government, consolidated ministries and slashed the size of the civil service. Bendukidze’s vision of limited government complemented Saakashvili’s goal of eliminating corruption by reducing opportunities for bribe taking. Although Bendukidze was instrumental in developing many of the reform policies, his office left the implementation of reforms to individual ministries. This case chronicles the steps that the Georgian government took to reorganize and consolidate its operations, capitalizing on public support in order to make rapid and bold changes.