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One Day before the Enactment, Competition Agency not Speaks of its Own Functions

The Completion and State Procurement Agency must be fully enforced from October 1. The procedures the Agency will work on are still unclear as well as a way it will study the issue and sanctions that will be imposed on monopolist companies.

“Commersant” became interested in the details and addressed these questions to  the Competition Agency , but to no avail.

The press office of the Georgian Government, which is the only connecting link with  the Agency, says that the head of the Agency is very busy and asked one  week to respond to questions.

One of the reasons why “Commersant” has failed to get the answers is that the Competition Agency Director George Barabadze gave  several interview to “Commersant” in the last months.

One of the main promises of the new government’s economic bloc was a formation of the Competition Agency that should  promote the country’s economic recovery.

Prime Minister appointed  the Chairman of the Competition Agency on April 15. The position was taken by the  Associate Professor of Law George Barabadze who was economic advisor of the first category of the Legal Service of the Economic  Council at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Five months have passed since the appointment of the Chairman of the Competition Agency but the Agency has not yet started operation.

What prevents to launch the Agency? Why it cannot take effective steps? Whether or not it was a deliberate action to create the background just before signing the Association Agreement and win the hearts of European experts? Why is the government inactive in this regard?

Support for small businesses and,  in  general, the protection of the economic agent’s interests directly affects the country’s economic development and welfare of the public

The law specifies that the Agency should  take effective measures to prevent the abuse of dominant position, support  small business, protect the interests of economic agents, timely and appropriately respond to a violation of the  law regulating competition.

However, the Georgian business is still waiting  for election promises, business leaders do not rule out that the government is not interested in systemic changes. Businessmen have been  asking the Agency to state its position on this issue in vain for one year.

Some experts are skeptical about the prospect of the Antimonopoly Service in Georgia. In particular, the expert Levan Kalandadze believes  that the adoption of the law and the establishment of the Competition Agency  is  a purely formal solution and  is one of the commitments undertaken by Georgia to the European Union.

The economic expert Irakli Lekvinadze states  “Commersant” that a lot should be done in this  regard on the market, but the Competition  Agency has not undertaken any action so far. The expert accounts it for the lack  of   the necessary instructions and  methodology, the  market analysis, formation of criteria  for monopolists evaluation.

The new head of the Competition Agency  does not go on  contact with the media and journalists and they have to contact with him through the Public Relations Department of the Chancellery of the Government.

There are questions to which directly the Agency should answer. The last information that “Commersant”managed to obtain is that the Agency will begin to work on October 1 and recruitment of personnel is still ongoing.