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At a meeting of the Government of Georgia, the Minister of Finance, Nodar Khaduri stated: "In 2012, labour remuneration for the State Audit Service was GEL 5.1 million. For next year, that number will be GEL 11.8 million which constitutes a 131% increase." In making this statement, the Minister of Finance responded to the State Audit Service’s report (on the process of the fulfilment of Georgia’s 2014 state budget) published on 6 November 2015 and in turn voiced his criticism concerning the State Audit Service. The aforementioned report emphasises that against the backdrop of the adoption of an ordinance in the Law to Determine the Amount of Salary Premiums at Public Institutions, the amount of salary increases have gone up sharply in parallel to the decreased salary amounts.

The Auditor General of the State Audit Service of Georgia, Lasha Todria, called Nodar Khaduri’s statement an "irrelevant comparison" and clarified that the numbers about the increased amount of labour remuneration at the State Audit Service are correct. However, the increase occurred gradually over a four-year period although the State Audit Service report’s last accounting period was used for making the aforementioned comparison.

FactCheck

studied the issue.

According to the 2016 draft state budget, GEL 11.8 million has indeed been allocated for labour remuneration at the State Audit Service. The dynamics of the changes in labour remuneration are given in Graph 1.

Graph 1:

 Labour Remuneration at the State Audit Service (GEL)

image001 Source: Ministry of Finance of Georgia

As illustrated by the graph, labour remuneration at the State Audit Service will be increased by 14.55% (1.15 times) in 2016 as compared to the previous accounting period (2015). In the period of 2012-2016, the growth rate was 131.3% which means that the number grew by 2.3 times in the last four years. In the same period, the amount of labour remuneration increased in every spending institution including the administration of the Government of Georgia and the Parliament of Georgia by 80.5% and 162.4%, respectively.

Conclusion

According to the statistics, the numbers named by Nodar Khaduri are correct. In the next year, the labour remuneration at the State Audit Service will indeed be increased by 131% as compared to 2012. However, in the 2016 budget, the year’s labour remuneration at the State Audit Service of Georgia saw an increase of 14.55% (1.15 times) as compared to 2015.

As we have mentioned, the numbers given by the Ministry of Finance correspond to the official statistical data. However, the context of the statement itself is not correct. The report of the State Audit Service uses data taken from the previous year as the basis to calculate the numbers given in the report whilst the Minister of Finance in his critical response emphasised the growth rate which reflects the changes accomplished in the last four years. During the same four-year period, labour remuneration has increased in almost every spending institution and the State Audit Service is not an exception in this regard.

Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Nodar Khaduri’s statement is HALF TRUE.