Lasha Komakhidze:“Kobuleti City Hall is in the process of finalising a new budget, more than half of which is earmarked for salaries. Moreover, a considerable amount of funds is allocated for bureaucratic expenses, the acquisition of new cars, fuel usage, and the purchase of new chairs…”

Verdict: Lasha Komakhidze’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.

Administrative, or more explicitly, bureaucratic expenses encompass the sum of two categories: salaries and goods and services. The aforementioned expenses highlighted by the politician, namely salaries, fuel usage, and the purchase of new chairs, are included in these two categories. According to the 2024 Kobuleti Municipality budget, salaries for legislative and executive authority personnel, as well as those employed in municipal organisations, and goods and services, account for not half but 45.3% of the expenses, totalling GEL 31,800,551. Moreover, as of the current date, the municipality has not announced tenders for the purchase of new modes of transportation nor engaged with the State Procurement Agency. Upon seeking clarification on this point, the author of the statement referred to the situation from the previous year.

Considering the increase in this year’s share of administrative expenses compared to the previous year, alongside the growth in the number of employees in municipal organisations, FactCheck concludes that the politician’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.

Analysis:

A member of the Kobuleti Municipality City Council from the United National Movement political party, Lasha Komakhidze, has stated: “Kobuleti City Hall is in the process of finalising a new budget, more than half of which is earmarked for salaries. Moreover, a considerable amount of funds is allocated for bureaucratic expenses, the acquisition of new cars, fuel usage, and the purchase of new chairs…”

Before delving into the fact presented in the statement, it is essential to note that bureaucratic or administrative expenses encompass two categories: salaries and goods and services. The “Goods and Services” category itself includes various expenditures such as the salaries of employees with labour contracts (freelancers), business trips, office, food, medical, furnishings, transport, and technology upkeep. Thus, salaries, fuel usage, and new furnishing purchases as stated by the politician fall under these two categories.

Upon examining the 2024 Kobuleti Municipality budget, it is observed that the predicted value of expenditures in the current year amounts to GEL 70,194,600, exceeding last year’s plan (GEL 62,456,800) by GEL 7,737,800. Within this total expenditure, GEL 4,555,860 was earmarked for salaries of legislative and executive workers, and GEL 5,182,691 was projected for goods and services, totalling GEL 9,738,551. Last year’s plan was GEL 4,111,916 and GEL 5,066,441, respectively, summing up to GEL 9,178,357. This reflects a 10% increase in salaries.

However, this figure does not include the salaries of workers of organisations established by the Kobuleti Municipality, as well as expenditure on goods and services. This information is recorded in the budget annex, specifically in Normative Act 4 section, which can be accessed by clicking on the link to the budget.

The document reveals that 14 legal entities receive financing from the budget of Kobuleti Municipality. Unfortunately, whilst the document indicates the number of full-time employees in organisations, the document omits the specific number of freelance workers, although their renumeration is included in goods and services.

As for the renumeration of workers in municipal organisations and goods and services in the 2023 budget, the combined plan of these two categories was approximately GEL 5 million less. It is noteworthy that Kobuleti Stadium Ltd was established in December of the previous year, employing 13 people, according to the document. See detailed information about the legal entities in Article 3 of the budget using the provided link.

Table 1: Allocated Expenditures to Finance the Salaries and Goods and Services of Organisations Established by Kobuleti Municipality, 2023-2024 Plans

Source: 2024 Kobuleti Municipality Budget Annex

According to the 2024 budget annex, salaries for 1,569 employees of the municipality-established organisations were planned, totalling GEL 13,777,600. Amongst these organisations, only two pay salaries using their own funds. Notably, “Kobuleti Water” covers the entire GEL 1,131,500, while the “Kobuleti Disinfection Station” contributes only GEL 15,600 out of GEL 34,300. A mere 1,147,100 is covered by the organisations’ own finances, leaving the substantial amount of GEL 12,630,500 requiring financing from the budget. Similarly, these organisations contribute only a small portion of their goods and services expenditures, with the projected total reaching GEL 9,694,100, of which GEL 9,431,500 needing bugetary funding.

It should be noted that the number of employees has increased in nearly all organisations compared to 2023, thus has increased the projected values of both categories – salaries and goods and services. Particularly, the budget plan for the 1,458 employed workers was GEL 11,246,400, with the budget financing GEL 10,520,800. Goods and services were planned at GEL 8,101,000, with the budget covering GEL 7,131,700 and the organisations contributing the rest with their funds.

Thus, upon combining the administrative expenses of legislative and executive authorities and the planned expenditures on goods and services, the 2023 budget allocated GEL 26,830,857, constituting 42.96% of all expenditures. In 2024, the projected value increased to GEL 31,800,551, constituting 45.3% of all expenditures.

Regarding the acquisition of cars, clarification from the author of the statement revealed that he had referred to the transport purchased in the previous year, not linked to the 2024 budget. Whilst the share of salaries and other administrative expenses did not constitute half but 45.3% of all expenditures, it is evident that these expenses exceeded that of the previous year’s by approximately GEL 5 million. Considering all of the above, Lasha Komakhidze’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.


Persons

Similar News

5407 - Verified Facts
FactCheck Newspaper
26%
True
17%
Lie
11%
Mostly True
10%
Manipulation
9%

Most read