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GYLA - Reorganization of Georgian National Center and Writers' House was ungrounded and hasty

2019-07-16 14:26
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The decision of reorganization of the LEPLs of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport was adopted under Decree N 213 of the Government of Georgia of April 30, 2019. In particular, on the base of the Writer's House and the Georgian National Book Center, the new LEPL - Georgian Literature National Fund should be created while six LEPLs will be joined by other LEPLs.

The Government's decision was followed by a diverse reaction in society. Since the decision has been taken, representatives of several LEPL that are in the list of the reorganization addressed GYLA. Accordingly, in June GYLA addressed the authorized administrative bodies and demanded a copy of all the documents the reorganization of the LEPLs in the Ministry's system was based.

- According to the official information, the LEPLs subjected to reorganization are the organization with a small contingent and its existence as independent LEPLs is not necessary. However, the main principle of selection of this LEPL was unclear, while there were other 70 LEPLs in the field of culture in the system of the Ministry;

- In the explanatory note of the Resolution of the Government the recommendations proposed for improving management in the field of culture are indicated as one of the arguments of the adopted decision, based on the analysis of international practices by the EU expert. Even though apart from the optimization the expert recommendations envisaged setting up and decentralization of so-called umbrella organization the Ministry chose optimization of all LEPLs. In addition, the National Book Center was inserted in the list of optimized LEPLs, while Georgian National Book Center has been several times nominated as an agency with exemplary and the best standards in the conclusion of the expert of the European Union.

- One of the preconditions of optimization was that the LEPLs subjected to the reorganization are not able to introduce modern management mechanisms independently and to fulfill their own goals and objectives. Considering the specifics of activities and the achieved results of the LEPLs facing the reorganization this assessment is not based on any kind of research. For example, according to the official information, it is known that since 2014, since its foundation, Georgian National Book Center has done valuable works. In particular, more than 300 translations of Georgian literature were published; more than 250 works have been translated into 30 foreign languages and the center has cooperated with more than 100 foreign publishers. The Center's largest and most important project was the participation of Georgia as a guest of honor at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2018;

- In case of reorganization of the Writers' House and the Georgian National Book Center, there was no relevant communication with management of these LEPLs and the decision was taken unexpectedly. Preliminary meetings were not held and no one considered of possible risks. After making a decision, implementation of many projects came into question, which the former head of the Writers' House confirmed several times with the media.

Given the above, GYLA considers that the resolution of the Government of Georgia on the base which the reorganization of the Writers' House and the Georgian National Book Center was implemented was ungrounded and hasty.