Tbilisi, Georgia, February 12, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with the government of
Georgia to help improve the technical safety of potentially hazardous enterprises.
The reform agenda includes improving how the technical inspections of businesses
such as gas stations, mining enterprises, elevators, and hoisting mechanisms
are conducted. It also introduces new risk-based inspections and outsourcing
of some functions to private inspection facilities.
To assist the government in this reform, IFC has drafted an action plan
that will transfer on-the-spot inspection functions to private companies,
making them responsible for the safety of inspected enterprises. According
to Irina Kokaia, Project Manager of the IFC Georgia Business Enabling Environment
Project, private inspectorates in Georgia will likely be more compliance-oriented
than their state-run counterparts. Private inspectorates are also
more likely to provide advice to entrepreneurs on how to improve safety,
rather than imposing punitive measures. Under the reform proposal,
government agencies will retain the authority to cross-check the quality
of these inspections and investigate accidents.
IFC will work with the government to implement this transfer of functions
by sponsoring and conducting seminars aimed at improving state inspectors’
skills in supervision and introducing best practices for conducting quality
inspections. The reform also envisages restructuring the country’s procedures
for ensuring the safety of hazardous enterprises and the safety of ports,
airports, and stadiums.
In launching the reform effort, IFC held a two-day seminar that focused
on international best practices in technical safety supervision and inspections.
Leading experts from Sweden introduced the Swedish Technical Supervision
system, and experts from Estonia led discussions on reforms that have taken
place in their country. The second day of the seminar focused on practical
applications of inspection procedures in Sweden and other countries.
Seminar participants included representatives from Georgia’s Ministry
of Economic Development, the Construction Department of the Ministry, the
Georgian Technical Supervision State Inspection, the Main Architectural-Construction
Inspection, the National Accreditation Centre, and the Environment Protection
Vakhtang Lejava, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and seminar
participant, said, “We are interested to learn the experience of our foreign
colleagues in technical safety supervision. In many Western countries inspections
reforms have led to the outsourcing of certain functions to third parties.
Outsourcing, as well as introduction of risk-based inspections, is on the
agenda of the Georgian government.”
“IFC will continue its efforts in sharing best international practices,
so that the quality of inspections of hazardous enterprises can reach international
standards,” IFC’s Irina Kokaia said.
The IFC Georgia Business Enabling Environment Project is funded by BP and
its oil and gas partners and the Canadian International Development Agency.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment,
mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets,
and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty
and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Georgia became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1995. As of September
30, 2007, IFC has committed nearly $258 million in 23 projects in the country’s
financial, power, oil and gas, and manufacturing sectors. In addition to
investments, IFC conducts advisory programs to promote corporate governance
and improve the business-enabling environment, with support from donors.
BP, one of the world's largest energy companies, first came to Georgia
in 1996, where it has spent the last 10 years building a business that
includes construction and operation of strategic oil and gas pipelines
and fuelling operations. As major investors in the country, BP and its
oil and gas partners established an innovative mechanism to provide a long-term
contribution to sustainable socioeconomic development across Azerbaijan,
Georgia, and Turkey. For more information, visit www.bp.com.
The Canadian International Development Agency is a governmental agency
with a mandate to support sustainable progress in developing countries
to reduce poverty and contribute to a more secure, equitable, and prosperous
world. One of its objectives is to work with countries in transition to
stimulate growth by building self-sustainability among local people and
mobilizing available resources. CIDA supports foreign aid projects in many
countries around the world.