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IFC Collaborates with Government of Georgia to Reform Technical Safety Regulations


In Tbilisi:


Tamar Barbakadze
Phone: +995 32 92 35 23/24/27
Cell: +995 99 10 29 19
E-mail: tbarbakadze@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Ilya Sverdlov
Phone: +7 495 411-7555 x 2075
E-mail: isverdlov@ifc.org

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 Inspection Agency.

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.

About IFC
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.

About BP
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.

About CIDA
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.