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31 Mar 2021

The State Inspector Submitted to the Parliament of Georgia the Report on the Activities Carried Out in 2020

The State Inspector Submitted to the Parliament of Georgia the Report on the Activities Carried Out in 2020. The document comprising 241 pages provides detailed information on the state of personal data protection, controlling conduct of covert investigative actions and activities performed in the central databank of electronic communication identification data, as well as the situation related to the investigation of the criminal cases under the jurisdiction of the State Inspectors’ Service, the activities carried out by the State Inspector’s Service in these directions, identified challenges and future plans.

In 2020, for the first time, the State Inspector’s Service worked with three crucial functions throughout the year. Despite the situation created by the coronavirus infection, limited human and infrastructural resources and the legal and practical difficulties encountered by the Service in carrying out its functions, the State Inspector’s Service spared no effort to performits functions effectively.

The activities carried out by the Service in three directions are provided separately in the report.

The document analyzes the state of personal data protection in Georgia and implemented activities of the Service to protect data subjects’ rights. In parallel with the general tendencies and statistics, the report gives detailed information on the steps taken to raise public awareness, as well as results of examination of data processing activities in the fields where personal data had been processed in large volumes throughout the year. In particular, the report includes information on data protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, during the election process, in electronic databases, in the financial sector, in law enforcement bodies. A large section of the report is devoted to data processing through video surveillance systems and processing of children’s personal data. Additionally, to enhance data processing processes, each section of the report includes important recommendations for private and public entities.

In 2020, the State inspector’s efforts in personal data direction were directed at prevention of breaches and providing timely response. During the year, the Service had been carrying out awareness raising activities for public and persons involved in the management of the pandemic, issuing consultations on the initial stages of introducing new processes, examining lawfulness of already implemented processes. In 2020, the Service issued 3129 consultations, conducted 119 inspections and detected 123 administrative offences. Administrative penalties were imposed on 119 persons, 237 instructions and recommendations were issued. The Service submitted its opinions on more than 75 draft legislative acts and subordinated normative acts.

As for the control of covert investigative actions and activities implemented in the central databank of electronic communication identification data, the report presents information on the court rulings and the prosecutors’ resolutions to carry out wiretapping and cover recording of telephone communication, as well the rate of use of the suspension mechanism by the State Inspector’s Service and the use of the ambiguity/inaccuracy reporting mechanism.

In 2020, the court reviewed 997 motions for wiretapping and covert recording of telephone communications. The State Inspector’s Service received 107 resolutions of prosecutors on urgent conduct of covert wiretapping and recording of telephone communications. The State Inspector’s Service used the mechanism of suspension of ongoing wiretapping of telephone communications in 116 cases.

The important part of the report covers the newest function of the Service – investigative direction. The chapter of investigation of crimes committed by a representative of law enforcement bodies, by an official, or person equal to an official comprises information on the activities performed by the Service to improve effectiveness of investigation, detailed statistical data on the receipt of reports, launching investigation, conducted investigative and procedural actions, final decisions; information on the legislative and practical challenges hindering conduct of effective investigation. The report also includes specificities of investigating certain categories of crime, in particular, facts of alleged violence against minors, illegal use of handcuffs, death of persons under the effective control of the state and criminal cases related to protest rallies.

Under the threat of infection, Investigative Department operated 24 hours a day and despite delays caused by the pandemic, conducted all urgent investigative and procedural actions in a timely manner.

In 2020, the Investigative Department of the State Inspector’s Service launched investigation into 270 criminal cases. Despite the situation created by coronavirus (COVID-19) and difficulties of coordination with the participants of criminal proceedings, the Investigative Department of the State Inspector’s Service conducted 4,240 investigative and procedural actions (2547 persons were interviewed).

The ProsecutorGeneral’s Office of Georgia launched criminal prosecution against 5 persons in criminal cases investigated by the Investigative Department of the State Inspector's Service and terminated investigation of 24criminal cases. In 270 criminal cases, 310 alleged victims were declared of which 82% named employees of the Ministry of Internal Afairs as perpetrators of possible criminalacts, 17%  named employees of the Special Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice and 1%  named employees of the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance.

The report submitted to the Parliament reviews not onlythe results and success achieved but also the factors that hindered accomplishmentof the goalsset by the Service in 2020. It provides a detailed account of the challenges that need to be addressed to establish the State Inspector’s Service as an institutionally independent, strong, effective, public-oriented institution that meets international standards.

In 2021, the State Inspector’s Service continues working to overcome the challenges identified in the report.

The State Inspector’s Service will actively continue cooperation with the legislative body, other state institutions, Public Defender’s Office, non-governmental sector and international organizations in the process of developing and strengthening the Service.

 

See the full electronic version of the report