“Awards” are a new mechanism for financially incentivizing public sector workers. The Parliament of Georgia is currently discussing the changes to be made to the law terminating the existing bonus system and implementing the awards.
According to the draft law, awards will be given to officials considering their merit. The award cannot be higher than 10% of a person’s annual salary. Higher awards can only be given with the government’s consent.
In 2016, the wage bill for public service employees was 1.4 billion GEL. However, the actual amount spent on bureaucracy was much higher due to salary additions and bonuses amounting to over 300 million GEL.
Changes are being made to salary additions as well. A new public worker classification system was implemented on July 1st, 2017. The system categorizes public service employees into 12 classes with corresponding monthly salary additions. Workers are categorized according to their professional qualifications and experience.
The leader of the European Georgia party Davit Bakradze commented on the changes, stating that changing the name of the mechanism solely serves the purpose of lying to the public. According to Bakradze, the current government is completely focused on their own welfare.
As of 2017 there are 155,000 public service workers in Georgia. Their classification is currently unknown.