ISFED welcomes the decision of Terjola Municipality Complaints Committee and urges the Committee for Competitions and Certification of Terjola to re-interview candidates who participated in competition for filling vacant positions in Terjola Municipality Gamgeoba and Sakrebulo.
On March 10, 2015, Terjola Municipality Complaints Commission examined complaints filed by candidates seeking abolishment of the decision of the committee for competitions and certification and alleging bias in the process of interviews.
ISFED was monitoring the process of competition in Terjola Municipality and actively communicated with candidates. ISFED found that the committee for certification and competitions violated the principle of public access by prohibiting stakeholders including ISFED to monitor the process of interviews.
Ten candidates who participated in the competition have stated to ISFED that the committee violated its regulations in the process of recruitment. Members of the committee were asking questions about Georgian legislation only; they did not ask questions from other fields mandated by the commission regulations. The committee did not use the template for evaluating interviews, provided by the committee regulations requiring that other skills of candidates be tested as well. They allege that the committee made subjective evaluations about criteria like “work experience”. In particular, candidates with less work experience received higher scores.
We welcome the decision of the complaints committee, deeming interviews held without use of pre-determined template illegal. According to the complaints committee, the process of interviews should have been based on regulations of the committee for competitions and certification provided in the decision of Terjola Sakrebulo Municipality N37, meaning that the committee should have used pre-determined scheme and criterion for evaluating candidates but it failed to do so.
ISFED believes that for preventing bias in their decisions, the committees for certification and competitions have an obligation to administer the process in compliance with applicable legislation and committee regulations. Candidates must be evaluated on the basis of pre-determined criterion, in order to reduce the risk of subjective and unfair decisions to the minimum.
ISFED urges Terjola Municipality Committee for competitions and certification to:
• Take into account concerns raised by the complaints committee in its decision, and re-interview candidates, with the aim of evaluating their skills, professional qualifications and experience according to the set of pre-determined criteria;
• Observe the principle of equality, allow stakeholders to attend the process of interviews and provide access to committee decision.