Zurab Nogaideli, who was prime minister of Georgia from 2005 to 2007, details the country's experience of reform generally and civil service reform in particular. He discusses the challenges that confronted the country after the Rose Revolution in 2003, and talks about efforts made to downsize the civil service and reduce corruption. He emphasizes that simpler systems work better in developing countries, and that fewer people with better training and higher pay do a better job than a greater number of individuals who are poorly paid and poorly trained. He favors simple regulations that do not foster interaction between mid-level bureaucrats and citizens, believing that frequent interaction encourages corruption. Nogaideli believes that Georgia had four years of excellent reform from 2003 to 2007, but that gradually some successes were eroded. He maintains this demonstrates the importance of continuing on a strong reform course even after early achievements. He offers reasons for what he perceives as backsliding on reforms, and provides advice for countries that want to move forward.
Zurab Nogaideli was born in Georgia and educated at Moscow State University. He was a deputy in Georgia's Parliament in 1992 and chaired the Parliamentary Committee on Environment Protection and Natural Resources from 1992 to 1995. He was a member of Parliament from 1995 to 1999 and 1999 to 2000, and he chaired the Parliamentary Tax and Income Committee. He joined the government of Eduard Shevardnadze as minister of finance in May 2000. After leaving government work in 2002, he returned after Shevardnadze was ousted in the Rose Revolution of November 2003. He was reappointed to his former post as minister of finance in February 2004 in the government of Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania. Nogaideli served as prime minister from 2005 to 2007, when he resigned from government due to health reasons.