Delivering on the Hope of the Rose Revolution: Public Sector Reform in Georgia, 2004-2009

Full Publication 
Abstract 

Following the peaceful Rose Revolution in November 2003, Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili and State Minister for Reform Coordination Kakha Bendukidze sought to overhaul the country’s Soviet-style bureaucracy, which had become the target of public anger. Borrowing ideas from libertarian, free-market think tanks and the New Public Management model, Bendukidze recruited a staff, eliminated redundant functions in the executive arm of government, consolidated ministries and slashed the size of the civil service. Bendukidze’s vision of limited government complemented Saakashvili’s goal of eliminating corruption by reducing opportunities for bribe taking. Although Bendukidze was instrumental in developing many of the reform policies, his office left the implementation of reforms to individual ministries. This case chronicles the steps that the Georgian government took to reorganize and consolidate its operations, capitalizing on public support in order to make rapid and bold changes.

 
Richard Bennet drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Tbilisi, Georgia, in June 2011, and interviews conducted and text prepared by Andrew Schalkwyk in May 2009. Case published December 2011.
 
Keywords 
Rose Revolution
corruption
consolidating ministries
Downsizing
hiring
training
performance monitoring
public support
coordination
bureaucratic structure
institutional capacity
delegation
corruption & patronage
spoiler trap
Focus Area(s): 
Building a Reform Team and Staff
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Civil service corruption
Civil service recruitment
Downsizing
Performance management system
Promotion
Salary structure reform
Training
Core Challenge: 
Principal-agent problem (delegation)
Country of Reform: 
Georgia
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Richard Bennet