The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture recommends applying to the court to obtain public information related to the hunting license for Davit Khidasheli's company

On March 14, 2022, Green Alternative applied to the National Environment Agency and requested copies of the decrees on holding an auction and issuing a license to arrange hunting farms in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti regions and the administrative proceedings for those decisions.

On April 19, 2022, we received a letter from Teimuraz Mtivlishvili, Acting Head of the National Environment Agency. Mr. Mtivlishvili told us about the auction process and the benefits provided by the terms of the issued license. None of the documents requested by us were delivered by letter. Therefore, on April 29, 2022, Green Alternative filed an administrative complaint with the higher administrative body of the National Environment Agency – the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.

On May 5, 2022, Green Alternative received a letter from the Ministry in which the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nino Tandilashvili, explained that according to the first part of Article 47[1]According to article 47 of the General Administrative Code of Georgia, “A person has the right to apply to a court to cancel or reverse a decision of a public institution or a public servant. … Continue reading of the General Administrative Code of Georgia, issues related to public information should be appealed in court and we should go to court.

It is noteworthy that among the required documents are acts issued by an administrative body, which should be available to the public without request.

We believe that this is a highly alarming precedent for creating completely illegal barriers to access to public information.

References

References
1 According to article 47 of the General Administrative Code of Georgia, “A person has the right to apply to a court to cancel or reverse a decision of a public institution or a public servant. He/she may also claim property and non-property damages incurred: a) because of refusing to issue public information, due to full or partial closing of a session of a collegial public institution, as well as by keeping public information confidential; b) as a result of creating and processing inaccurate public information; d) by infringing other requirements of this chapter by a public institution or a public servant.