Management and effective resolution of workplace disputes within the public agencies of Georgia (UNDP)
Starting from December 2017, New Vision University is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project -"Management and effective resolution of workplace disputes within the public agencies of Georgia."
The Administration of the Government of Georgia (AoG) has committed to reforming existing system of Public Administration. In 2015, “Public Administration Reform (PAR) Roadmap 2020” was adopted outlining six major policy areas as part of the overall PAR effort: policy development and cooperation, human resource management, accountability, service delivery, public finance management, and local self-government.
UNDP, through its multi-year project “Supporting Public Administration Reform in Georgia”, has offered consistent support to assist AoG in successfully implementing the mentioned reform. Specifically, the project, in close cooperation with AoG, addresses a complementary but distinct package of specific, predetermined needs under the three (Policy development and Cooperation; Civil Service and Human Resource Management and Service Delivery) crucial areas of the PAR Roadmap.
The initiative intends to sustain, support and build key institutions and processes required for advancing the reform through offering consultancy and capacity building. It aims at the development of professional and modern civil service and public administration, ensuring the resilience of Georgia to internal and external shocks and improving citizens’ access to their rights and better public services.
Purpose of the grant:
The purpose of this grant is to prepare a policy document and thus facilitate research and analysis initiatives in the field of public administration reform. This contributes to the general objective of contributing to the smooth, effective and timely implementation of the Public Administration Reform.
The project intends to:
- Support systematic, qualitative and quantitative research and analysis of the reforms that are being implemented to identify the areas of improvement;
- Build expert capacity in academia and civil society to act as a partner to AoG and other relevant government stakeholders in analyzing ongoing reforms, suggesting improvements and innovative approaches;
- Help create a lasting community of practitioners in civil society and the relevant government agencies, collaborating on policy, research and skills development;
- Encourage the flow of the best, innovative international practices in the context of civil service reforms.
A policy document will be elaborated containing the findings on the current practices, models, challenges and gaps in the resolution of workplace disputes in the public agencies of Georgia.
If we look at the latest available statistics (first 9 months of 2016) of the Administrative Cases Collegium of the Tbilisi City Court we shall see that in about 80% of cases the Government of Georgia lost an employment-related lawsuit with its public servant. This status quo leads to a number of unwanted consequences: public agencies being in lawsuit with their servants (claimants) for a prolonged period of time; Government’s human resources spent on litigation; uncertainty with respect to the legitimacy and possible consequences of the replacement hire; Government found and perceived as having breached Georgian legislation, decreased trust towards government among the society; Government having to compensate the employee who won the lawsuit for all the time (in light of length of litigation in Georgian courts this could be several years) spent in litigation, etc. The financial, human and reputational consequences of lack of an early and amicable dispute management system are severe and lead to inefficiency of operation of the State.
Alternative (non-judicial) Dispute Resolution (ADR) can help resolve conflicts more quickly and at a less cost. Particular value of mediation (and other forms of ADR) in workplace context is that it can help achieve effective and mutually satisfactory conflict resolution, often keep/restore relationships and foster a culture of respect and trust among the supervisors and employees of public agencies.
The main objective of the policy document is to study the current state of being of workplace dispute resolution in the public agencies of Georgia. This will help the Government of Georgia and the donors analyze how mediation and ADR can fit into and benefit the public administration reform of the Government of Georgia in terms of improving efficiency of human resource management, preventing/managing & resolving disputes and building the culture of cooperation within public servants.