The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) is the law enforcement agency, the main goals of which include crime prevention and effective response thereto, human rights protection and maintenance of safe living environment for the public, provision of the quality services and close, trust-based cooperation with the society. The Ministry carries out its duties in accordance with the rule of law, democratic standards and ethic norms. The activities of the MIA are based on the principles of fairness, humanity, justice, publicity, transparency, protection of honour and dignity of an individual. The Ministry also acknowledges that public confidence and respect can only be achieved through ethic and human behaviour.
Border Security and Management Overview
in Georgia, the main agencies dealing with border security and management are the MIA State Subordinate Agency - Border Police of Georgia and MIA Patrol Police Department. Border Police deals with the protection of green and blue borders of Georgia (Land Border Protection Department and Coast Guard). While the Patrol Police is in charge of Border Crossing Points. Border Management responsibilities are carried out by the two agencies on the basis of close cooperation and constant information exchange.
According to the legislation of Georgia the agencies that are directly engaged in combating terrorism are: the State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG), which is the main authority in the common state system for combating terrorism, Ministry of Defence of Georgia, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Georgian Intelligence Service, and Special State Protection Service of Georgia.
Pursuant to Law of Georgia on “Combatting Terrorism”, the SSSG is the lead agency that combats terrorism by means of operative, operative-technical and criminal intelligence measures intended to detect, prevent and suppress terrorist activities; through revealing, preventing and suppressing crimes that are committed for terrorist purposes and the investigation of which falls within authority of the Service. The State Security Service of Georgia coordinates the activities of agencies combating terrorism through its Counterterrorism Center. Furthermore, other state agencies, within the scope of their authority, shall also be engaged in combating terrorism in accordance with procedures established by the legislation of Georgia. In case of emergency situations resulted from terrorist activities, a temporary authority - Emergency Situations Management Operative Command is formed, with the leadership of the Head of the SSSG.
In order to establish counterterrorism strategic document, on 14 September 2018, the Permanent Inter-Agency Commission composed of high-level representatives of all relevant agencies responsible for prevention and fight against terrorism was created under the Government Decree N469. The Commission is chaired by the SSSG. The Commission elaborated the National Strategy of Georgia on Fight against Terrorism and its 2019-2021 Action Plan, which were adopted by the GoG on 23 January 2019.
Cyber/ICT Security Overview
In 2010, the state of Georgia established the Georgian Data Exchange Agency (DEA) within the Ministry of Justice. This agency deals with the cybersecurity of Georgia.
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Functions and missions
The mission of the Ministry is to ensure public safety, law and order, protect human rights and freedoms, prevent, suppress and respond to crime and any other offences, ensure traffic safety, protect state border and legal regime of maritime space of Georgia, fight against illegal migration, protect rights of individuals with international protection, perform forensic-criminalistics activities, respond to emergency situations and conduct activities prescribed by legislation of Georgia during the state of emergency and martial law, etc.
The main functions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are to:
- Protect state interests, human rights, civil liberties and property rights;
- Protect and ensure public order and safety;
- Prevent, detect, suppress and investigate criminal activities;
- Ensure protection of land border and maritime space as well as control of the border crossing points;
- Provide services by its relevant structural units;
- Conduct other activities prescribed by the legislation.
Structure and organisation
The Ministry is headed by the Minister, who has five Deputies. The Ministry incorporates relevant structural sub-divisions (Departments), territorial bodies, state subordinate agencies and legal entities of public law (LEPL) operating under its administration. Each direction is supervised by the Minister or respective Deputy Minister. The Deputy Ministers are accountable to the Minister of Internal Affairs.
The MIA consists of 21 departments, 11 territorial bodies, 2 state subordinate agencies and 5 legal entities of public law under the direct management of the Ministry.
The MIA departments are as follows:
- Administration (Department)
- General Inspection (Department)
- Economic Department
- Logistics Department
- Human Resources Management Department
- Forensic-Criminalistics Department
- Information-Analytical Department
- Central Criminal Police Department
- Patrol Police Department
- International Relations Department
- Temporary Detention Department
- Strategic Communications Department
- Internal Audit Department
- Operational Maintenance Department
- Migration Department
- Legal Department
- Strategic Pipelines Protection Department (SPPD)
- Special Tasks Department
- Facilities Protection Department
- Joint Operations Center
- Department of Human Rights Protection and Quality Monitoring
MIA territorial/regional bodies are as follows:
- Tbilisi Police Department
- Adjara A.R. Police Department
- Mtskheta-Mtianeti Police Department
- Shida Kartli Police Department
- Kvemo Kartli Police Department
- Kakheti Police Department
- Samtskhe-Javakheti Police Department
- Abkhazia A.R Police Department
- Guria Police Department
- Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Police Department
- Samegrelo – Zemo Svaneti Police Department
Legal Entities of Public Law (LEPLs):
- Academy of the MIA
- Security Police Department
- 112 (Emergency Response Center)
- Service Agency
- Healthcare Service
State Subordinate Agencies:
- Border Police of Georgia
- Emergency Management Service
Central Criminal Police Department:
Competence of the Central Criminal Police Department covers organized crime and other serious crimes, drug related crimes, trafficking in persons, cybercrime, etc. Within the scope of its competence, functions of the department include investigation of criminal cases; search and arrest of wanted persons; witness protection; prevention, detection, suppressions and fight against illegal migration; international law enforcement cooperation, crime analysis, etc.
Patrol Police Department:
Within the scope of its competence, Patrol Police Department ensures public order and safety, implements investigative and operational-search activities, ensures road safety and conducts other activities prescribed by law. Moreover, while the MIA State Subordinate Agency - Border Police of Georgia deals with the protection of green and blue borders of Georgia (further discussed below in section 2: Border Security and Management) the Patrol Police Department is in charge of border-migration control at the state border crossing points.
Migration Department is responsible for fighting against irregular migration within the country. Main functions of the department are detection and identification of aliens illegally residing on the territory of Georgia, ensuring removal (expulsion) of aliens residing without legal grounds in accordance with the law, implementation of readmission agreements of Georgia and management of the Temporary Accommodation Center. Functions of the department also include implementation of state policies on refugees, persons with humanitarian status, and asylum seekers and therefore it implements asylum procedures for aliens and stateless persons, ensures accommodations for asylum seekers and management of the asylum reception centre.
Department of Human Rights Protection and Quality Monitoring:
Ensuring human rights protection is one of the key priority, which requires special efforts to implement sensitive approaches in parallel with providing an effective response to the crime. For this reason, since 11 January 2018, the Department of Human Rights Protection has been created in the Ministry. Department intended to ensure timely response and effective investigation of domestic violence, violence against women, crimes committed on grounds of discrimination, hate crime, trafficking of human beings, crimes committed by/towards minors. In 2019, the mandate of the department was further extended to cover monitoring of investigation of other types of crimes and the department was renamed to Department of Human Rights Protection and Quality Monitoring.
The functions of the Department are to monitor the process of investigation on a daily basis, identify gaps in the system and implement proposals to eradicate them.
Emergency Response Center – 112:
Emergency Response Center 112 Georgia, operates the single European emergency number 1-1-2 in order to provide operational response to emergencies. 112 Georgia serves as a unified link between the citizens and the emergency crews. Emergency number 112 is free of charge and is available 24/7. By dialling 112, following emergency services are available: Police; Fire/Rescue; Ambulance. 112 can be reached via traditional and innovative communication tools. Traditional communication tools include fixed and cell phone even if the payment is due and in case of the cell phone, even if no SIM card is inserted (the only prerequisite is that the phone is in the coverage area of the provider). Innovative communication channels include mobile application “112 Georgia” and SMS and Video Call Service for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing users. Emergency calls are received by call takers, who process the received information and transfer it to the dispatcher, who, based on the priority of the case, dispatches relevant crews – police, ambulance or fire/rescue teams.
Emergency Management Service:
Emergency Management Service (EMS) is a MIA state subordinate entity, the main functions of which include creation of an effective system of civil protection; promotion of an interagency coordination in terms of response, prevention, preparedness and recovery; simplification of emergency management and increase mobility; development of fast and effective international cooperation; establishment of unified system of planning and response; offering multiple services to the community during emergencies and conduct other activities in the field of public safety in accordance with the legislation of Georgia.
The mission of the MIA Academy is to train highly qualified community-oriented policemen by professional instructors and training programs corresponding to the modern standards.
MIA Academy represents the only institution responsible for the police training/re-training in the country. It is a professional training institution providing the three categories of training:
- Basic training courses – for future police officers
- Re-training courses – for in-service police officers
- Promotion courses – for promotion of in-service police staff
Additionally, MIA Academy provides training for the representatives of the other law-enforcement agencies, including:
- School resource officers (staff of the Ministry of Education Science, Culture and Sports) – based on the joint order signed in 2018 between the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Minister of Education, Science,
Culture and Sports, MIA Academy provides 8-week long training for the school resource officers, covering topics related to national legislation, human rights, rights of children, domestic violence, effective communication, psychology, etc.
MIA Academy actively cooperates with relevant international institutions and professional associations as well as partner institutions in bilateral and multilateral formats.
- Academy has been a member of Association of European Police Colleges (AEPC) since 2007 and a permanent member of its executive committee since 2017.
- Based on the Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011 the MIA Academy became a framework partner of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement (CEPOL). MIA Academy acts as the national focal point between the CEPOL and Georgian law enforcement agencies (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Prosecutors’ Office, State Security Service and Special State Protection Service of Georgia).
- Since 2017 MIA Academy is a member of the Police Academies network (PAN) of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
- Since 2018, MIA Academy is a member of the Partner Academies (PAs) network of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX).
The MIA Academy hosts a number of international training activities/workshops/conferences every year in cooperation with various national, international and donor organizations, as well as embassies accredited in Georgia, to provide short-term, ad-hoc training courses for in-service police officers.
Existing infrastructure in the campus of the MIA Academy of Georgia
- Conference hall with simultaneous interpretation equipment with the capacity of 34-45 persons
- Meeting rooms
- Training classrooms equipped with modern technologies
- A computer centre with a capacity of 250 users
- Mock courtroom
- Mock port of entry (simulation of the land border check-point and airport document control and second level document inspection lab)
- Mock Police unit (Police practical skills lab) with integrated interview rooms for adults and juveniles
- Language centre
- Forensics lab
- Cybercrime lab
- Library with reading space and computer desks for access to digital literature
Tactical training facilities:
- Shooting range
- FATS- Fire Arms Training Simulators
Physical training facilities:
- Swimming pool (indoor)
- Climbing wall (indoor)
- Basketball court (indoor)
- Fitness room (indoor)
- Running track (outdoor)
- Soccer grass field (outdoor)
- Volleyball grass field (outdoor)
- Tennis court (outdoor)
Hotel accommodation with a capacity of approximately 100 persons.
The General Inspection is the main sub-unit at the MIA, which is in charge of internal oversight. It ensures revealing an adequate response to the facts of violation of ethics and disciplinary norms, improper fulfilment of official duties and of certain unlawful actions committed within the system of the Ministry. Additional internal oversight mechanism is implemented by the Internal Audit Department, which ensures conformity of the MIA activities with the policy, procedures and legislation of Georgia.
External oversight is conducted by the Parliament of Georgia, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, State Audit Office of Georgia, Public Defender’s Office and by Office of Personal Data Protection Inspector.
Border Police of Georgia
Functions and Missions
The main task of Border Police is the protection of state border of Georgia, and to this end, prevention and exposure of illegal acts taking place at the state border, within the borderline, border zone, as well as the maritime space of Georgia and on the vessels under the jurisdiction of Georgia. Border Police of Georgia also prevents border incidents, military or any other aggression and terrorist acts within the scope of its competency. The special task of the Border Police is the provision of assistance to other agencies in case of manmade or natural disasters, calamities and other special threats.
Organisation and Structure
Border Police is a special service and law enforcement agency under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia with the status of a state subordinate agency. Within its competence, the Land Border Protection Department
ensures the protection of green borders, maintains control of legal regime applicable at the State border of Georgia, borderline and border zone. As for the Coast Guard Department, it ensures the protection of the maritime space of Georgia.
Activities of Georgian Border Police are highly supported by the Special Aviation of the Agency. Aviation backs up the border operations through air patrolling and logistical support. Also, it carries out relevant actions during the special situation on the State Border, engages in emergency situations, and supports search and rescue operations.
Most of the Border Police staff are trained at the Academy of the MIA. The Academy has its own Professional Training Division for law enforcement agencies, which implements basic training programs, as well as in-service and qualification raising programs. Coast Guard personnel is trained in English language labs of Batumi and Poti with own resources, taking into consideration the navigation/marine specificity. MIA Academy also provides special training programs for the Coast Guard personnel. Further training of personnel should be accomplished in cooperation with the Batumi Maritime Academy. It should be emphasized that with the assistance of the donor States, technical personnel of Coast Guard are retrained for obtaining the qualification in logistics and electrician-technician fields. It is planned to establish and develop the Coast Guard educational system, which will support the training of professional personnel and permanent refresher training.
Oversight of the Border Police of Georgia is primarily carried out by MIA General Inspection. It ensures revealing and adequate response to the facts of violation of ethics and disciplinary norms, improper fulfilment
of official duties and certain unlawful actions committed within the system of the Ministry, including the Border Police of Georgia.
Additional internal oversight mechanism is implemented by the Monitoring, Inspection and Internal Security Division of the Border Police of Georgia. The foregoing Division is responsible for the periodical control of the activities of Border Police sub-units, control of fulfilment of relevant normative acts, study of cases of violations of disciplinary norms, assessment of the security of internal system and analysis of related risks etc.
State Security Service of Georgia
In 2015, Georgia has undergone major institutional reforms in law-enforcement and security spheres by separating the state security agencies from the MIA, with the aim to establish effective and democratic functioning of the security system, as well as to maintain the public trust. The reform was achieved in the course of reforming process conducted with the active involvement of the public sector and civil society.
As a result of reform, the Law of Georgia on “State Security Service of Georgia” and the subsequent package of legislative changes were adopted by the Parliament of Georgia. According to the law, on 1st of August 2015
the State Security Service of Georgia officially commenced functioning.
Functions and Missions
The mandate, functions and authority of the State Security Service have been clearly defined at the legislative level. According to the Law of Georgia on “State Security Service of Georgia”, the State Security Service is the
system of special-purpose institutions of executive branch directly subordinated to the Government of Georgia, which ensures state security within its scope of competence.
The main directions of activity of the Service for ensuring state security include the following:
- to protect constitutional order, sovereignty, territorial integrity and military potential of Georgia from illegal acts of special services and certain individuals of foreign countries;
- to detect unconstitutional, violent change of constitutional order and state authority of Georgia and ensure their protection;
- to ensure economic security of the country;
- to fight against terrorism;
- to fight against transnational organized crime and international crime, containing threats to state security;
- to carry out measures towards prevention, detection and suppression of corruption;
- to protect state secrets, conduct measures to ensure the protection of state secrets as provided by the legislation of Georgia and monitor their implementation;
- to protect the country from external threats.
The mission of the State Security Service is to ensure a secure environment for the citizens of Georgia. The Service is guided by the interests of the state and its citizens. The activities of the Service are carried out in the manner that ensures equal protection of state security as well as fundamental rights and freedoms of an individual. The SSSG implements its activities based on the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the principles of political neutrality and impartiality.
Structure and Organisation
The SSSG mainly consists of following structural entities: Administration, Counterterrorism Center and Anti-Corruption Agency, General Inspection, Counterintelligence, State Security, Information-Analytical, Operative
Measures, Economic, Special Operations Departments, Facilities Protection and Human Resources Main Divisions and LEPL Operative-Technical Agency of Georgia.
Based on the best practices of foreign countries, Georgia has chosen the organizational model for the Service that ensures the establishment of the new and more democratic system. The law envisages the mechanism for ensuring political impartiality of the Service, namely: the Head of the SSSG shall neither be a political figure nor a member of the Government; the Head of the Service can be appointed and dismissed only by the Parliament of Georgia. The Head of the Service is appointed for the 6-year term. The Head of the Service shall not be appointed for two consecutive terms.
Herewith, the Law not only establishes the State Security Service as an independent body but also stipulates clear legal mechanisms for ensuring public oversight and democratic standards (see section “Oversight”).
The SSSG attaches great importance to the enhancement of the professional development of its employees. The Service ensures training/retraining of its personnel by implementing the various specialized educational
programs. In addition, various training activities, seminars and study visits are being conducted periodically, in order to increase the qualifications and professional capacities of the personnel of SSSG. The support of international partners should be specifically underlined in this regard.
The separate chapter under the Law of Georgia “On State Security Service of Georgia” is devoted to the internal and external oversight mechanisms over the activities of the SSSG, including the Parliamentary, the Governmental, the Court oversight, the Prosecutorial, the State Audit Service control as well as the internal control mechanisms over the activities of the SSSG personal.
One of the main accountability mechanisms is the Head’s obligation to appear before the Parliament with the annual report. The Parliament either agrees with the report or provides necessary recommendations for eliminating deficiencies revealed therein.
Furthermore, the Parliamentary Group of Trust has been determined as the institutional mechanism to have access to secret information of the Service. It should be emphasized that the Group of Trust is staffed with the
members of the Parliamentary majority and opposition.
On the basis of requests, the representatives of the SSSG participate in Parliamentary Committees meetings, present information and explanation on different issues within the competence of the Service. Besides, members of the Parliament have the right to put forward questions to the agency before the Parliament.
In the context of external control over the activities of the SSSG, oversight functions of the Ombudsman and the Inspector of the Personal Data Protection and their access to state secrets are worth mentioning. According to the law, the Ombudsman is granted a guaranteed right to security clearance, upon his/her election at the post. Hence, the Ombudsman within his/her competence is authorized to have access to any information, including the information containing state secrets and thus, to conduct oversight over the activities of the SSSG.
Based on international experience, the Service also performs investigative functions. It’s noteworthy that, when the Service runs the investigation, it is guided by those legal norms, which are established by the legislation of criminal procedure. Therefore when the Service is carrying out activities as an investigative body, the Prosecutor General of Georgia and the prosecutors subordinated to him/her conduct oversight on accurate and consistent execution of the law, as provided by the law.
Besides, the Law clearly defines that the investigative and procedural activities limiting human rights and freedoms, recognized by the Constitution of Georgia, shall be carried out on the basis of a decision of the court, as provided by the law. Moreover, according to the legislation of Georgia, the court (judge) presiding in such criminal, administrative and civil law cases that involve information containing state secrets, ensures protection of those state secrets.
Furthermore, the legislation envisages effective oversight mechanisms over the covert investigative activities implemented by the Government, the Parliament’s Defense and Security Committee (in particular by the Group
of Trust), the Courts, the Prosecutor’s Office, Data Protection Inspector and etc.
The State Audit Service shall conduct oversight on using and spending funds of the state budget of Georgia and other material values of the state by the SSSG.
Additionally, the Law regulates the internal control mechanism over the activities of the SSSG employees conducted by the General Inspection of the SSSG.
Data Exchange Agency
Functions and missions
The Georgian Data Exchange Agency (DEA) started its operation on January 4, 2010. The agency operates under the status of a LEPL and is governed by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. DEA's overall activity is divided into several directions. Each of them bears equal importance and strives to support the following fields: E-governance development, creation and installation of unified Georgian Governmental Gateway (3G) and its monitoring, establishment of data exchange infrastructure. Setting ICT standards for public sector entities and elaborating information security policies are the agency's another important responsibility.
Subsequently, the agency's core functions can be split into 3 directions:
- Data Exchange Infrastructure;
- Information Security.
Structure and Organization
CERT.GOV.GE operates under the Data Exchange Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and is responsible for handling critical incidents that occur within Georgian Governmental Networks and critical infrastructure. CERT.GOV.GE started its operations in January 2011. Since the National CERT does not operate in Georgia at this moment, CERT.GOV.GE handles all critical computer incidents, which occur in the country.
CERT.GOV.GE specializes in identifying, registering and analyzing critical computer incidents, issues recommendations and conducts prompt responses to such occurrences. CERT.GOV.GE’s activities are important for minimizing critical computer incidents throughout the country. CERT.GOV.GE plays a significant role in raising the awareness of information security issues within the country.
- Alerts and warnings;
- Incident handling;
- Security audits and assessments;
- Educational training and workshops;
- Intrusion detection services;
- Criminal Justice System.
Criminal Justice System
The court system in Georgia consists of District Courts, an Appeals Court and the Supreme Court. Each level has again three panels of judges – for civil, criminal and administrative cases.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia carries out criminal prosecution as well as oversight over pre-trial investigation performed by other investigative agencies. The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has an investigative сompetence over corruption, money laundering and other serious offences as well. It consists of the Office of the Prosecutor General, two offices in the Autonomous Republics of Abkhazia and Adjara, eight Regional Offices and 30 District Offices. The Office of the Prosecutor General is at the top of the hierarchical structure and coordinates the system.