Public Defender Terms Refusal to Grant Authorization to Demirel College as Illegal
On November 30, 2017, the Public Defender ofGeorgia sent a recommendation to the Board of Authorization of General Educational Institutions. The Public Defender requested to annul the decision, according to which, the Demirel Private College was refused authorization, and to make a new decision as a result of thorough examination of the circumstances of the case.
The study of the case materials showed that the Authorization Board’s decision is contrary to the law, as well as its previous practice. According to the Public Defender, the decision on the refusal of authorization to the Ltd Demirel Private College was made without studying the merits of the case and on grounds of the circumstances that were not fully studied during the administrative proceedings. The obligation to substantiate a decision in writing by indicating the merits of the case was violated as well. It is noteworthy that in the mentioned process, the school was not evaluated according to its curriculum of 2017-2018, but according to the past period, due to which, the procedure turned into the examination of the terms of authorization, which is a completely different legal institution.
The decision of the Authorization Board is mainly based only on experts' instructions, whereas the assessment of facts in the report of the experts’ group, in most cases, is beyond the relevant standard, while several facts are judged incorrectly from the legal point of view. Furthermore, the Board has not fully examined the attached documentation submitted by the Demirel College, which was essential for the objective study of various issues. In many cases, it is unclear violation of which standard was established by the Board, since the measurement of making a decision on authorization is separate satisfaction of each standard.
According to the Public Defender, the Board is directly obliged by the General Administrative Code of Georgia, as well as the Provisions of Authorization of Educational Institutions, to thoroughly study and evaluate all merits of the case and substantiate its decision.
It should be taken into consideration thatproblematic issues for the Board were the violations that served as grounds for individual liability. According to the Public Defender, such actions committed by specific individuals, if any, cannot become the basis for refusal of authorization to an institution, since the purpose of authorization is institutional assessment of the institution and it does not represent a punitive mechanism. Authorization should serve as an institutional assessment of an educational institution, through which it should be determined whether the specific school, as an institution, is oriented to achieving national goals in the field of education and how its resources provide the opportunities for achieving these goals. This mechanism of outer evaluation of the institution provides the opportunity to facilitate permanent improvement of the school and has nothing to do with administrative examination. It is important authorization to serve these aims, though according to the Public Defender, consideration of the issue of the Demirel College went beyond the abovementioned.