On May 20, 2017, the first working meeting on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held between representatives of Georgian Ministries and Government Administration. The aim of the meeting was to discuss national targets, indicators and evaluation mechanisms suggested by experts on Goal 16.
Even though the implementation process of the 2015-2016 anti-corruption action plan is already completed, IDFI considers that the revealed gaps should be still taken into consideration while reviewing the results of 2017-2018 action plan monitoring process.
The policy brief stresses the importance of having a dialogue between the public and private sectors on draft laws at the initial stage of their development, before their initiation in the Parliament. The document also provides a small guide to successfully conducting this dialogue.
On May 2, 2017, in the conference room of the Club the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), in cooperation with the Administration of the Government of Georgia and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and with the support from the Government of Sweden and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will host an information session ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Georgia.’
The 2017-2020 Strategy and 2017-2018 Action Plan for Increasing Transparency and Integrity at the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure was adopted by Decree №69/o of the Minister. These policy documents were created through the assistance of the USAID Good Governance Initiative and were developed as a result of close cooperation between IDFI and the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.
Georgian legislation provides for the obligation for public officials to submit their asset declarations annually. Declarations are available on the webpage of the Civil Service Bureau. The system is largely functional. However, there are several shortcomings associated to it. Namely, there is no mechanism in place to verify declared data and identify the cases when inconsistent or deliberately false information is indicated. Which will then result in the liability of public officials.
“Public participation is essential in the process of developing effective legislation. The only tool to evaluate the quality of Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) in the process of developing new draft laws is IDFI’s ongoing initiative” – said Tamar Kapianidze of USAID G4G in her opening remarks at the discussion titled “the Importance of Dialogue with the Private Sector During the Draft Law Concept Development Stage”.
IDFI welcomes the elaboration of new Anti-Corruption Action Plan for 2017-2018. Despite the comprehensive input from the responsible agencies IDFI identified several shortfalls with respect to the reflection of international commitments, derived from the GRECO and OECD-ACN evaluation reports and 2016 London Anti-Corruption Summit Country Statements.
On February 23-24, 2017, at an international conference held in Berlin, the European Freedom of Information (FOI) Commissioners and Ombudspersons signed a joint resolution calling on governments in Europe to protect freedom of information and strengthen the role of information commissioners and ombudspersons in their states.
On March 21, IDFI and the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure held a discussion of the Ministry’s draft Strategy and Action Plan of Transparency and Integrity. The main aim of the event was to present and gather feedback from non-governmental and international organizations on the draft document.