An easily accessible public information datasets on a wide variety of public policy and finance topics obtained from over 150 public institutions in Georgia - on February 28, 2018 the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) held the presentation of a new open data platform – www.DataLab.ge.
On December 22, 2017 the Georgian government launched an e-petition platform (ichange.gov.ge). Through the platform, any Georgian citizen is able to create an electronic petition and gather signatures; petitions with a sufficient number of signatures will be sent to the government for consideration. Most importantly, the Georgian government will be obligated to provide responses to citizen petitions and make them publicly available online.
The latest wave of local self-government reform took place in 2014 and involved the adoption of a new Local Self-Government Code. The code introduced direct election of mayors and governors, clear separation of duties between the central and local authorities. Also important was the inclusion of a separate chapter on the mechanisms of self-governance, which introduced new mechanisms (general assembly of a settlement, council of civil advisors) and further refined existing ones (petition, participation in meetings of representative bodies, hearings of public official and municipal council member reports).
On November 14, 2017 Freedom House published an annual report on Internet freedom around the world. Georgia obtained a score of 24 out of 100 and was assessed as “Free” in terms of Internet freedom. The country’s score improved by 1 point compared to 2016.
On October 4, 2017, IDFI representative and E-Governance Direction Lead Teona Turashvili attended the E-Partnership Conference, held in Tallinn, and took part in the panel titled - What is the potential of ICT in increasing transparency of government processes and inclusiveness of civil society. The panel was also attended by civil society and government representatives from Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Parallel to the unprecedented growth of the Internet’s importance in contemporary democratic societies, it is all the more pressing to determine the rules of engagement in this medium. The goal of such regulations is, on the one hand, not to restrict or hamper the use of the Internet and, on the other hand, to protect the interests that in certain cases contradicts freedom of expression.
IDFI has prepared a special guide for Facebook users to help them protect their personal security.
The Parliament of Georgia has recently starting working on amendments to the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting. According to the First Channel of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), the draft law has already been registered in the Parliament.
On June 15, 2017, IDFI organized a workshop on the regulation of blocking, filtering and removal of online content. Representatives of the government, business, media and civil society attended the meeting.
The Georgian government plans to launch an e-petition platform (ichange.gov.ge) in the near future. Through the platform, any Georgian citizen will be able to create an electronic petition and gather signatures; petitions with a sufficient number of signatures will be sent to the government for consideration.
|Media, Internet and Telecommunications|