On July 31st, 2013, the meeting of the representatives of the public agencies of the Ministry of Justice and civil society organization was held with the initiative of the Analytical Department of the Ministryof Justice, USAID, and Good Governance in Georgia (G-3) program and Institute for development of Public Information (IDFI) at the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
The aim of the meeting was to introduce the draft decree of the Government of Georgia (GoG) on “Electronic Request of Public Information and Proactive Disclosure” that has been created based on recommendations of the civil society as well as comments of the public authorities.
The meeting was attended by the officials of the several Agencies of the Ministry of Justice, MoJ Legal Entity “Data Exchange Agency”, National Agency of Public Registration, experts of NGOs working on freedom of Information: IDFI, TI- Georgia, GYLA, OSGF, representatives of the USAID, G-3 program, and the invited Expert on FOIA of the USAID G3 Program, Dr. Thomas Hart.
Above mentioned Government Decree will be imposed on the Government agencies such as: Government Chancellery, State Ministry Apparatus, subordinated Public Authorities, Legal Entities of the Ministry, and Government special military agencies of the administrative bodies. In line with the Decree, administrative bodies are obliged to publish public information proactively with its capacities on their (appropriate) online resources from 1st September to 31st of December 2013.
As stated by the Secretary of the Anti – Corruption Council the draft decree would be submitted to the Government on 1st of August. She explained that the Decree provisions are more flexible to facilitate the public authorities to commence their actions under their capacities in terms of the new decree. To be elaborated other specific details and to tackle technical issues, the Ministry of Justice plans to develop necessary measures to implement the above mentioned decree that will be envisaged under the OGP Action Plan.
The participants of the meeting have been discussing technical terms of proactive disclosure of the information as well as possibilities to create general form for electronic requests and others.
In the end of the meeting, the workshop round table was planned to organize, in order to discuss several technical issues, which will promote public authorities to implement the terms of the GoG Decree, which will advance transparency and accountability towards the society.
The meetings are planned in the framework of the “Institute for Development of Freedom of Information” (IDFI) and the “USAID”, G-3 Program project “Improving of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Increasing Public Awareness on FOIA”. The goal of the meetings is to promote establishment of effective access of public information mechanisms, cooperation of civil society and the government on improvement the public information requests and procedures and increasing broadly public awareness on the forms and regulations on FOIA.
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