Commissioner and Openness of Public Information - Overview of the Worldwide Practice

News | Rule of Law | Good Governance | Publications | Analysis 5 March 2013

5 March 2013

Author: Constantine Jandjgava

In respect of the regulation of freedom of information on a global scale, there comes the need for considering the general functions, obligations and institutional aspects of the corresponding supervisory organ – Information Commissioner. This is the very topic of the given research. On the example of a number of countries worldwide, we will attempt to give the reader information about the role of the Information Commissioner in the context of openness of public information. 

This topic may become quite timely for the practice of freedom of information in our state as well, since the Georgian legislation does not recognize institute of Information Commissioner. Defining the functions of this organ, which has essentially the qualities of an ombudsman, may be of practical significance while discussing potential legislative changes. The improvement of the openness policy, strengthening of the control of the public authorities, raising awareness of the public officials, increasing of security of the society – this is an incomplete list of the virtues associated with freedom of information. In case of Georgia, if not by introducing apparatus of Commissioner of Public Information, this is more or less achievable through adopting the functional elements of this organ existing in the worldwide countries.
 
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