Access to Public Information in Georgia 2019

News | Good Governance | Pressing Issues | Report 30 July 2020

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) has been monitoring the state of access to public information in Georgia since 2010. The work of IDFI has played an important part in strengthening freedom of information in Georgia, identifying key trends and challenges related to access to public information, developing effective civic oversight mechanisms, and raising the level of accountability and open governance in the public sector.

 

The given report includes analysis of access to public information in Georgia in 2019. The report also includes trends of access to public information during 2010-2019 and the rating of public institutions.

 

Main Findings

 

- Out of 6 240 FOI requests sent to public institutions during 2019, IDFI received responses on 5 180 requests (83%); 

 

- Out of 6 240 FOI requests sent to public institutions during 2019, in 3 480 cases (56%) IDFI received the information within the period of 10 days; 

 

 

- During 2019 significant ratio of public institutions (24%) refused to respond or disclose information regarding the internal audit checks. The second least accessible public information was the CVs of those appointed as the advisors of the heads of public institutions and the copies of their contracts;

 

- During 2019 state-owned Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and state Non-Commercial (Non-Entrepreneurial) Legal Entities (N(N)LE) left the highest ratio of FOI requests without response – 74% of unanswered requests; the highest number of complete responses were received from governor administrations – 91% complete responses; 

 

- During 2019 24 public entities provided complete information within the period of 10 days (among them National Statistics Office, Office of the Public Defender (Ombudsman), State Inspector Service); 

 

- IDFI named the whole system of the Ministry of Justice and the subordinate agency of the Ministry of Finance – State Treasury as the most closed public institutions in 2019;

 

 

- Together with the system of the Ministry of Justice and State Treasury 12 other public entities left the requests of IDFI without response (Border Police and 11 municipal self-governing entities, city halls and councils);

 

 

- Among the central public institutions the highest level of access to public information was demonstrated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – 99% and the Parliament of Georgia – 98.3%, while the lowest level of transparency was demonstrated by the Ministry of Justice (4.55%) and the Administration of the Government of Georgia (27.84%); 

 

- During 2019 the Ministry of Finance (+30.6%) and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (+29.92%) showed the highest improvement in regards to access to public information, whereas the highest decrease was observed in case of the Administration of the Government of Georgia (-23,16%);

 

- During the last 5 years the ratio of responses received on FOI requests was the lowest in 2019 (83%);

 

- Compared to 2018, the percentage of complete responses decreased by 7% in 2019, while the ratio of unanswered requests increased by 5%; 

 

- During 2019 the number of public institutions demonstrating 100% access to public information is approximately twice as low compared to the previous year;

 

- The ratio of complete responses received from municipal self-governing entities fell by 10% in 2019, while the number of unanswered requests increased by 11%. 

 

Based on the results of the monitoring conducted by IDFI the picture of access to public information in Georgia continued to aggravate in 2019. However, the 80% baseline of responding to FOI requests set since 2014 was observed. This was mainly due to the high level of accountability demonstrated by a number of public institutions. Namely, such public institutions as National Statistics Office, Office of the Public Defender (Ombudsman), State Inspector Service, Civil Service Bureau and National Intellectual Property Center – Sakpatenti have been demonstrating the highest levels of access to public information throughout the years and thus fully complied with the obligations set by the law. At the same time, a low level of accountability implemented at a number of other public entities (System of the Ministry of Justice, State Treasury, Administration of the Government of Georgia) had a significant negative impact on the overall state of access to public information in Georgia.

 

See the rating of public institutions here.

 

/public/upload/GG/Foi2019ENG.pdf

 

 

/public/upload/GG/FOIone-pager_eng.pdf

 

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This material has been financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida. Responsibility for the content rests entirely with the creator. Sida does not necessarily share the expressed views and interpretations.

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