Project Title: “Improving Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Process and Increasing Public Awareness of FOIA”
Project Funded: USAID, Good Governance in Georgia (G-3)
Project Budget: 182 038,01GEL
Project Duration: June 2013- January 2014
Partner Organizations: Transparency International Georgia, Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)
Project Description: Institute of Development of the Freedom of Information (IDFI) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Good Governance in Georgia (G-3) program, is implementing a joint project “Improving Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Process and Increasing Public Awareness of FOIA”.
The project is aimed at improving effective mechanisms and processes accessing public information in Georgia. The project promotes cooperation between civil society and government officers, in addition to increasing citizens’ awareness on regulations and procedures on request and access of public information.
In the project framework of promoting the best practices accessing public information, legislation guarantees the design of a pilot web-based page on proactive publication of public information for GoG institutions. Plans are also developed for publishing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Procedural Manual for Government use. In addition, to increase accountability and transparency for state agencies in Georgia, public discussions / informational campaigns are being arranged for diverse society groups on freedom of information.
Project Objectives: IDFI, in cooperation with partner organizations-Transparency International Georgia and Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)and local/international experts, will assist the Government of Georgia (GoG) in establishing improved mechanisms for disclosing public information and citizen access to public information. Furthermore, the project includes public awareness activities to increase and promote citizen understanding on their right to request public information, allowing citizens and other stakeholders to be actively involved in public decision making.
The project’s civic society organizations will be encouraged to closely collaborate with the Prime Minister’ Office, Ministry of Justice and other government institutions to ensure broad policy discussion related to the freedom of information.
Active participation of the GoG, SCOs and citizens related to the access of public information stands as a key process in the Open Government Partnership Action Plan of the Government of Georgia. As a result, it will promote accountability and transparency of Government obligations assumed towards citizens, improving cooperation between both.
· Create a working group ofpartner organizations-TI, EMC,local/international experts and stakeholders, aimed at developing effective recommendations and strategic planning for activities under the framework of the project.
· Work closely with the contracted IT company to develop a recommendation package on proactive publication of public information for 3 partner GoG institutions, who will be provided with designs of web-pages that better disclose requested public information for transparency and access of interested individuals.
· Conduct policy discussions on proactive disclosure of public information with representatives from the Prime minister’s Office (PMO), Ministry of Justice and other government institution officers on FOIA.
· Conduct board workshops / discussions on FOIA and OGP for FOIA officers on the mechanisms of freedom of information, disclosure of proactive public information, and the processes to respond to citizen requests for public information.
· Arrange broad workshops and discussions for target groups based on diverse geographic location, gender, age and ethnic origin. The public discussions are aimed at promoting GoG commitments on freedom of information and open government partnership.
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