One of the major activities of IDFI include civic control and monitoring of activities and policy of various public institutions
Accessibility of the Public Information
In order to display the level of openness of government and accessibility of public information, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information had been requesting various types of information about the state expenses within the frames of the “Public Information Database – opendata.ge” project. Through this project, organization analysts had been analyzing and processing the received data together with establishing the level of information transparency of hundreds of public institutions. In most cases, detailed analysis produced by IDFI had been the primary source of informing the society. For example, analytical materials had been prepared on the following issues: expenses of constructing the new parliament building, court statistics of 2012-2013, incomes and bonuses of the Ministers and other high officials, events financed from the budget of various ministries etc.
In order to ensure the active participation of the citizens in monitoring the policy state is pursuing and requesting the public institution, IDFI had commenced assisting the society in this field. In particular, every stakeholder was authorized to consult with the experts and lawyers of the organization, who helped them in forming the information request. Furthermore, IDFI ensured obtaining the needed information from relevant public institutions. This way, organization contributed to making the citizens more active in monitoring the transparency of government.
Mentioned strategy vividly increased the number of persons, interested in such information, thus resulting in interest from the NGO and public sectors. The attendance of then Prime-Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, ministers, representatives of public institutions, international and non-governmental organizations as well as media proved that there is increased interest towards the issues, brought up by IDFI. Organization presented the most accountable and the least open public institutions based on the July, 2012 – June 2013 data.
Process of Digital Switchover
One of the major challenges Georgia faces is the process of digital switchover. In order to ensure the efficiency of this process and to display the presumable obstacles, the experts of the institute were monitoring the ongoing processes. With the aim of fulfilling the taken commitments, IDFI team had been monitoring the events conducted by state and the ministries during 2013. Based on these, team has prepared number of studies and reports about the various aspects of this issue; including information campaign and financial support of this process, references and beneficiaries of the state policy aimed at subsidizing Georgia’s transition to digital broadcasting, policy of regulating the competition, technical and technological aspects, digital network multiplex access tariffs, Georgian strategy of digital switchover and recommendations.
Simultaneously to the development of the modern technologies, the importance of e-governance increases. E-democracy standards are being gradually established in Georgia, thus obliging the civil society to monitor the newly introduced state services, in order to ensure that the interests of the society are fully considered and the major challenges are displayed. Hence the analysts of the organization have elaborated the comprehensive methodology of assessing and monitoring the communication of the state institutions with the citizens. Based on the methodology, organization team assessed how the state institutions utilize social networks, official online recourses, telephone and whether these institutions possessed the comprehensive communication strategy.
Simultaneously to preparing the researches and studying the discovered tendencies, analysts also prepared blog-posts in order to make the users familiar with the newly-discovered tendencies. Organization was also conducting the public discussions and the presentations with the same aim.
Open Government Partnership
Within the frames of the international initiative “Open Government Partnership” (OGP) Georgian Government has taken significant commitments. In particular, government has decided to:
IDFI has been monitoring and studying the compliance of Georgian Government activities with the OGP action plan, as well as conducting the meetings with the representatives of governmental and non-governmental sector, providing society with the information around this issue.
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