Improving the Practice of Compliance with the Proactive Disclosure of Public Information Obligation by State Authorities of Georgia

Projects | Completed Projects 25 September 2014

Name of Grant Activity: Improving the Practice of Compliance with the Proactive Disclosure of Public Information Obligation by State Authorities of Georgia
Donor Organization: USAID Good Governance in Georgia Program (G-3)
Grant Recipient: Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
Partner Organization: Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
Grant Agreement No.: 493700.01-14-17-IDFI
Client Contract No.: AID-114-TO-11-00001
MSI Project No.: 493700.01
Type of Grant: Fixed Obligation Grant
Total Grant Amount: GEL 34,779.14 (USD 19 873,80) 
Period of Performance: 25 Sept. – 27 Nov. 2014

 

Objectives:
The objective of this grant is to assist Government of Georgia institutions to effectively manage FOIA compliance, engage civil society in monitoring implementation of FOIA provisions, and publicize information on implementation and constraints to implementation of FOIA provisions.

 

Activities to be provided:

 

1. Study of the implementation process of Proactive Disclosure of Public Information in Georgia

In order to assess the level of online transparency of public sector, IDFI will research official web-sites of the state authorities of Georgia who are obliged by the decree of the Government of Georgia to publish information in the framework of the list accepted by the Government.
Research of the gained data will reveal compliance of the target institutions with the decree of GoG “About the Form of the Electronic Request of Information and Proactive Disclosure of Public Information”.

 

2. A statistical study of GoG’s compliance with the FOIA:

GYLA will request from target institutions (State Chancellery of Georgia, Ministries of Georgia, Offices of the State Minister of Georgia, Parliament of Georgia, and Supreme Court of Georgia) all FOIA requests (both electronic and written) received in 2013-2014 and administrative acts containing an answer in response to those requests.
Based on the documentation received, GYLA will categorize the issues of the most requested information by institution. Thus, by defining the public interest, it will be possible to identify the list which will be recommended for further improving the practice of e- transparency.
By analyzing the answers of institutions on the FOIA request, research team will be able to identify possible areas for improvement which are currently impeding transparent and citizen- oriented activities.

 

3. Case studies of international practice of 3 foreign countries with experience in implanting provisions to more readily disclose public information:

In addition to this study, the IDFI will provide research supplemented by case studies of 3 foreign countries (Italy, New Zealand, Canada), and with experience implementing FOIA provisions. The indicated countries have highest scores in terms of e-information and e-governance according to the latest, 2014 United Nations E-Government Survey.

 

4. Targeted focus groups with civil society organizations:

In order to gather feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of civil society interaction with the GoG institutions vis-à-vis requests for public information and take into account their practice and experience in this regard, three focus groups will be organized: two in Tbilisi and another in Adjara. NGO, media and civil society representatives from different regions will be invited to these events.

 

5. Workshop on best practices of disclosing public information for the GoG’s FOIA officers:

A workshop will be held with GoG stakeholders to present best practices revealed from the above-mentioned case studies and to present the combined statistical and focus group findings.

 

6. Providing recommendations for improving FOIA provision practice in Georgia:

Based on research findings, IDFI & GYLA will present a set of recommendations with the aim of improving the partner GoG institutions compliance with FOIA provisions. The package of recommendations will be delivered to all target public institutions.

 

Key Assumptions:

As a result of the activities conducted within the framework of the project:

  • Paper on FOIA compliance by focus GOG institutions will be published;
  • The new list of the public information to be proactively published will be identified;
  • Paper on international experience on disclosing public information will be published;
  • Recommendation paper on improving FOIA compliance by GoG institutions will be worked out. 

 

Work Plan:

 

 Detailed project budget:

 

/public/upload/projects/IDFI-Budget-9-19-2014-UPD.pdf

 

Activities Carried Out Withing the Project