In September of 2011 Georgia joined the international initiative ‘Open Government Partnership – OGP’, initiated by the president to the USA Barack Obama. The Open Government Partnership is a very important platform for developing the openness, accountability and transparency of the government, as well as enhancing citizen engagement, innovations and technologies through government-society cooperation. There are 60 countries in OGP.
In April of 2012 Georgian government presented the 2012-2013 action plan within the frames of OGP. Coordinating the OGP participation is the responsibility of the Anti-Corruption Council (the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice). Within the frames of the commitments taken under the action plan, Georgia has implemented important changes in terms of open governance, freedom of information, transparency and achievements in anti-corruption issues. Three prestigious prices of the United Nations can be considered as the success achieved within the frames of the commitments (project of the Public Service Hall under the category of improving the public service; Electronic system of state procurements and the online platform of the assets declaration of the high officials as the mechanism for preventing the corruption).
Within the frames of OGP and the support of the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, important changes were implemented in the fields of improving the freedom of information; In particular, the proactive disclosure of public information and introduction of standards of e-request of information. After the successful implementation of the commitments, Georgia was named as one of the most successful countries; On the OGP London summit of 2013 Georgia, as one of the finalists of OGP Bright Spot’, presented the achievements in the freedom of information field, as the best example of fulfilling the commitments.
Barack Obama put emphases on the success of Georgia within the frames of Open Government Partnership. In his statement, concerning the inauguration of the president of Georgia, he talked about the progress that Georgia has made within the few years. Among the achievements he listed the participation of Georgia in the Open Government Partnership (OGP): “Georgia is making significant progress in consolidating democratic institutions, including through its commitments under the Open Government Partnership and its promotion of women’s participation in public life, and is moving forward on the path to fulfilling its Euro-Atlantic aspirations”.
Due to the success Georgian government has achieved, it has a chance to become the member of the Open Government Partnership steering committee. On this stage Georgia has to present the renewed version of the OGP action plan which will include the activities of 2014-2015. In order to achieve the steering committee membership, the high official of the government must be involved in the OGP issues.
We believe that on the primary stage of elaborating the new action plan, for the success of the process, it is especially important to ensure the active participation of the whole government as well as the prime minister. We believe that the Georgian government must emphasize the priority of the OGP issues and take the commitments which will be connected to the declared principles of OGP. Government must provide the maximum engagement of public institutions and the society in these processes.
Considering the importance of OGP, we (members of OGP Georgia forum) believe that meeting with the Prime Minister must be organized in order to make you more familiar with the challenges and prospects of OGP. We hope to hear from you the plans and future prospects of Georgian government in regards of the OGP.
Members of the forum:
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