World parliaments are seeking new ways in achieving openness, transparency and accountability. A day ahead of the Global Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in Georgia, the Parliament of Georgia hosted a high level international discussion on legislative openness.
Open Government Partnership (OGP) was launched on September 20, 2011, at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. As of today, it is composed of 76 member countries. OGP is a multilateral international initiative that aims to secure specific commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizen participation in the decision-making processes, fight corruption, secure effectiveness and accountability of governments and harness new technologies to strengthen open governance.
The Parliament of Georgia has finalized the elaboration of its commitments for the 2018-2019 Open Parliament Action Plan, which include: supporting the implementation and monitoring of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, increasing accountability before the citizens, developing deeper awareness of the public on parliamentary democracy, and strengthening its oversight of the transparency of Government activities.
The main challenge facing access to open data in Georgia is the absence of relevant legislative framework and standards. Due to this problem, the list of data that made available by public institutions in an open and reusable format is low. Even though Georgia does have a state open data portal, public institutions are not obligated to publish their data on this website.
The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), with support from Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), held a presentation of the draft law and monitoring results of the work of the Constitutional Court of Georgia.
Winners of the Youth Contest – Your Idea for Open Parliament have been revealed. Ideas submitted by Rusudan Mgeladze, Kalenike Uridia and Shalva Dekanozishvili were approved by the Permanent Council on Open and Transparent Governance and will be reviewed during elaboration process of the third Open Parliament Action Plan for the years of 2018-2019.
On April 27-28, IDFI hosted an international conference titled: Enhancing the Openness of State Archives. The event enabled more than 30 archivists from over 20 countries to share their experiences on the accessibility of archival documents to the public. Topics discussed at the conference included: the best international practice of archive openness; legal regulations and practice of access to archives; access to state security archives; challenges in accessing archives; and archive openness in post-soviet countries.
A new, two-year project supported by the European Union (EU) will increase the independence and capacity of the Prosecution Service of Georgia (PSG). Enhancing the accountability of the PSG and empowering information exchange between the government, civil society, media and public on the ongoing major reforms in the system.
Parliamentary openness, commitments implemented as part of the Open Parliament Action Plan (AP) and new ideas for Georgia’s third AP were the focus of an information campaign carried out over the months of March and April in six cities of Georgia.
In 2017 democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades, according to independent watchdog Freedom House, as fundamental human rights, the rule of law and civil society came under attack around the world. For open government advocates the reaction has been palpable as hard-won gains were eroded in many countries, and the political champions for openness on the global stage struggled to face down the rise of closed government.