On 30 August 2019, at the session of the Legal Issues Committee, the Parliament of Georgia discussed the legislative proposal on the amendments in the laws on the National Archival Fund and the National Archives and on the Personal Data Protection presented by the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, Giorgi Kldiashvili (N1-7153/19; 10.04.2019).
In the decision of April 4, 2019, the Tbilisi City Court fully granted the appeal of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) against the National Archives of Georgia – LEPL of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. The court ordered the respondent party to disclose information on the number of applications received with the request of accessing archival documents and relevant decisions taken. The National Archives of Georgia was directed to disclose the information even though they did not process the statistical data requested by IDFI.
IDFI in cooperation with the Kaspi Municipality opened memorial plates in honor of theMembers of the National Councils and the Constituent Assembly of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia: Leo and Grigol Natadze, Nikoloz Katsiashvili and Revaz Gabashvili in the central square of KaspiMunicipality.
Head of Archival and Soviet Studies at IDFI Anton Vacharadze presented about the First Democratic Republic of Georgia and Sovietization. He spoke about the events of 100 years ago, as a result of which the Democratic Republic of Georgia ceased to exist and the country became part of the Soviet Union.
IDFI is implementing several projects aimed at raising awareness about the Democratic Republic of Georgia and commemorating the 100th anniversary of its creation. One such project involves publishing a memorial album featuring Nikoloz (Karlo) Chkheidze, a prominent politician of the time.
Although transparency and accountability constitute declared proprieties on the political agenda of the Government of Georgia, the country still stands considerably behind in regards with access to historical archives as compared to other Eastern European states.
Identification of burials and remains of the victims of the Soviet-era terror is a demanding challenge for the post-Soviet countries. Many of these countries have started searching for such burial sites not at all recently, several mass burial sites have already been found and these countries have paid tribute to the repressed. There was no such precedent in Georgia as of yet, the search for burial sites and graves in the 1990s were largely in vain due to the destruction of archives and lack of information.
In 2018, Executive Director of IDFI, Giorgi Kldiashvili, Programs Director Levan Avalishvili and Archives and Soviet Studies Direction Head, Anton Vatcharadze participated in the international project of the of the Policy Studies Institute CEVRO which included the publishing of a collection of articles on the steps taken to establish a democracy from the Soviet authoritarian regime in Georgia.
It is important for Georgia to develop legislation of high standards on the freedom and accessibility of information. the country should adopt the "Lustration" law and support the study of totalitarian epoch, archival materials and the youth participation in this process. It is also necessary to specify the concept of "personal data" in relation to archival documents.
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), together with an international network of archive experts and with the financial support from the Open Society Institute - Budapest Foundation, developed a methodology to evaluate the openness of state archives. The evaluation was done on 20 state archives in 10 post-Soviet countries.