On 26th December, 2013, with the support of the USAID G- 3 program, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) organized a policy discussion initiated by the Anti–Corruption Council of Georgia at the Hotel Sharaton Metekhi Palace.
The Policy discussion was devoted to the evaluation report of the Open Government Partnership OGP 2012- 2013 Action Plan and the development of the OGP 2014- 2015 Action Plan of Georgia. The meeting was attended by the representatives of public institutions, non-governmental organizations and independant experts.
The discussion was opened by Rusudan Mikhelidze, Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Council of Georgia and Giorgi Kldiashvili, Director of IDFI, who spoke about the developments and issues posed at the London OGP Annual Summit. The information regarding Georgia’s nomination for the Bright Spots Prize amongst 7 countries was highlighted as the outcome of the commitment guaranteed by the Government Decree about proactive disclosure of public information by the public authorities, e-request and improvement of service systems in Georgia.
In the first half of the discussions, Rusudan Mikhelidze presented the self assessment report of the OGP 2012- 2013 Action Plan prepared based on the information received form corresponding public institutions and intensive consultations.
Ms. Mikelikdze spoke in great detail about the OGP Action Plan self assessment analysis comprised of different criteria, result-oriented approach, relevance and coherence with the OGP principles. Particularly, the number of public authorities that completed either fully or partially or failed to complete their assumed commitments was highlighted.
The participants of the discussions had the opportunity to hear comments regarding the implementation of the obligations of the Action Plan from the corresponding institutions.
The second half of the day was devoted to the discussion concerning the issues to be envisaged in the OGP 2014- 2015 Action Plan.
Rusudan Mikhelidze overviewed priority issues to be address in the new Action Plan and pointed out that each objective out of the OGP five Challenges (improvement of the public service, increase of public involvement, effective management of pubic resources, safe environment, increasing the accountability of the private sector) is to be in full conformity with the OGP principles such as transparency, accountability, involvement of the citizens, technology and innovation.
Rusudan Mikhelidze encouraged the representatives of the corresponding public authorities to present one concrete initiative of the corresponding authority to the participants that is likely to be considered in the new OGP Action Plan. This section of the discussion offered the non-governmental organizations opportunities to make preliminary comments regarding the OGP Action Plan and other current relevant issues as well.
At the end of the day, the presentation of the project of rules and guidelines that will contribute in improvement of national level coordination and monitoring mechanism of the NGO Forum was presented. It should be noted that in accordance with the regulations of the Partnership, the action plan should be developed in close consultation with civil society and the support of the general public in accordance with established guidelines and processes.
The participants of the Forum agreed on a meeting in the middle of January for further discussion of the action plan and other issues related to Open Government Partnership.
Georgia is to complete elaboration of the draft OGP 2014- 2015 Action Plan by 31st of March, 2014 and submit it to the OGP Secretariat for comments. The final action plans will be presented to the Open Government Partnership on 30 April, 2014 by the member states.
Policy discussions are held in the frameworks of the IDFI, USAID G-3 program project "Improving freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process and increasing public Awareness of FOIA".
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