During 8 months of the project “Public Information Database-www.opendata.ge” IDFI has addressed public authorities with the total of 2193 requests, 1325 of which have been replied completely. Out of 2193 requests sent by the Institute 337 have been left unanswered, 168 have been answered incompletely, there were 18 cases of refusal and in the rest 345 cases the public authorities stated that they either did not have the requested information, or had not carried out the specific action (e.g. projects have not been implemented. In case of such reply both the sent request and the received answer are annulled in the statistics).
In the current period of the project the most replies (1405 out of 1856) have been received within the 10 days period, as prescribed by the Georgian Legislation. However, it is worth mentioning that only in 338 cases was the Institute informed by the public institutions about the need for 10 days period for providing the information. The 10 days period, prescribed by the Georgian legislation was violated in 36% of cases, including the unanswered requests.
The given period of the project went in parallel with the election process in Georgia. It is interesting to observe the effect of the political changes in the country on the practice of release of public information. According to our data, positive trends can be observed in terms of release of public information since the Parliamentary Elections of October 1, 2012. The rate of completely answered requests has increased from 51% before the elections up to 73% after the elections, while the unanswered requests have decreased from 30% to 17% in the same period. There is also considerable progress in terms of complying with the 10 days period. The 10 days period has been violated in 54% of cases before the parliamentary elections, and only in 36% of cases – after.
Note: The data shown in the diagram do not reflect the answers received from the public institutions, according to which they do not possess the requested information or have not carried out the specific action.
The progress of various public institutions in terms of release of the public information is interesting to observe. Since the Parliamentary Elections the Institute has sent most public information requests to the following public authorities: Ministries, Legal Entities of Public Law and the sub-agencies, Offices of the State Ministers, self-governing units and Administrations of the State Representative-Governors. According to our data it is possible to see the real effect of the political changes on the public institutions in the groups given above.
In case of the Ministries the practice of the unanswered requests has decreased by 29%, while the amount of complete answers has increased by 40%.
The political changes had positive effect in terms of release of public information from the Offices of State Ministers as well, which have not left any request unanswered in the period after the elections.
In case of the Legal Entities of the Public Law and sub-agencies the rate of complete answers has increased from 52% before the elections to 70% after, while the unanswered replies decreased from 31% to 16% in the same period.
The regional self-governing unites and the Administrations of the State Representative-Governors have also shown more responsibility in terms of release of public information. In case of the self-governing units, despite the fact that they often had to work in parallel with tense political process, the rate of their complete answers has increased by 22%, and the unanswered requests have decreased by 16%, as compared to the situation before the elections. As for the Administrations of the State Representative-Governors, their complete answers have increased by 8%, while the unanswered requests have decreased by 2%.
As it can be observed from the diagrams shown above, the political changes have had positive effect on the release of public information by the public institutions. The Institute continues to request the information of high public interest from the public institutions and observe whether the positive trend in terms of release of public information, which is evident in the public institutions since the political changes, persists.
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