The Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance and its Consultative Group held a workshop during May 20-21. In frames of the meeting the members of the council and the consultative group discussed initiatives and recommendations submitted for the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan 2021-2022.
Mariam Kvrivishvili, Chairperson of the Open Governance Permanent Parliamentary Council, Giorgi Kldiashvili – Executive Director of the IDFI and Gigi Bregadze, Democratic Governance Team Leader at the UNDP opened the meeting. Catalin Gherman - Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Georgia also welcomed the participants of the workshop; he underlined the importance of open and Transparent Governance towards strengthening the legislature and expressed hope that cooperation with the civil society organizations (CSOs) and the process of Action Plan adoption will continue to be successful.
The Chairperson of the Council noted that the Open Parliament Action Plan 2021-2022 should be approved in the nearest future. She stressed the importance of OGP principles implementation and development of public engagement mechanisms towards strengthening the working process of the Parliament. Mariam Kvrivishvili thanked the European Union, the United Nations Development Program and the members of the Consultative Group for their active support in the process of promoting openness principles at the Parliament of Georgia.
Director of the IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili expressed appreciation for the active involvement of the Parliamentary Council in the workshop arrangement and action plan elaboration process. Giorgi Kldiashvili underlined the support of the UNDP and the European Union towards strengthening the parliamentary openness.
"As you are well aware, the work of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance and its Consultative Group is a clear example of civil society–government successful cooperation. I am confident that the new composition of the Council will also be actively involved in the process of promoting openness and transparency of the parliament, supporting citizen participation in the legislative processes and encouraging active Parliamentary involvement in the OGP. It is also gratifying that close cooperation with the CSOs continues as usual.
Full majority of the presented action plan commitments have been selected based on the recommendations of the representatives of the Consultative Group. The commitment elaboration process has been quite active, given the pandemic and related restrictions; however, the situation has surely prevented meetings and joint working process, "- said Giorgi Kldiashvili.
In frames of the workshop, the representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), USAID/GGI, National Democratic Institute (NDI), Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia (TI), the Public Defender of Georgia, The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Parliamentary Budget Office presented recommendations and proposals for the Action Plan commitments.
It should be highlighted that the proposed initiatives aim to strengthen the openness of the legislature and increase the proactivity and transparency of the legislative and oversight activities of the Parliament. Majority of the recommendations were addressed to increasing public access to information through the website of the Parliament and to expanding the list of proactively published and easily editable data.
Among the most important issues on the agenda through the workshop were the challenges connected to the effective functioning of the Citizens' Engagement Center of the Parliament. Representatives of the Staff of the Parliament of Georgia informed the members of the Consultative Group about the activities planned by the Parliament towards enhancing transparency and openness. The parties agreed to jointly develop large-scale commitments and cooperate in the implementation process.
The modified initiatives will be reflected in the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan for 2021-2022, that must be approved at the end of this month.
Summing up the meeting, Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia, Kakha Kuchava, thanked the European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) for supporting the work of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance and thanked the members of the Consultative Group for providing innovative initiatives for the Action Plan. Kakha Kuchava underlined the importance of cooperation between the Parliamentary Council and the Consultative Group in the process of increasing the Parliamentary openness, strengthening the citizen engagement mechanisms and raising public awareness.
The workshop of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open Governance and its Consultative Group was held within the scopes of the joint project of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) "Consolidating Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia." The project is closely cooperating with the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) to promote Open Governance Principles at the Parliament of Georgia and the Supreme Council of Ajara (SCA).
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