Workshop for the Librarians - OGP and Freedom of Information in Georgia

News | Publications | Open Government Partnership | Article 4 April 2014

On April 3 National Parliamentary Library of Georgia hosted the workshop organized by IDFI in cooperation of with the Librarians Association of Georgia for the libraries from the regions of Georgia and Tbilisi. Director of IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili and the Chairman of the organization Levan Avalishvili held presentations. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the libraries of regions and Tbilisi.

Giorgi Kldiashvili made the attendants familiar with the Open Government Partnership, talked about the important of this initiative and the achievements of Georgia in terms of fulfilling taken commitments.

The meeting paid particular attention to the libraries as major tools of providing civic engagement in regions. In several regional libraries locals can use library facilities - computers and internet free of charge. This mechanism is particularly utilized in those regions which have no Public Centers.

According to Giorgi Kldiashvili, upgrading and renovating the regional libraries is already planned. This way, renovated libraries will provide full and high quality service for the locals. The process will start in four libraries of Georgia – Nukriani, Khidistavi, Khulo and Zugdidi Central Library. These libraries were selected according to the condition of the infrastructure.

The attendants talked about the most problematic issues - low salaries and lack of qualified employees. Some had the idea of restoring the faculty of library studies, as the abolition of this faculty will soon lead to lack of the specialists. Participants emphasized the importance of trainings and workshops on regular bases, since the technologies are developing so fast.

Attendants also concerned the issue of and put emphases on the difficulties one faces in attempts of getting jobs at the public institution. They proposed to make interviews more transparent in order to avoid nepotism and unfair decisions.

Levan Avalishvili made the attendants familiar with the legislation of freedom of information in Georgia. Participants were particularly interested in the definition of the private and public information; issue of publicizing the e-mail correspondences of the Ministers was followed by discussion. Also, participants paid particular attention to the deadlines of receiving information from the public institution.

The workshop was held within the frames of the “Improving Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Process and Increasing Public Awareness of FOIA” project, which is being implemented within the frames of the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) program ‘Good Governance in Georgia (G-3). Total of 13 similar workshops and 9 discussions were conducted within the frames of this project.

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