On November 8, 2016, IDFI and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program Governing for Growth (G4G) organized a workshop by the name of Dialogue between the Public and Private Sectors.
The workshop was held in Hotel Betsy. Participants included individuals working on drafting legal amendments and in the Parliament of Georgia and Ministries of Finance, Justice, Environment Protection and Economy.
The goal of the meeting was to promote talks with private sector and to advance awareness about it in public entities during reform processes.
The meeting was opened by Natalia Beruashvili, deputy head of the program USAID/G4G, and the director of IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili. They spoke about the importance, value and goals of the project (Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) Quality Tracking in Georgia) and once again urged the public sector to become more transparent and involve private sector during the reform implementation process.
„Out of the 24 evaluated draft laws only 3 received a high score: the Estonian model, Law on Innovations, and Waste Management Code. Therefore, we suggest public institutions to become more transparent, because effective dialogue between the public and private sectors is still a challenge in Georgia“, – Giorgi Kldiashvili.
Participants discussed the following issues: civil society’s role and place in the public policy making process; Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) Quality Tracking in Georgia; methodology of Public-Private Dialogue Tracking and the outcomes of the first year; the role of civil servants in the process of ensuring dialogue between public and private sectors and existing challenges; and regulatory impact assessment in Georgia.
During the introduction, participants discussed the importance and role of civil society involvement in the public policy making process. The deputy chief of the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) Irina Guruli presented the results of research conducted by her organization about existing mechanisms of dialogue between the public and private sectors. According to Guruli: “In Georgia existing mechanisms have less structural, informal character, the circle is not yet specified and meetings are adapted on concrete needs. In addition, on the one hand, the information provided to the private sector rather than later, and on the other hand, the private sector tends to be passive in the advocacy process“.
At the meeting IDFI’s lawyer Nino Merabishvili presented the first year results of IDFI’s 3 year project titled Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) Quality Tracking in Georgia. Research showed that in the absence of direct legal obligations for inclusive consultation during initial stages of policy formulation, most representatives of the public sector do not see the need for ensuring dialogue with the private sector.
The first year Report evaluated the level of dialogue between the public and private sectors in case of 24 draft laws with significant economic impact that were initiated in 2014-2016. From these draft laws, only 3 received the highest score: Draft Law on Amendments to the Tax Code (corporate income tax, Estonian model), Draft Law on Innovations, and Waste Management Code.
IDFI’s research showed that, there is a general lack of understanding for the need as well as practical application of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) in Georgian reality, even in the case of draft laws with substantial economic impact.
Maia Grigolia, research director of the Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG), spoke about theoretical aspects of Regulatory Impact Assessment and her research on the topic of Corporate Income Tax. Grigolia discussed issues, such as RIA’s significance and importance, its benefits and stages of its implementation.
Towards the end of the workshop, Tamar Iakobidze, IDFI’s Direction Lead on Public Policy and Participation, moderated the final discussion. Participants made concluding remarks on the challenges of Public Private Dialogue and pointed out the following problems: the need to facilitate this dialogue and identify relevant stakeholders in case of each reform, private sector’s advocacy skills, importance of outside help in order to achieve effective dialogue, existence of a legal obligations to have a dialogue, lack of activity in the private sector, lack of institutionalization of dialogue mechanisms, the need from the side of the private sector to differentiate between private profit and public good, importance of having a cooperative instead of a confrontational attitude and so forth. Participants also mentioned PPD success stories.
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