IDFI at Open Government Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogues

8 Aug

Giorgi Philipins 1The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. The Regional Dialogue provides an important opportunity for reformers to come together on annual basis to exchange open government experiences, and share best practices and latest news with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Like 2015, IDFI Director Giorgi Kldiashvili also participated at 2016 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue hosted by the Asian Development Bank (July 21-22) at their headquarters in Manila, Philippines. Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Nina Khatiskatsi, Deputy Director of Transparancy International in Georgia Giorgi Oniani and representatives of the Ministry of Justice (Secretariat of Open Government Geogia) also participated in the Dialogue. The workshop co-organized by ADB, OGP, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and IBM Philippines brought together over 100 participants from across the region, including civil society partners, OGP Steering Committee representatives and OGP’s multilateral supporters in the region.

The dialogue aimed to raise the ambition level of individual countries’ commitments to open governance, while promoting and deepening collaboration between government and civil society. “OGP member countries in the region can share experiences with one another and reinforce each other’s success in living out the principles of OGP. This dialogue brings together key stakeholders, such as government and civil society, from across OGP’s Asia-Pacific countries, in order to learn from one another and to identify new areas that they each need to work on in their countries. OGP is a journey, and regular meeting and sharing helps to support countries in the process of becoming more open and transparent, and in creating a more engaging government for their citizens,” Haidy Ear-Dupuy, OGP point of contact at the ADB.

The Asia-Pacific region currently has eleven OGP participating countries, including Georgia. Georgia was among the first countries to adhere to the principles of OGP by joining the initiative in September of 2011. This document represents the second Action Plan of Georgia. The Georgian Action Plan is the result of thorough consultation process with local and international NGOs, students and academia throughout the country. Commitments under the Action Plan respond to the following Grand Challenges of OGP: Improving Public Services, Increasing Public Integrity, More Effectively Managing Public Resources and Creating Safer Communities.

Many countries in the region have had a successful record of implementing open governance initiatives. For example, Georgia responded to concerns about government surveillance and wiretapping by following through on a commitment to make that data public.

At the workshop thematic round table discussions covering a range of diverse topics, including open data, fiscal openness, public service delivery, etc was held. On July 22, Giorgi Kldiashvili facilitated the discussion over the Legislative Openness that enabled participants from various countries to represent and talk over the types of reforms they are currently implementing and/or planning in their relevant countries, innovative projects being implemented outside OGP platforms and any commitments on which they wished for feedback.

Giorgi Philipins 2

Changes of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure

24 May

After 4 months of work the Georgian Parliament’s Permanent Council on Open and Transparent Governance and its Consultative Group finished developing draft amendments to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure. The draft law was developed based on the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan for 2015-2016 and aims to promote citizen participation in parliamentary activities and enhance the Parliament’s transparency and accountability.
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), as chairman of the Consultative Group, was actively involved in the process. The amendments developed by IDFI were based on three commitments of the Open Parliament Action Plan:
1. Ability to comment on draft laws electronically and / or in writing (commitment 1.1.)
2. Creating a mechanism for electronically submitting and voting on legislative proposals and initiatives on the Parliament website (commitment 1.2.)
3. Uploading documents in easy to use formats to the Parliament website (for commitment 3.1.)

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Concept for Electronically Submitting Legislative Proposals and Initiatives to Parliament

16 May

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On March 5-6, 2016, the Georgian Parliament’s Permanent Council on Open and Transparent Governance adopted a Concept aimed at promoting the implementation of commitment 1.2. of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan. The commitment involves creating a mechanism on the Parliament website for electronically submitting and voting on legislative proposals and initiatives.
The goal of the commitment is to create an e-platform where citizens can submit and vote on legislative proposals and initiatives. Based on the above concept, the Council will then develop draft amendments to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, which serve as legal basis for the implementation of the commitment.

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Concept for Facilitating Access to Parliamentary Information for Persons with Disabilities

13 May

imageOn March 5-6, 2016, the Georgian Parliament’s Permanent Council on Open and Transparent Governance adopted a Concept aimed at promoting the implementation of commitment 2.1. of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan. The commitment involves facilitating access to parliamentary information for persons with disabilities.
The goal of the commitment is to facilitate access to parliamentary information for persons with disabilities by either setting up a new website or making changes to the existing Parliament website. The first phase is to develop the concept and budget plan for such a platform. The Georgian Parliament has committed to do this by September 2016.

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Georgian Parliament Joins OGP Declaration

12 May

SDGsOn September 25, 2015, on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly approved its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The document consists of 17 goals and 169 targets that balance all three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. The agenda is aimed at achieving prosperity, peace and cooperation, all of which are critically important for the planet and humanity.
The goals and targets described in the document are consistent with the objectives of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Therefore, OGP serves as an effective way of implementing the sustainable development goals.
On September 27, two days after the adoption of the sustainable development goals by the UN General Assembly, 11 member states of the OGP Steering Committee adopted the Joint Declaration on Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The declaration welcomes the contents of the Agenda and its recognition of the principles of transparency and open government as crucial tools for ensuring the effective implementation of sustainable development goals. According to the declaration, the Open Government Partnership declares its commitment to:

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