On February 5th Ministry of Justice hosted the second Forum of Open Government Partnership (OGP). The meeting was attended by the representatives of government agencies, international organizations and NGO sector. The OGP forum is a consultation mechanism which partakes in elaborating action plan and consults and monitors the implementation of the commitments taken by the Georgian government.
The meeting covered several issues. Mainly, it was devoted to the upcoming activities related to drafting the OGP Action Plan. In particular, the representative of the Data Exchange Agency, the Twinning program expert talked about the www.data.gov.ge portal and workshop held in January 29-30th. One of the key issues is the reform of the FoI legislation, new FoI law and the FoI Commissioner’s Institute that is already declared to be one of the key commitments under the new Action Plan. The representative of Open Society Georgia Foundation, Vako Natsvlishvili discussed the process of elaborating the freedom of information law. The participants discussed the practice of proactive disclosure of information and the efforts that Georgian public institutions have made in this direction. The meeting also covered the issue of putting OGP page banner on the homepage of Ministry of Justice web-page and the effective ways of engaging the citizens in public consultations. Participants expressed various views about how the draft of action plan should be delivered to the public and in what form society should provide their comments. The timeframe for conducting the public consultation was defined from March 15 to April 10.
The Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice made the participants familiar with the sample of commitments taken within the frames of the action plan.
The meeting was ended with the election of the co-chairmen of the forum: Rusudan Mikhelidze – head of the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice will be representing the government while Giorgi Kldiashvili – director of Institute for Development of Freedom of Information will be representing the civil society. Chair persons of the Forum were elected for the Action Plan implementation time period (2 years)
On the next forum meeting (planned on March 5th) Institute for Development of Freedom of Information will present the report about the practice of disclosure of information by the public agencies. Also participant NGO-s took the commitment to provide its recommendations on strategy for public consultation process and about the forms how the Action Plan would look like.