OGP published IRM Report Regarding Georgia

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The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has officially published the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) reports of implementation of the Action Plan of Georgia of the so called second cohort countries (i.e. countries that joined OGP in April 2012). Among these was the report regarding Georgia, written by an independent expert from Transparency International – Georgia, Lasha Gogidze.

IRM reports are written based on two documents: the action plan of the country and a self-assessment report by the Government of the Georgia. As the Government of Georgia was in the process of preparing the latter, and thus the report for Georgia was written only based on the action plan and its evaluation. To hear what other stakeholders had to say about the process, Lasha Gogidze organized two stakeholder forums in Tbilisi, Georgia, conducted in a focus group model.

The report covers the development and implementation process of the action plan of Georgia within the frameworks of OGP in 2012-2013. It consists of six sections, which give the background, the assessment of the development process of the action plan, consultations during the actual implementation, implemented commitments, a self-assessment checklist and priorities for the future. As noted in the report, Georgia had an ambitious action plan, and while some commitments were implemented successfully, or at least partially, there is still a lot to be done.

According to the data presented, the actual development process of the action plan was not particularly interactive. While the Government of Georgia did hold in-person consultations and regular forums, it failed to provide the timeline and process description in advance, to raise the awareness regarding OGP, hold online consultations and publish a summary of comments. The action plan was developed in cooperation with a small group of CSOs. The report details the while process.

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As stated in the document, the commitments taken by the Government were actually not new (i.e. not designed specifically for OGP), but were instead part of the planned anti-corruption reforms. The report brings the whole list of the commitments taken by Georgia in its first action plan. Out of a total of twelve commitments, three were fully implemented. The document closely examines each commitment, their description, steps taken towards their implementation, their impact, their status as of the end of the 2012-2013 period of OGP and possible future steps.

The consultation process mostly involved consultations with the NGO forum, whose members included Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, Transparency International Georgia, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Media Coalition, Coalition for European Georgia, New Vision Georgia, JumpStart Georgia and US Agency for International Development (USAID). According to Lasha Gogidze, the NGO Forum largely failed to coordinate the implementation process.

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The final section of the report contains recommendations for the measures that can be implemented by the Government of Georgia in the future to ensure a more successful and full implementation of the next action plan that is currently being developed by the Government of Georgia, in close cooperation with CSOs, experts and international organizations.

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