Open Government Georgia Forum Holds its Next Meeting

Forum meeting Photo: Ministry of Justice

Forum meeting Photo: Ministry of Justice

Open Government Georgia Forum organized another workshop on 3rd of October. Co-chairman of the forum Rusudan Mikhelidze told members about meetings which was held in September within the framework of OGP. During this period high level event was held where prime minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili gave a speech.  For the next day, there was OGP steering committee meeting. Georgia as a new member of committee took place first time. The Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani represented Georgia through the workshop. Georgia was elected as a member of the Steering Committee in 2014.

Mikhelidze  said it was important that the Prime Minister himself has been involved in the partnership and the high level of support for the principles expressed in the OGP.

Mikhelidze  explained to the forum members how the Steering Committee works. There are three under-committee: Peer Learning and Support, Criteria and Standards and Governance and Leadership Subcommittee.  Forum co-chairman said the committee is likely to be willing to Georgia, where it will be possible to share their experiences and best practice in other countries.

Mikhelidze said the steering committee also discussed how they could encourage countries that have not submitted their plans, in addition, it was decided to have its own OGP-‘s ambassadors. Their function will be to disseminate information about the partnership, trust, and respect increase. It is still unclear how ambassadors will be selected.

Ms. Mikhelidze spoke about OGP- Working Group and noted that totally there are of 5 groups – Fiscal Openness Working Group, Legislative Openness Working Group, Access to Information Working Group, Open Data Working Group and Openness in Natural Resources Working Group. According to her, it would be nice if the forum members will be actively involved in the work of these groups.

In addition, Georgia is scheduled to hold a meeting within the framework of the OGP.

“We believe that this is a regional summit. Now we go to the Government after consultation with the Minister of Justice and consider this issue, we must evaluate what resources we have and prepare well, “- said Ms. Mikhelidze.

The co-chairmen of the forum, the Director he Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) George Kldiashvili said that OGP-‘s annual summit should be held in the fall of 2015, which means that the preparatory work should start very soon.

Members of the Forum were interested in the ongoing implementation of the Action Plan. Under the plan, September 20, the Supreme Court should publish surveillance quarterly statistics but there is still not information about this process on the webpage.The representative of the Court said that the statistics will be published after 10 days as a part of other quarterly information.

The forum members received information about an independent evaluation mechanism (IRM) process as well. The report is being  prepared by the representative of Transparency International Georgia, Lasha Gogidze. He shared his IRM- research standards and milestones, which runs through the end of the researcher.

The participants of the Forum agreed that the Action Plan is adopted and reduced, the intensity of the Forum will change and it will take place in every month instead of every two months to monitor the implementation process, it will be important issues in the case of additional lighting in the meeting.

At the end of the forum members saw the video about  OGP. The Video was made within the framework of IDFI project,  funded by USAID Good Governance in Georgia Program (G-3)

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