On 3rd and 4th of June, 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia hosted the European regional conference of “Open Government Partnership” (OGP). On the conference the participants discussed topics such as: Innovation and accountability in OGP, coordination within the government for open government partnership, importance of e-governance, e-resources and open data, legislative openness, public involvement, access to information, OGP working groups, direct country support, etc.
The European government representatives of the OGP participated in the conference. It is remarkable that the Conference was opened by representatives from three branches of state. Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Davit Usupashvili, along with the other representatives, addressed to the participants of the International conference. The chair of the parliament noted that:
“The state governance must be for the open citizens and we, the ones who are trusted to solve public issues, must always feel accountable in front of our citizens and must try not to only inform but to involve them in the governing process. At the same time, our experience assured that adoption of a law is an important step forward, but is not enough to be implemented in real practice. That’s why I’m proud to be the representative of that political power, that recently took most important and effective steps in this direction and today the “young state” by our comparison is among the leading states.
It is obvious that, this process could not remain without the attention of Parliament and I want to mention with satisfaction, that representatives of the Georgian Parliament were among those who represented new initiatives about the Legislative and Parliament Openness at the forum in Santiago 2014, which is connected to the process of Open Government Partnership in the whole world”. The chair of the Parliament of Georgia also mentioned that various activities were implemented in the legislative branch of Georgia regarding the Parliamentary Openness and in the nearest future the Action Plan of the Parliament of Georgia would also be added to the Action Plan of the Government of Georgia. He said that the Inter-Factional Group was working hard to draw out the Action Plan.
Inter-Factional Group of the Parliament of Georgia was established in February 2015, in order to implement the principles of the Open Government. The Inter-Factional group consists of 11 members of parliament. In the frames of the Open Parliament Working Group, the Inter-Factional Group cooperates with the International and Non-governmental organizations. Parliament of Georgia and the Non-governmental and International organizations participating in the Open Parliament Georgia Working Group, signed the Memorandum about cooperation. Georgia joined the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness. The Open Parliament Georgia Working group held three meetings, the first draft of the Open Parliament Action Plan is drawn out and the meetings and the public consultations with the citizens has started in order to discuss the topics of the Action Plan and for further popularization of the issues of the Parliamentary Openness. In the nearest future, the Open Parliament Georgia Working Group plans to more frequently meet with the citizens in order to discuss the commitments regarding the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan.
The Open Parliament Georgia Working Group was established within the frames of the project of “Supporting Parliament of Georgia Involvement in Open Government Partnership”. The project is implemented by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) with the partnership of the Parliament of Georgia within the joint project of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) “Strengthening the System of Parliamentary Democracy in Georgia”.