On February 12th, 2016, the first meeting of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance took place at the Palace of Parliament of Georgia. The Chairperson of the Parliament David Usupashvili lead the meeting attended by the MPs, representatives of the non-governmental and international organizations.
The Chairperson of the Parliament, David Usupashvili chairs the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance. It was determined that in case of Chairperson’s absence, MP Guguli Maghradze will serve as a chairperson of the Parliamentary Council.
David Usupashvili claimed that working on legislative openness has intensified in past 2 years, the Parliament of Georgia has achieved a significant progress in this direction and gained a worldwide acknowledgment. Inter-Factional Working Group of the Parliament of Georgia received the OGP’s Champion’s Award at the OGP Global Mexico Summit 2015. The Chairperson of the Parliament underlined the role of the partner non-governmental and international organizations in the achieved success.
“I would like to congratulate received recognition of our work at the OGP Global Mexico Summit 2015, when the Parliament of Georgia was recognized as a leader parliament in this direction [openness, transparency]. The role of the MPs is very big in the process. Although it won’t be mistaken to say that the role of the partners – representatives of non-governmental and international organizations is even bigger. Their focused and well-though out tactic, cooperation, recommendations or initiatives were decisive for us to make this topic a priority of the Parliament of Georgia. Also, involvement of our international partners is very important, NDI, UNDP and others who were engaged in the above-mentioned project and are ready to still stand by us.” – David Usupashvili addressed the attendees.
The Chairperson of the Parliament noted that the commitments laid out in the Open Parliament Action Plan 2015-2016 are very ambitions, therefore fulfillment of them requires immense work. However, as David Usupashvili said the legislative openness, possibility of engagement in the parliamentary work for the stakeholders, etc. is a priority of the Parliament of Georgia, thus urged the participants of the meeting for their active engagement.
“The Council in inter-factional, every political group is represented in it and everyone’s engagement is very important.” – David Usupashvili noted.
Director of Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) outlined the perspectives that Open Government Partnership (OGP) opens up for the members. He said that establishment of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance (initiated by IDFI) is a big step forward, since the Council will be responsible on elaboration of the Strategy and the Action Plan of the Parliament of Georgia, coordination and monitoring of the implementation process, invitation of experts and working groups, reporting to the Bureau of the Parliament of Georgia, etc. Giorgi Kldiashvili highlighted the personal role of the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia in the process of elaboration and implementation of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan 2015-2016.
Regulation of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance was adopted at the meeting. Moreover, stuff of the Consultative Group (established to support the work of Permanent Council) was determined and three working groups (Freedom of Information and Technologies, Citizen Engagement, Accountability) were established, members of which will be focused on the implementation process of the Action Plan.
MP Tamar Kordzaia expressed her gratitude to the NGOs: “If not your engagement the Regulation would be different. The pivotal topic which was initiated is reflected in the Regulation.” According to her, stuff of the Consultative Group will be approved by the protocol.
The project “Supporting the Parliament of Georgia in Implementation of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan” financed by the programme of the UNDP and EU and implemented by IDFI, is supporting the work of the Permanent Parliamentary Council and its Consultative Group.