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Georgia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

In 2018, the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) published the Year 1 Progress Report for Georgia’s third action plan. The report covers the implementation of the action plan from July 2016 through June 2017.

In Georgia, findings from the IRM researchers Lasha Gogidze and Tamar Gzirishvili, are summarized below:

“While Georgia’s third action plan covered a diverse range of topics, a number of commitments were not relevant for opening government. Major achievements include the monitoring system for public officials’ asset declarations and launching of the new Budget Monitor portal by the State Audit Office. Moving forward, adoption of the Freedom of Information Act, transparency in government contracting and institutionalisation of public participation at all levels of government remain a priority.”

And in Georgian:

“საქართველოს მესამე სამოქმედო გეგმა საკითხების ფართო სპექტრს მოიცავდა, თუმცა ზოგიერთ ვალდებულებას მთავრობის ღიაობასთან კავშირი არ ჰქონია. ძირითადი მიღწევებია თანამდებობის პირთა ქონებრივი მდგომარეობის დეკლარაციების მონიტორინგის სისტემისა და სახელმწიფო აუდიტის სამსახურის მიერ ახალი ვებპორტალის − „ბიუჯეტის მონიტორის“ დანერგვა. რაც შეეხება მომავალ ნაბიჯებს, პრიორიტეტად რჩება ინფორმაციის თავისუფლების კანონის მიღება, მთავრობის კონტრაქტების გამჭვირვალობის უზრუნველყოფა და მოქალაქეთა ჩართულობის ინსტიტუციონალიზაცია მთავრობის ყველა დონეზე.”

The two-week public comment period closed Tuesday, 15 May 2018.

Major achievements in Georgia’s third action plan include developing a monitoring system for public officials’ asset declarations, launching a new Budget Monitor portal by the State Audit Office, and adopting an Environmental Assessment Code. Moving forward, the government should prioritize adopting the Freedom of Information Act, improving transparency in government contracting, and institutionalizing public participation.

HIGHLIGHTS

Commitment Overview Well-Designed? *
7. Freedom of Information Law Draft a separate Freedom of Information (FoI) Law and submit it to the Parliament for adoption.

Yes

✪9. Asset declarations monitoring system Create a formal verification mechanism for public officials’ asset declarations.

Yes

✪14. Public participation in audits Launch Budget Monitor portal allowing public engagement in the audit process.

Yes

✪ 16. Environmental Assessment Code

 

Adoption of a new environmental assessment code allowing citizen participation during approval of infrastructure projects.

Yes

*  Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as specific, relevant, and has a transformative potential impact
✪ Commitment is evaluated by the IRM as being specific, relevant, potentially transformative, and substantially or fully implemented.

Process

The OGP Secretariat held 19 public consultations in 15 cities across the country, involving 800 participants. The development process involved multiple national-level government agencies, local governments, and independent agencies. Consultations were mainly in-person.

Performace

Georgia’s third action plan covered a diverse range of topics, though several commitments were not directly relevant to OGP values. Many commitments saw only limited completion at the end of the first year period.

IRM Recommendations

  1. Develop an open government strategy and a policy vision to enhance public participation at all levels of government
  2. Leverage Georgia’s year as lead co-chair of OGP to deliver an exemplary new action plan and model best practices in co-creation and participation in 2018.
  3. Develop a wide-ranging public awareness campaign about the values and benefits of Open Government and OGP.
  4. Adapt and use the Open Contracting Data Standard in conjunction with stakeholder collaboration to increase transparency of government contracts in the licensing of natural resources, privatization and public procurement in infrastructure projects.
  5. Ensure the prompt adoption of the Freedom of Information Law with key provisions provided on universal standards for proactive disclosure in open data format, and the independent oversight and enforcement mechanisms.

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Filed under: IRM Report

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