Georgia Becomes Chairing State of the OGP initiative
Georgia became the Chairing State of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative, unifying 75 countries. On September 19th, France fully transferred it Chairmanship to Georgia for one year term at the OGP Steering Committee Meeting held within the framework of the United Nations’ General Assembly.
Georgia was among the first countries joining OGP in 2011. In 2014, the partner states elected Georgia as a member of the OGP Steering Committee, and in 2016 Georgia was appointed as an OGP co-chairing state.
Georgia is among a small number of countries where all branches of the government are involved in the OGP process. Along with the Government of Georgia, the OGP Action Plan is being implemented by the Tbilisi City Hall and the Georgian Parliament. The Supreme Court of Georgia actively participates in the process, proactively publishing the information about the court activities and working on development of a uniform rule for publishing the court decisions.
Currently, the Government of Georgia is implementing the third OGP National Action Plan (2016–2017), which consists of 24 commitments of 24 responsible agencies. The document also includes some of the obligations recommended by the general population — such as the obligations of municipalities on ensuring citizens’ participation in the budget formation process and adaptation of public service halls for the persons with disabilities.
What makes Georgia a distinguished member of the Open Government Partnership?
· The Government of Georgia is one of the most open and transparent governments among the Partnership Member States since 2013. The Resolution of the Government of Georgia obliges public authorities to proactively publish public information in electronic form, without waiting for the request;
· The open governance is the Georgian Government’s basic principle of administration of the country. Since 2012, the large-scale reforms have being implemented in Georgia for the purpose of establishing institutional democracy. The main goal of these reforms is to establish effective state institutions, increase their transparency and openness;
· Georgia is a country with one of the lowest risk factors for corruption in the world — According to Trace International survey, Georgia is ranked 13th among 199 countries in the world, and is ahead of countries like France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Great Britain and Austria;
· In terms of availability of public services, Georgia is exemplary not only regionally but also worldwide — services are accessible, fast and comfortable not only in big cities, but also in villages, thanks to public service halls and community centers.
· Georgia has an exemplary mechanism of participation of citizens in the OGP processes — the Open Government Forum — Georgia, which provides a continuous dialogue between the Government, NGOs and the public;
· The portal “mygov.ge” is a simplified communication mechanism between the state and citizen. The citizens of Georgia can access more than 70 services from this website without leaving home. The portal can be accessed via tablets and smartphones.
The reform in the field of public access to information in Georgia was named among seven most successful projects at the Annual London Summit of the Open Government Partnership in 2013. Georgia is the first country in Eastern Europe, which hosted the European Regional Conference of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2015.
This year Georgia becomes the sixth chairing state of the OGP. The previous OGP chairing states were: Great Britain, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and France.
Georgia’s achievement at international level is largely based on the reforms successfully implemented on national level that resulted in an open and accountable government with demonstrated lowest corruption scores in various leading indexes around the world.
Georgia — Chairing State of the Open Government Partnership
For the term of chairmanship, the Georgian government will have four priority objectives: (1) Strengthening of cooperation and citizen-involvement; (2) More transparency and fight against corruption; (3) Introduction of innovations in delivery of public services and (4) development of better partnership.
To facilitate the development of OGP, the Government of Georgia aims to popularize the goals and activities of the Open Government Partnership across the world.
The efforts of the chairing state will also be focused on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their integration into the national policies of the member states. Particular attention will be paid to the 16th goal — Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
The OGP is a perfect area for implementation of innovative and citizen-oriented reforms, which promote democracy enhancement among the member states throughout the world.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP), founded by US President Barack Obama and President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff as a joint initiative of 8 countries, currently brings together 75 states throughout the world. The OGP aims at increasing transparency, accountability and efficiency of public institutions, ensuring participation of more citizens in decision-making, availability of public services and secure environment.