President Mikheil Saakashvili Pledges to Open Up Government
On 20 September 2011 Mikheil Saakashvili joined 46 other countries in supporting the principles and values put forth in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). This followed on the heels of an open letter by Minister of Foreign Affairs Gregory Vashadze on 30 August 2011 describing Georgia’s intent to join the OGP.
We are pleased that the President Saakashvili, Mr. Vashadze, and the Ministry of Justice have taken the initiative to stand shoulder to shoulder with leaders around the world who recognize the importance of transparency, citizen engagement and participation, and eradicating corruption at all levels of government.
The OGP is an organization that promotes the voluntary adoption of its guiding principles by member states. Among the OGP’s main goals are to:
- promote transparency,
- empower citizens,
- fight corruption, and
- harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
Georgia’s participation in the OGP will require that the Government propose concrete commitments, an action plan and submit regular assessments of its progress. Moreover, it will also require and ensure that there exist mechanisms by which the public and civil society can provide input, feedback and share their concerns about all stages of the process.
All this will take place both on a local level among stakeholders in Georgia and on an international level with international scrutiny.
The role of civil society in the process is crucial for the partnership to have a real impact on the Georgian government’s progress towards a more open and valuable government body that holds itself accountable to those it seeks to serve.
The Ministry of Justice has made the draft commitments public, which we are sharing with you here:
and welcomes feedback no later than Friday, 25 November 2011. We are currently formulating our response ourselves.
We are excited and look forward to experiencing the fruition of Georgia’s commitments to the OGP following the 7 December 2011 Peer Exchange Working Level Meeting For New Ogp Participant Countries And Steering Committee.
You can also help monitor the Government of Georgia’s commitments and action plan by commenting on Transparency International Georgia’s new site for this purpose.