The Thematic Inquiry Group set up by the Open Governance Permanent Parliamentary Council on Civic Engagement Instruments and Practices in State Agencies Keeps on Verbal Hearings launched a verbal hearing of the Ministries.
“Following the inquiry, we will develop relevant recommendations that will allow us to make civic engagement more formal, and unified. This time we are limited to inquiring the Ministries, and then we may consider conducting similar inquiries in other agencies”, - the Chair of the Council, Irina Pruidze commented.
The Thematic Inquiry Group comprises members of the Open Governance Permanent Parliamentary Council.
According to Irine Pruidze, the inquiry is assisted by the IDFI with the support of the UNDP.
“Certain stages of the inquiry have already passed. We announced the receipt of substantiated opinions and received substantiated opinions from 15 organizations, after which we held verbal hearing with them. We have now started to hear directly from the state agencies”, - the Chair of the Council noted.
Today, Giorgi Bobghiashvili, Acting Head of Policy Planning Department of the Government Administration was heard by the Group. He outlined four key instruments for which government administration is responsible: Public Administration Reform; Sustainable Development Goals; Open Government Partnership and e-Petitions Portal.
Giorgi Bobghiashvili dwelt on the methodological guidelines and the Governmental rule of planning, monitoring and evaluation, entailing the methods in accordance with which the policy documents should be developed. “Holding public consultations becomes mandatory for all policy documents that are developed by the agencies and are submitted to the Government for approval. The rule also stipulates that public consultation can be both physical and electronic”, - Giorgi Bobghiashvili noted.
According to him, the rule envisages that Ministries should also submit a summary report of public consultations.
The Thematic Inquiry Group also heard Khatia Tsilosani, Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture. "Our ministry has been selected as a pilot agency in the process of implementing all the major areas enshrined by the Government administration", - she noted.
Khatia Tsilosani singled out several areas in which civic engagement is crucial: developing a strategic document and action plan, rural development coordination, approximation of food safety, veterinary and plant protection legislation with EU regulations.
“All three of these areas are relevant to each of us and each regulation is conveying a huge impact on both the business and the private sector. Amid such a high responsibility, it is our direct motivation and obligation to inform the public in a timely manner about the changes that are planned”, - Khatia Tsilosani noted.
Pelagia Makhauri, Acting Head of Analytical Department at the Ministry of Justice was also heard at today’s session. Her main focus fell on the coordination of anti-corruption policies implemented by the Anti-Corruption Council: "The council is composed of Government agencies, NGOs and international organizations, as well as the business sector, which is involved in developing priorities and identifying risk factors", - the rapporteur stated.
According to her, the public sector is involved not only in policy making, but also in the monitoring process, which takes place every six months. E- feedback mechanism in the Houses of Justice, through which citizens can express their opinions about one or another service was also foregrounded at the hearing.
Verbal hearings of the Ministries will keep on until the end of the week.