ELECTRONIC TRANSPARENCY IN GEORGIA - MONITORING OF THE INFORMATIONAL (INTERNET) RESOURCES OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES OF GEORGIA
The present work represents a report prepared by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information on the analysis of the structure and the information contents of the official websites of the Executive Power (the Ministries and the Legal Entities of Public Law) of Georgia.
The work consists of the articles written by the Institute’s experts and is completely bases upon the examples of the processes of e-Governance and E-Democracy internationally and in Georgia. The work analyzes the information posted to the official websites of the Public Authorities of Georgia, determines the e-Transparency rate of the Public Authorities and the tendencies associated with the current state and offers structural and legal analysis of the websites. The work also provides expert recommendations to be applied by the Public Authorities to their information resources to attain the international standards of development.
The research has been carried out within the framework of the project “Monitoring of the Information Resources of the Public Authorities of Georgia”.
The IDFI analysis/monitoring of the official websites of the Public Authorities of 2010 intended to identify quality indicators of transparency of the website contents of the Public Authorities and their orientation towards the user. An important component of the research was to depict/identify a general picture of the public web-space and the main development trends associated with the latter.
The research made clear to the IDFI experts that the rate of transparency of the public Internet space does not really meet the basic interests and demands of the society. Information as various financial data, data on the elaboration, implementation and outcomes of state and structural programs/projects is in fact not provided. Other public data as scope of competences, statistics, financials etc. are incomplete and/or superficial. Unfortunately, the Public Authorities fail to actively use the Internet as an effective tool of communication with citizens, the media or the business. At the same time it is worth mentioning that according to the international trends of e-Governance the E-Engagement of the society is one of the priorities of the process of development of the Information Society. It may be stated in general that the Public Authorities except for a few ones (as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Georgia) pay the least attention to the necessity of upgrading their websites to the standard of WEB 2.0 Concept.
Correspondingly, the majority of the Public Authorities still fail to consider their websites as an effective means of disseminating information regarding their own activities in a pro-active manner, rendering themselves transparent and accountable and making themselves universally accessible platforms of public information to be used by the citizens and the organizations.
Unfortunately, the political establishment in Georgia still fails to perceive the Internet as a means to improve communication with the population. We cannot notice any trend that would point to the web-resources as becoming a readily available means of interactive communication with the population or an effective attribute fostering the engagement of an active part of the society in the decision-making process thus laying foundations for the new form of public governance - Government 2.0. Moreover, the results of the monitoring confirmed that except for very rare cases the four major components of e-Governance (public data, provision of information to the population, electronic services, involvement of the society) are weakly presented on the websites of the Public Authorities. Notwithstanding a significant success achieved in the development of the electronic services, we still have to mention of the fact that the introduction of innovated technologies is more of a local character and is mainly being developed within the scopes of competence of two Public Authorities, namely the Ministry of Finance and that of Justice. Hence, separate steps that have been made in that direction cannot be considered a success.
It is important to remember that introducing an online service does not yet mean that the principles of e-Transparency have already been introduced and in order it to become a reality there should be a firm will expressed and a longterm strategy elaborated by the Authorities as well as corresponding regulations should be passed.
In order for the official websites of the Public Authorities to comply with high quality standards, they should meet the following four criteria:
• Universally acknowledged technical standards of the information content of websites, including the “open data” technical features;
• Ability to meet legal requirements of natural and legal persons through the provision of public information on the websites;
• Compliance of the website contents with the norms of legislation ensuring access to the public information describing the activities of the Public Authorities;
• Standard approach of the State Authorities towards the contents and the structure of the information provided on the official websites.
Unfortunately, the monitoring identified shortcomings for all the four criteria on all the websites that were the subject to research.
Overall e-Transparency Index of web-sites of Public Authorities in Georgia (2010)
Online Transparency Index
National Bureau of Enforcement of Ministry of Justice - www.nbe.gov.ge
Ministry of Finance of Georgia - www.mof.gov.ge
Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia - www.moe.gov.ge
Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia - www.mes.gov.ge
National Agency of Public Registry - www.napr.gov.ge
Civil Registry - www.cra.gov.ge
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia - www.mfa.gov.ge
Social Service Agency - www.ssa.gov.ge
Ministry of Defence of Georgia - www.mod.gov.ge
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia - www.police.ge
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia - www.economy.gov.ge
Agency of Protected Areas - www.dpa.gov.ge
Municipal Development Fund of Georgia - www.mdf.ge
Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia - www.moh.gov.ge
Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories Accomodation and Refugees of Georgia - www.mra.gov.ge
National Curriculum and Assessment Centre - www.ncac.ge
Legal Aid Service - www.legalaid.ge
The Ministry of Energy of Georgia - www.minenergy.gov.ge
National Probation Agency - www.probation.ge
Educational and Scientific Infrastructure Development Agency - www.esida.ge
Ministry of Justice of Georgia - www.justice.gov.ge
Notary Chamber of Georgia - www.notary.ge
National Center for Teacher Professional Development - www.tpdc.ge
Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia - www.mcla.gov.ge
National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement - www.nea.ge
Penitentiary and Probation Training Centre - www.pptc.gov.ge
Health Insurance Mediation Service - www.him.ge
The National Archives of Georgia - www.archives.gov.ge
Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation - www.rustaveli.org.ge
National Examination Center - www.naec.ge
Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia - www.mrdi.gov.ge
National Environmental Agency - www.nea.gov.ge
Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia - www.mcs.gov.ge
Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia - www.moa.gov.ge
Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs - www.policeacademy.ge
Center for Effective Governance System and Territorial Arrangement Reform - www.cegstar.ge
The Security Police - www.spd.ge
Service Agency of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia - www.seragency.gov.ge
State Procurement Agency - www.spa.gov.ge
Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - www.gcci.ge
Service Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia - http://saagento.security.gov.ge
National center for Disease Control and Public Health - www.ncdc.ge
The Finance Academy of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia - www.mofacademy.ge
Training Center of Justice of Georgia - www.tcj.gov.ge
Forestry Agency (former Forestry Department - www.forestry.gov.ge
State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutore) Victims of Human Trafficking www.atipfund.gov.ge
Georgian State Tourism Agency - www.dotr.gov.ge
Georgian National Agency for Standards, Technical Regulations and Metrology - www.gnims.caucasus.net