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The new technology was presented to the MPs, civil society and international organizations on 13 March 2018.
“Electronic tools ease public access to the parliamentary information and promote citizen engagement into legislative process. This is an important step forward to enhancing legislative openness and introducing e-Parliament in Georgia,” said Irina Pruidze, Chairperson of the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance.
She also noted that the new electronic tools are part of the Parliament’s commitments under its 2017 Open Parliament Action Plan.
Vincent Rey, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, stressed the importance of the Parliament’s cooperation with civil society and the public, noting: “Democracy is one of the core values of the EU and a common commitment between the EU and Georgia. This new system is an example of the support we provide to the Parliament, and we hope that it will make the legislative process more open and accessible to Georgian citizens.”
The participants of the event were also addressed by Gigi Bregadze, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative a.i., and Levan Avalishvili, IDFI Programs Director, who introduced the new electronic tools and their unique functions for promoting Open Parliament principles in Georgia.
“The GeoParliament App allows citizens to follow the parliamentary work on their mobile phones, comment on draft laws and keep track of the Parliament’s agenda, including the dates of parliamentary sessions, committee hearings, bureau sittings and discussions on the new pieces of legislation. The Public Information Module eases access to the public information, such as the Constitution of Georgia, Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, bureau decisions, and orders and decrees of the Parliament Speaker. In addition, citizens will be able to electronically request information about the Parliament’s budget, expenditures and procurement,” Levan Avalishvili said.
Open Parliament is part of Georgia’s efforts under the Open Government Partnership (OGP), international platform that unites 75 countries to help their governments become more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. Georgia is chairing the OGP this year and will be hosting the 5th annual OGP summit in July 2018.
The European Union and UNDP are supporting Open Parliament in Georgia under their wider programme for strengthening parliamentary democracy.