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State Agency, GRAPE, to 'Export Georgian Reforms'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Apr.'12 / 15:45

The government is setting up an agency, Georgia Reforms and Partnership Enterprise (GRAPE) to promote and share the country’s reforms worldwide, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri told the first high-level meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Brazil on April 17.

OGP, a U.S. initiative, is uniting governments of over 50 countries, including Georgia, which have committed to promoting transparency, fight against corruption and increasing civic participation.

“This [GRAPE] is the enterprise through which we would like to export our reforms. At the same time we offer you to use GRAPE [planned] website as a platform for sharing your reforms,” PM Gilauri told the OGP summit delegates in Brasilia.

A relevant legislation is currently undergoing parliamentary approval and it envisages setting up of the state agency in charge of promoting “reforms and innovations” put in place by the Georgian authorities, including in the public service sphere and advertising these “reforms and innovations” worldwide as “Georgian brand”.

In his speech at the OGP conference PM Gilauri described Georgia as “an excellent example of open governance and transparency”.

Under the OGP initiative, in cooperation with the civil society organizations, the Georgian government drew up an action plan (pdf) laying out the country’s targets for 2012-2013 in respect of increasing transparency, accountability and access to information, as well as further easing of public services to the citizens.

Although not all the recommendations from the civil society organizations were taken into account by the government while drawing the action plan, in overall the action plan “is really good”, says Giorgi Kldiashvili, executive director of the Tbilisi-based non-governmental organization Institute for Development of Freedom of Information. “Georgia has yet to do much in respect of transparency,” Kldiashvili, who is among the participants of the OGP conference, said.

In his speech PM Gilauri said that in terms of providing public services to the citizens, Georgia was already moving beyond one-stop shop principle by launching last year Public Service Halls, a space where a citizen can get multiple services from various state agencies under the single roof. Public Service Halls currently operate in four cities in Georgia and eight more will be opened this year, including in Tbilisi, and other four is planned to be launched by 2013.

In terms of public services, MP Gilauri also mentioned in his speech a plan to launch from September in Tbilisi ‘Just Drive’ service.

“Can you imagine citizen receiving all the public services without even leaving a car? I am talking about drive-thru kind of a service,” the Georgian PM said.

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