Transparency International Georgia Office in Parliament
The project purpose aimed at enabling Georgian parliamentarians to make informed decisions about draft laws by providing them with the advice of lower level specialists and by actively involving civil society in the legislative process and also at improving the transparency of information given by the parliament, thus better informing citizens about the work carried out by the parliament.
The TI Georgia Office conducted the following activities to achieve these goals by:
- Disseminating draft laws in advance and organizing public discussions about them. The Office was in constant communication with lawmakers, civil society organizations, interest groups and ordinary citizens both inside and outside Tbilisi. This ensured that interested parties could provide input on draft legislation through focus groups and roundtable discussions within the narrow timeframe for deliberation set by the legislative system in Georgia. TIG then consolidated this feedback and provided the recommendations in a single, accessible dossier while parliament was still considering the draft. This rapid response enabled the media, parliamentarians and the public to lobby for changes that strengthen transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption. Within a two-year period seven bi-annual reports were distributed and, correspondingly, a total of 19 focus groups were conducted in different districts in which a total of 261 people participated.
- Increasing parliament’s communication skills and distributing publications describing parliament’s work. TI Georgia built an active and intensive relationship with media and public relations services in parliament to ensure a maximum coverage of the comments and recommendations it had elicited. In order to improve parliament’s PR skills, TI Georgia conducted trainings for the speaker’s office, committees, factions, and majoritarian MPs’ offices. In a two-year period 14 trainings on five different topics were conducted for 95 parliamentary staff members. Participants spent a total of 12 days at the trainings. TI Georgia also assisted five parliamentary committees to prepare and publish bi-annual committee reports. The reports include information about committee members (e.g., party affiliation, attendance records, membership in different structures), the committee’s functions and goals, and its activities and accomplishments (legal drafting, reforms in respective spheres, research, oversight activities, public relations, etc.).
- Conducting a survey describing public opinion and expectations towards the parliament to further assist the Georgian parliament.
- Informing the public about newly adopted laws through the dissemination of comprehensive brochures explaining new regulations. TI Georgia prepared and published twelve brochures highlighting these adopted laws and ongoing reforms.