Public information: Ministry of Interior ignores questions about police advertising campaign
Updated:30.03.2011 Over the past weeks, a TV commercial aimed at improving the image of the police and various departments of the Ministry of Interior triggered some debates in Georgia because it showed children acting as law enforcers. TI Georgia requested public information on how the children acting in this commercial were recruited, how expensive the ad was, on which television stations it was aired (which stations received advertising revenues for this campaign) and how many times it was aired. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Interior ignored our requests and did not provide any response to our questions. A recent survey on the state of freedom of information in Georgia by our colleagues from the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) shows that the Ministry of Interior’s general attitude to requests for the release of public information is to ignore them. Update:30.03.2011 MIA has answered our questions after publishing this blog post. We were notified, that the 89 000 GEL was spent for making the video. However, the Ministry has not informed us on which stations the clip was aired and at what frequency. Therefore, the names of the media companies and their advertising revenue from this campaign remains unknown. It is worth noting, that MIA's reply came two months late, on March 16, while Georgian legislation sets a 10 day maximum standard for releasing public information.