LSG Bodies provided access to public information following ISFED’s legal action
Bodies of local self-government provided access to public information after ISFED filed subsequent complaints in court. Problems faced by ISFED with respect to accessing public information in the process of monitoring local self-government activities forced it to take a legal action.
From October 2014 ISFED has been monitoring the process of selection and certification for municipal employment by means of 73 observers throughout the country. ISFED monitored interviews of candidates competing for vacant positions in 112 local self-government bodies in total.
Throughout the monitoring ISFED detected a number of problems in accessing public information. 61 LSG bodies and 52 commissions for selection and certification provided deficient information in response to over 300 out of 850 requests of ISFED for public information. In particular, 43% of LSG bodies and 68% of the commissions provided public information with important deficiencies and in violation of legal requirements.
ISFED filed several complaints in court over the problems to accessing public information about competitions for selection of municipal employees. In its complaints ISFED requested access to the following information: the number of vacant positions announced and the number of vacant positions filled as a result of competition; the number of temporarily acting civil servants appointed to positions that they were holding prior to announcement of the competition, and the number of individuals who failed tests or interviews during the selection process but have been appointed as temporarily acting civil servants to the position that they were competing for.
Gamgeobas of Gurjaani and Akhaltsikhe municipalities provided access to the public information following ISFED’s legal action, which is indicative of severity of problems in accessing public information at the municipal level. It shows that public information officials fail to examine individual requests for public information and provide the information requested within the legal time limits.
ISFED believes that LSG bodies must realize the obligations that they have before citizens and provide them with free access to public information. This will reinforce democratic control and promote formation of transparent and accountable bodies of local self-government.