On Friday, October 2nd, the High Authority took part in the Forum on Good Governance organized by the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) of Georgia, in association with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the philanthopic organization Luminate.
This second edition of the forum, held online due to the pandemic, brought together experts, representatives from government, civil society, the private sector and the international community to share good governance practices.
With the upcoming legislative elections in Georgia, the 2020 edition of the forum focused on transparency standards in political party funding, the use of administrative resources during election campaigns, lobbying and influence of the private sector in public decision-making. The High Authority participated in this panel to share good practices on lobbying regulation.
The panel was moderated by Helen Turek, OGP Europe Regional Manager, and associated Julio Bacio Terracino, Acting Head of the Public Sector Integrity Division of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Daniel Freund, German Member of the European Parliament Greens/EFA, Vitor Texeira, Policy Analyst at Transparency International, and Raj Chari, Professor at Trinity College Dublin, Department of Political Science. The High Authority was represented by the Head of International Partnerships.
The panel discussed the rationale for regulating lobbying, the challenges associated with it, and possible improvements to the existing legal systems. The High Authority reiterated the importance of a legal framework to increase transparency in public decision-making and to strengthen citizens’ confidence in the institutions. The High Authority explained lobbyists’ reporting obligations. The panel praised the French current model of lobbying regulation, even though certain changes in legislative and regulatory provisions could ensure greater effectiveness of the system.
The sanctions in the various existing systems in the world and the transparency obligations, weighing sometimes on lobbyists, sometimes on public officials, were the subject of interesting discussions. The panelists also discussed the reform of the European Union’s transparency register, and the role of international organizations, such as the OECD, in the dissemination of good practices.