To Move up to a New Stage – Openness Ranking
Ensuring the openness of the activities of public authorities and governance is one of the important mechanisms for democratization of the system of public administration in Uzbekistan. In the Strategy of Actions, the openness of government bodies, introduction of modern forms of providing information relating to the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of individuals and corporate entities is defined as a priority.
The normative basis for the implementation of large-scale measures in this sphere are the constitutional norms that ensure the openness of the activities of government agencies, as well as the Law on the openness of the activities of public authorities and administration, adopted in 2014. It provides legal guarantees for citizens’ access to socially significant information, determines the forms and methods for ensuring the transparency of state bodies, establishes clear mechanisms for information interaction between state bodies and society.
With a view to implementing this law, increasing the effectiveness of government agencies, a Cabinet of Ministers resolution has been adopted aimed at implementing the provisions of the mentioned legal act. In accordance with the document, a Public Council for the coordination and monitoring activities was formed to ensure the openness of the government and administration bodies, and methods of monitoring and evaluation of the openness of public authorities and administration units have been worked out, so have regulations to ensure transparency of government agencies.
Public Council carried out work on the monitoring and evaluation of the openness of public authorities and management bodies, and systematically published ratings of “openness index” of government agencies as of January 1 and July 1, 2017, and January 1, 2018.
It is important to note that at the first stage the methodology was used, the main purpose of which was the implementation of incentive measures for the creation and development of institutional and infrastructural bases for ensuring openness in state bodies. At the same time, more attention was paid to the issues whether essential regulatory acts have been adopted in state institutions that ensure the openness of their activities, if there are any stands for posting information on activities, whether the website of the government body is in compliance with the requirements of the legislation.
Analysis of the openness index of government bodies shows that monitoring of the processes of openness yields positive results. Thus, from measurement to measurement, the average value of the index for all agencies has been growing, and now it exceeds the required minimum acceptable figure.
In accordance with the decision of the expert committee of the Public Council, all this makes it necessary to move to the second phase of the evaluation system, aimed at improving qualitative and quantitative indicators. In the framework of this methodology, emphasis will be placed on the activation of activities to ensure openness: holding a large number of press conferences and briefings by the heads of bodies, publishing materials in the media, effective presence in social networks, and dissemination of information in electronic formats.
According to this method, the activities of state bodies will be evaluated as early as July 1, 2018. The rating of the openness index will continue to be published on the government portal of the Republic of Uzbekistan and on the official website of the Public Council at the address: www.ochiqlik.uz.