Akhmeta Governor Neglects Public Defender’s Recommendation

Akhmeta Governor Beka Baidauri has not fulfilled the Public Defender’s recommendation on providing Kakheti Information Center Director Gela Mtivlishvili with official contact information and identities of governor’s representatives. The Public Defender of Georgia considers that the Governor’s refusal to provide the mentioned information to Kakheti Information Centerviolates the right to freedom of getting information that is enshrined in Article 41 of the Constitution of Georgia.

Despite the non-implementation of the recommendation, the Akhmeta municipality administration sent a letter to the Public Defender’s Office on 1 September 2015 and notified of the opposite. The administration presented a document proving that Kakheti Information Center was provided with corporate telephone numbers of governor’s representatives, without indicating their identities or official addresses. This, of course, cannot be considered as an implementation of the Public Defender’s recommendation.

The Akhmeta municipality administration also notes in the 1 September letter that the information requested by Kakheti Information Center was open and had been repeatedly published, including at the information desk of the Akhmeta municipality administration, though the governor’s representatives refused to provide that information to the above-mentioned journalist since they had a negative attitude towards him.

The letter clearly shows that the Akhmeta Governor cannot properly realize the importance of transparency, democracy, his responsibilities, the role of media and the mandate of the Public Defender.

The Public Defender hopes that this and other facts of violation of freedom of information will become a subject of discussion in the Government and society, while freedom of information, along with the constitutional guarantees, will gradually become integral part of the country's political culture.

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