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OSCE supports public hearing on access to information in Kyrgyzstan

A public hearing, organized by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, on draft amendments to laws on access to public information took place today in the parliament of Kyrgyzstan. The proposals aim to simplify access to governmental information, and were initiated by three different Parliamentary Committees.

Kyrgyzstan ranks 27 out of 100 on the Global Right to Information Rating which assesses the quality of access to information laws worldwide. The proposed amendments aim to increase the efficiency of the state press service, reducing the time for processing citizens’ information requests and improving citizens’ right to access information in line with the 2013-2017 National Sustainable Development Strategy. Similar legal provisions are already in place in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Mongolia and Ukraine.

The event was attended by members of parliament, government officials, civil society and media representatives.

“Public access to recorded information held by government organizations ensures transparency and the openness of government agencies, and is a vital element of a democratic society,” said Diana Digol, OSCE Institutional Building Officer.

Gevorg Hayrapetyan of the Armenian NGO Freedom of Information Centre and an OSCE-supported international expert on access to information, shared Armenia’s experience in introducing and implementing similar legislation during one of the sessions at public hearing.

In addition, in September–October 2014, the Centre provided a legal analysis of the draft amendments and supported the legislative process within Kyrgyz inter-governmental working group on government press service reform under the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Science, Culture, and Sport. These activities were organized as part of the Centre’s Government Press Service Reform project.

The working group on government press service reform was formed under the parliamentary Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Sport. The Working Group includes relevant representatives of several ministries and parliament.

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