October 22, 2013
The Concept: Priorities. The openness of activities of public authorities and management – an essential condition of modern development
As it is known, from the first years of independence the “Uzbek model” of development worked out by the President of our country was implemented. As a result, the country has an inclusive democratic legal state with stable economy, protection of human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests, including their rights to be informed, in practice, has risen to the level of the highest value, implemented huge democratic reforms and constructive work towards a society who has won the respect and credibility in the world. The results of such wide-ranging reforms rightly honored with high recognition from prestigious international organizations and experts.

Undoubtedly, the phased introduction into the practice of ideas, proposals and legislative initiatives forwarded by the president in the Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and establishing civil society in the country, serves to raising the rates of democratic modernization to a qualitative new level.

In particular, the implementation of forwarded in this concept priority areas on further acceleration of reform measures of information sphere, ensuring freedom of information and freedom of speech occupies a special place in implementing such important tasks. And this is even more relevant in the deep penetration into our life of enshrined in our Constitution norms: everyone has the right to freedom of thought, speech and expression; Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart any information; All state governing bodies, public associations and officials of the Republic of Uzbekistan required to provide citizens access to documents, decisions and other materials relating to their rights and interests.

Ensuring freedom of information, transformation of the mass media into a platform of free expression by citizens of their opinions and ideas, attitudes and relationships to current events plays an important role in deepening democratic processes, enhancing political participation of citizens’ activeness, enhancing their participation in public and political life of the country.

As it is known, over the past few years in our country wide-ranging measures on further liberalization of the mass media have been carried out. The Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the mass media”, “On principles and guarantees of freedom of information”, “On guarantees and freedom of access to information” and a number of other relevant documents, which are perfected in accordance with the demand of time are adopted. And this, not only provides a further expansion of democratic reforms in the sphere of the mass media in the new political environment, but also plays an important role in enhancing their active participation in the process of democratization of the information sphere.

Forwarded in the concept, the legislative initiatives in the sphere, of course, serve as a comprehensive logical continuation of such efforts. In particular, definition of the need to adopt the Law “On the openness of activities of state governing bodies and management” will not only create the opportunity for a wider implementation of the constitutional rights of citizens in the sphere of information, but also largely increase the accountability of government and management of decision-making quality. So, it implies a precise definition of the order of public awareness about the activities of public authorities, strengthening of mechanisms of ensuring broad public awareness and public associations of the decisions taken by public authorities, primarily relating to the rights and freedoms and legal interests of citizens. The adoption of this law will ensure openness and transparency of the activities of the executive power, reforms in the country, the internal and external policies of the state, as well as diversity of views on developments in the country and abroad events and political pluralism. Careful preparation of the draft law based on modern democratic standards is a requirement of time. By now, it has passed a broad discussion with the participation of foreign experts. All regions of our country held more than forty seminars and “round tables”, one international conference and international “round table” dedicated to this issue. As a result of these activities, about 100 proposals and recommendations on improving the bill are summarized and reviewed. During the preparation of the draft law, the experience of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other developed democratic states in ensuring informational transparency of state governing bodies has also been studied and taken into account. Recommendations received from the Representative Office on issues of freedom of the mass media and the American International Center for non-profit rights was also studied. In order to handle the practical rules of the draft law, increasing the role and importance of civil society institutions in public awareness of the work of state agencies on addressing critical socio-economic and socio-political problems, implementing tasks of democratic renewal and modernization of the country, on March 20, 2013 was adopted the Decree of the President of the country “On conducting legal experiment on approbation of the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the openness of state governing bodies and management”. It is aimed at further improving the effectiveness of measures in this direction. On the basis of legal experiment conducted in accordance with the decree, it is intended to develop and refine proposals on identifying the effectiveness of the norms of the draft law, aimed at ensuring openness, transparency of activity of state bodies, extensive use by the mass media and civil society institutions of informed about their activities. It should be noted that the territorial-administrative units for legal experiment were determined Bukhara and Samarkand regions. Of course, this Order will open up new opportunities for the improvement of the draft law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the openness of activities of state governing bodies and management”, the widespread introduction of legislative activity in the subjects of legislative initiative of new and promising methods.

Conducting legal experiment is one of the most important and modern methods in legislative activity. It widely uses an international experience. And it allows to develop evidence-based guidelines, deeply connected with the concrete practice of the state and public building in the way of ensuring the viability of developed draft laws. The Order of the President of our country on conducting legal experiment on approbation of the draft law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the openness of state governing bodies and management” will provide the basis for improving the draft law, the widespread introduction of legislative activity in this promising method according to democratic principles.

Conduction in accordance with the Order of legal experiment allowed the proponents of the draft law to approve the rules of the draft law in certain areas, regions and cities in the current example of the experience of state authorities and management.

In the course of the experiment revealed the effectiveness of legal norms of the draft law, about openness and transparency of public authorities, their widespread use by the mass media and civil society institutions. At the same time, it will help to develop proposals for the deep improvement of the draft law, establishment of mechanisms of their effective use, the more effective implementation of the legislative process in the methods of legal experiment.

In addition, during the process, organizational and legal mechanisms on encouraging active participation in the work of bringing to the public the nature and importance of decisions of the heads of state governing bodies, concerning the legal interests of citizens, as well as issues relating to the public were developed.

In accordance with the Decree of the President, in subjects of conducting legal experiment, their duties on ensuring openness of public authorities will be specified in order, its basic methods will be determined. As a representative of non-governmental non-profit organizations in the sphere of information in the process of legal experiment, we are interested in development of legal mechanisms on promoting wider use of the mass media and civil society institutions of information about the activities of state governing bodies and management. This increases responsibility of the heads of governmental agencies for the quality of their decisions.

Norms of the draft law and the regulations of the legal experiment directly determine the active participation of the heads of state governing bodies and management in the process of provision of information of social value. This will create the opportunity for them to work closely with the mass media. This, in turn, will form the basis for ensuring national information space with relevant and reliable information.

Of course, the improvement of legislation on ensuring the openness of governmental bodies and management places greater responsibility on journalists. If so, during the legal experiment it is important to approbate not only the part of social relationship in this direction, ordering directly by legal norms, but also the relation connected with the codes of ethics of journalists, the principles of mutual trust. This in turn requires an even greater awareness of the mass media professionals of their responsibility before society in conditions of today\'s information market, development of necessary arrangements. In other words, along with the new legal norms, the mass media and creative unions of journalists for the quality of their work also need to create their own norms based on assumption of “unwritten” responsibility before society.

During the experiment, special attention is also paid to strengthening, in regulatory point of view, the timing of consideration of information requests and requirements for preparation of appropriate responses to them. In accordance with the Decree of the President of the country, in Bukhara and Samarkand regions, a separate legal order that extends rights of citizens to information on the activities of state governing bodies and management is being introduced. In particular, it is determined that the request of individuals and entities should be considered within no more than fifteen days from the date of registration. Query of the mass media for interviews with the subjects of the experiment and officials considered within no more than seven days. In addition, the right of users to information on introducing a request for information about the activities of the state governing bodies and management in writing, in particular, electronic and oral form, in addition, through their representatives is being established.

At the meetings of the Working Commission on the experiment in accordance with the schedule of implementation of measures on conducting the legal experiment on approbation of norms of the draft law “On the openness of state governing bodies and management” is defined by a set of organizational and legal measures. In particular, during the legal experiment, the public is inquired about the course of the experiment, activities of public authorities, their decisions, programs in the sphere of socio-economic development, new opportunities of obtaining information in accordance with other documents.

In addition, case studies on assessing the efficacy of legal experiment, activities of subjects of the experiment will be conducted. At the same time, conferences, “round tables” and seminars devoted to the discussion of the norms of the draft law will be organized; participation of foreign specialists and experts is planned. This will provide an opportunity to develop proposals on further improvement of the draft law.

In addition, within the framework of organizing the legal experiment with the direct participation of the heads of subjects of the experiment, press conferences, briefings and interviews will be conducted. And it will help to develop a well-thought-effective forms and mechanisms on wider public awareness of the activities of state governing bodies and management. In short, all results obtained on the basis of legal experiment, will be deeply analyzed, concrete proposals and recommendations that will taken into account in improving the content of the draft law will be developed on their basis.

In conclusion, we can say that in the process of approbation of the draft law “On the openness of state governing bodies and management” is widely discussed with participation of national and foreign experts.

Suggestions and recommendations received from seminars and meetings, “round tables” and international conferences held in all regions of our country are summarized. Conducted by international experts analyzes of normative-legal framework implemented in Uzbekistan of legal experiment shows that our country has the necessary legal basis for its conduction, that it is complete and certain. And this is an essential requirement of effective conduction of legal experiments.

In general, the experiments carried out in accordance with the Order on legal approbation of the draft law “On the openness of state governing bodies and management”, show that democratic reforms in our country are more and more profound.

(Source: “Business partner.uz” newspaper)


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