April 30, 2013
The openness of public authorities is an essential condition to ensure public control
This was the topic of the international scientific seminar held in Tashkent, whose main purpose was to discuss the issues of openness of public authorities, of enhancing the role of the media in implementing effective public control over the activities of public authorities, of national and international experience in this field, and to make recommendations to improve the draft law of the Republic of Uzbekistan \"On the openness of public authorities and governance \".

The organizers of the seminar were the Public Fund for support and development of independent print media and news agencies under the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, State Committee for communications, informatization and communication technologies, the national television and radio company, the Independent institute to monitor the formation of civil society. It was attended by experts from the European Union, representatives of diplomatic embassies and international organizations, accredited in Uzbekistan, as well as members of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, heads of governmental bodies and public organizations, and the press.

It was noted that the most important area in democratic renewal and modernization of the country, building a strong civil society is to ensure transparency of public authorities, informing the general public about the progress on political, economic and social reforms, made by Uzbekistan. To this end, a solid legal framework, ensuring implementation constitutionally-bound principles of freedom of speech and the right of citizens to information, has been created. In particular, the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan \"On mass media\", \"On the principles and guarantees of freedom of information\", \"On Information\", \"On guarantees of activity of non-governmental organizations\" and other regulations provided citizens, the media and NGOs to freely and easily obtain, analyze, disseminate information, and identified the principles of accessibility, transparency and reliability of the information, including the activities of state and government.

As a result of the measures taken in the last ten years in Uzbekistan, the number of periodicals has increased by 2 times, electronic ones by 7 times. Currently over 1320 media outlets operate in our country, 60 percent of which are private. About 200 of them have electronic versions, which are replenished daily with up-to-date information on developments in the country and overseas events, analytical materials on the social-economic, social-political issues. In addition, wide access to public information sources of state administration and governmental bodies, including through their information services and websites, allow citizens to form a holistic and unbiased view of the activities of public authorities and effectiveness of public administration. This scientific workshop provided an opportunity to discuss national and international experience in the field of informing the public about the activities of public authorities, the implementation of effective public control over their activities, as well as the current models of interactions with the media, the general public and civil society institutions.

In the wake of the international seminar, recommendations to improve the institutional mechanisms, ensuring broad public and media access to information about the activities of public authorities, have been made. (Source: UzA)


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