We would like to present a short review of our most ambitious project which involves our experts in all parts of Russia – monitoring of the official websites of public authorities and local governments.
This is a story about how expert control improves the work of authorities.
"The new website of the Government founds standards of informational activity and openness for all executive government bodies", Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said. However, initial monitoring of the new Government website launched on May 21, 2013, shows that either the Prime Minister's or the site developers' ideas of openness should much differ from those defined by key normative acts on information publication at government bodies' official websites.
On April 26-27, a conference organized by the National Security Archive (George Washington University, US) and the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (Georgia) took place in Tbilisi. Governmental officials and civil activists from Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, US, and other countries took part in it.
On April 24, the Kirovsky district court of St.-Petersburg fully satisfied the claim of a journalist against the refusal of the Territorial Election Commission No.7 to let him attend a meeting of its preceding the Presidential elections in 2012.
From April 24 to May 17, officials from the Prosecutor General's Office, prosecutor offices of the Russian Federation subjects, and from military and other specialized prosecutor offices (equivalent to regional) will have access to the EXMO system for viewing initial assessment scores for their prosecutor offices' websites, and for online interaction with the FIF research team.
On April 18 and 19, the Moscow City Court rejected two applications from Nikita Petrov, a historian from Moscow, to re-examine due to new evidence earlier decisions on the two cases when the applicant had been denied of declassification of documents stored in the FSB Central Archive.
In theory, an online feedback form on a government body's official website is an easiest way for citizens to contact the body and its officials. Is that so in practice? Our researchers have analyzed large volume of material collected within the monitoring of Russian regional legislative bodies' official websites.