Local Freedom of Information Expert

Belgrade, Serbia
Apply by 13 August 2018
Senior-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 19 July 2018

Job Description

This is a local position for Serbian nationals. To apply, CVs should be submitted to gai-belgrade@checchiconsulting.com by the deadline stated above. Please put “GAI STTA - Local Free Access Expert” in the subject line.

USAID Government Accountability Initiative

Freedom of Access to Information Expert

Background and goal

The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) is a four-year United States Agency for International Development-funded project with overall objective to strengthen the capacities and connections of key Serbian stakeholders resulting in increased government accountability at the national and local levels. The project is structured around three components: Local Government Accountability, Independent Oversight Institutions, and Adjudication of Corruption Cases. GAI counterparts include the State Audit Institution (SAI), the Anti-Corruption Agency, local governments, specialized anti-corruption courts, and civil society organizations.

The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection (CPI) is also one of the counterparts for GAI. Since free access to information is an essential tenet of transparency and accountability of public institutions, GAI will support the CPI efforts to raise awareness on the importance of public access to information. The focus of the support is on sustaining the attention of all institutions on freedom of access to public information, particularly by ministries that propose laws related to freedom of information. Public debate on the new Law on Access to Information of Public Importance, as envisioned by the Action Plan for Chapter 23 within the process of European integration, was held in April 2018. The on-going revision of AP Ch23 should provide a deadline for adoption of the new law.

The international Right to Know Week (24-28 September 2018) is the opportunity for additional promotion of the right of free access to information. Accordingly, the most immediate support to the CPI will be provided during this week. Each year the CPI organizes an award ceremony for the most transparent public institution. GAI will support CPI with organizing a roundtable dialogue with selected Serbian officials to cover the following topics: execution of the Commissioners’ Decisions on Measures to Promote Transparency of Work (decisions establishing that a public authority has not fulfilled its obligations set forth in the Law, and order the measures the authority is to take to fulfill them), legal remedies against Commissioner’s Decisions, re-use of information, and scope of the laws regulating free access to public information in the region and EU. GAI support also will include engagement of one international expert to present a regional comparative overview of access to information frameworks and one local expert to facilitate dialogues in a roundtable on the previously mentioned select topics. In addition, a Media expert will be engaged to provide on-the-job training and technical assistance to CPI senior staff, spokespersons and PR unit on how to manage the full range of public information and outreach activities during the Right to Know Week, including media inquiries.

GAI has also began discussions with Centre for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) to ensure coordination and leveraged use of CRTA’s CSO network to optimize the participation and impact of activities during the Week.

Tasks

The expert is expected to actively participate in targeted events during the Right to Know Week (24-28 September 2018) and to deliver the following:

  • Presentation of policy brief on free access to information with the focus on: (1) Execution of the Commissioners’ Decisions on Measures to Promote Transparency of Work, and (2) legal remedies against Commissioner’s Decisions in Serbian legal system;
  • Facilitation of a Round table and related discussion group(s) on freedom of information legislative frameworks in the SEE region with selected Serbian officials, media, academic community, international community in Serbia, and civil society organizations.

In addition, the expert is expected to participate at meetings with relevant government and civil society stakeholders as needed during the days of engagement.

Period

The total level of effort for the task of an expert is up to 4 days of work, including:

  • 1 day of preparation and reporting
  • 3 days of participation in the events during the Right to Know Week (24-28 September 2018)

The work is anticipated to be completed during September 2018.

Deliverables

  • Policy brief for presentation during the Right to Know Week on free access to information with the focus on: (1) Execution of the Commissioners’ Decisions on Measures to Promote Transparency of Work, and (2) Legal remedies against Commissioner’s Decisions in Serbian legal system;
  • Facilitate a roundtable and discussion group(s) on freedom of information legislative frameworks in the SEE region with a GAI international expert on freedom of information, selected Serbian officials, media, academic community, international community in Serbia, and civil society organizations.
  • A report not exceeding 5 pages, exclusive of attached policy brief as delivered, submitted to GAI within one week after the Right to Know Week.

Qualifications

This is a Senior level position with 10 years experience. In addition:

  • Education – At least Master’s degree in the field of law, human rights law, public administration, political sciences or another relevant field. PhD will be considered an asset.
  • Prior Work Experience – A minimum of 10 years of professional-level experience in the field of free access to information, protection of human rights and freedoms, public administration accountability and transparency.
  • Language Proficiency / Communication Skills – Must have excellent communication skills in Serbian
  • Job Knowledge – A thorough knowledge of Serbian institutional and legal framework on free access to information; expertise and knowledge of laws and practices of other countries in the region
  • Skills and Abilities – Ability to use various computer software (e.g. PowerPoint, Word)

About the Organization

Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. (Checchi) has worked in international development for over 40 years. The company has operated in more than 140 countries, including a number of fragile states and post-conflict zones, and has implemented nearly 300 long-term contracts. Checchi’s principal areas of specialization include rule of law, anticorruption and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Since launching one of the first international rule of law practices in the late 1980s, Checchi has provided technical assistance and training in the core areas of improving access to justice; court systems administration; legislative and policy reform; judicial training and legal education; public legal awareness; and security sector reform. The company has implemented a number of long- and short-term activities focused exclusively on anticorruption. In addition, many of Checchi’s rule of law projects have included significant anticorruption components and activities. Checchi’s M&E work encompasses projects in more than 50 countries and spans the spectrum of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches to managing and evaluating performance.

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