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Access Policy

Access Policy for the Centers for Civic Engagement

General Statement
The United States Agency for International Development’s Centers for Civic Engagement project operates 10 centers across Georgia to provide free locations for democratic dialogue among its citizens. The centers serve as permanent gathering spots for CSOs, political parties, citizens and the media to engage the public, each other, and local and regional government officials. CCEs are identified by the name of each center and with the USAID logo on an exterior sign and interior banners.

Access to and usage of the centers is regulated by this access policy. The access policy assures fairness and balance in the process of the CCEs’ operation. The policy and the criteria incorporated within shall be publicly advertised in advance and be posted prominently in each CCE and on the CCE website.

Definitions
“USAID” – United States Agency for International Development;
“Civic engagement” – Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues
of public concern;
“CCE” - Means Center for Civic Engagement;
“Meeting hall” - Means the facility available for large public gatherings for civic engagement purposes;
“Conference Room” – Means the facility available in each center for moderate to small public gatherings for civic engagement purposes;
“Computer lab”Means the facility available in each center to the general public for the purpose of ensuring access to information available in the internet, increasing civic awareness, improving education and skills, and encouraging electronic communication;
“Library/resource center” – Means the facility available in each center to provide citizens with more information about democracy, politics, economics, culture and other issues of a civic nature;
“Applicant” – Means the persons, group of people or the organization applying for CCE facility use.
“CCE Coordinator” – Means the person managing each CCE’s operation and authorized to confirm and schedule usage of the CCE facilities. This may include the Deputy Coordinator.
“Hotline banner” – The telephone and contact details of the Centers for Civic Engagement Tbilisi central office displayed publicly in a CCE.
“CCE Outreach Program” – A defined list of contacts and materials such as press releases, public announcements and other publicity unique to each CCE and developed by the G3 outreach manager and CCE staff.
“User” – applicants that have their applications for CCE use approved and are using the CCE facilities.

Fair Opportunity Criteria
  1. There shall be no discrimination in the application and access to the CCE on any grounds such as political or other opinion, religion, association with a national minority, national or social origin, property, sex, race, color, language, place of birth or any other status, including, for example, sexual orientation or marital status.
  2. Events held in a CCE pursuant to this policy shall be voluntary, free of charge and may be initiated by different interest groups or by the CCE;
  3. CCE staff may be present at meetings only in a non-participatory capacity;
  4. CCE staff must not direct, control, or interfere with any activity organized by the users of the CCE if the activity does not contradict this access policy;
  5. CCE staff shall allocate space and time for the use of the CCE on a “first-come, first-served” basis in compliance with the regulations described herein for scheduling events by individuals or organizations;
  6. CCE users may request that no CCE staff be present in the Meeting Hall and/or Conference Room (dependent upon which facility is in use) during the course of a meeting. Such requests must be made in writing at least one hour prior to the start of an event;
  7. The CCE, USAID, and the US Government are not responsible for the content of events or for the opinions of participants. 
Scope and Access Policy

Type of Facility and Description Access policy
Meeting hall
This facility is available for public gatherings dedicated to civic engagement.

Conference Room
This facility is available for public gatherings dedicated to civic engagement.
  1. The use of these CCE spaces is allowed only for legitimate purposes, in particular for civic engagement activities.

     
  2. The group or individual organizing an event in the meeting room has the responsibility to invite participants/attendees and ensure outreach as appropriate. The CCE has the responsibility to assist those organizing an event by providing publicity contacts based on the standard CCE outreach program.

     
  3. All reservations for facility use must be made in writing through the CCE Coordinator or online.

     
  4. The proposed date, time, duration and audio-visual equipment required for an event must be set when making a reservation. Event date and time may not be changed except as space is available and changes must be requested in writing by the original applicant at least 1 business day prior to the start of the scheduled event.

     
  5. The reservation is considered to be confirmed when the CCE Coordinator approves the application, enters it onto the center’s calendar and responds to the applicant in writing or via e-mail.

     
  6. The number of people allowed in the meeting hall is restricted for safety reasons.  The maximum number of people allowed in the meeting/conference room is 70.

     
  7. The staff of the CCE will make every effort to provide adequate time to set up prior to the event, however, access to the meeting hall cannot be guaranteed prior to the event.

     
  8. In the event that a user intends to use any external services provider to support an event, such provider must have adequate property damage and liability insurance coverage for the protection of the meeting hall, staff, and any users and/or participants. Use of any food or beverage service provider requires written permission of the CCE Head, which must be applied for at least 2 days in advance of the event.

     
  9. Access to the meeting hall includes the use of the meeting space and its furniture, as well as audio-visual equipment.

     
  10. Use of the other spaces available in the CCE is not included in the permission for the meeting hall and such spaces may not be used without prior written permission of the CCE Coordinator at least 1 business day in advance of the event.

     
  11. The set-up, arrangement and take down/storage of the furniture (tables and chairs) is the responsibility of the party organizing the event.

     
  12. The CCE is responsible for cleanup.  It is the obligation of the CCE to maintain the facility in a clean and orderly condition.

     
  13. Smoking is NOT allowed in the meeting hall, conference room, or anywhere else in the CCE.

     
  14. No entertainment, for-profit, commercial, or marketing events are allowed in the CCE.

     
  15. Facility must not be used for religious indoctrination, proselytism or forced assimilation purposes as well as for religious practice.   

     
  16. Nothing may be attached to the walls or ceiling except where points for such attachments are specifically provided.

     
  17. The CCE, USAID, and the US Government do not assume responsibility for any injury to persons attending the event. The CCE, USAID, and the US Government do not assume responsibility for any damage to the building or grounds caused by anyone attending or present on the premises as a result of the event. The CCE, USAID, and the US Government are not responsible for the loss of any personal property resulting from the action or inaction of guests or participants at the event.  The user assumes responsibility for any injury to persons attending the event. The user assumes financial responsibility for any damage to the building or grounds caused by anyone attending or present on the premises as a result of the event. The user is financially responsible for the loss of any personal property resulting from the action or inaction of guests or participants at the event.

     
  18. Alcohol is not permitted anywhere in or on the CCE premises.

     
  19. Any intentional and/or negligent violation of the CCE access policy will result in denial of further access to CCE facilities.
Computer lab and audio-visual equipment
These facilities and resources are available for general public use for the purpose of ensuring access to information available on the internet, increasing awareness, improving education and skills, and encouraging communication.
  1. CCE provides access and usage of its computers, computer network and other forms of equipment for the general public use on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Computers may, however, be reserved by prior arrangement with the CCE staff. Any person who uses this equipment agrees to its usage policy. This policy is intended to support and protect users, as well as CCE resources.

     
  2. Time limits:  Computer users will be limited to one hour of use at a time on any of the computer lab’s equipment.  Time slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.  Users may be able to continue using one computer or access another computer for a second consecutive hour, if and only if no other users are waiting for a turn.

     
  3. All users are expected to use the equipment in a safe, appropriate and legal manner. The use of the CCE computers, its computer network and other forms of equipment is a privilege, not a right, and unsafe, illegal, or inappropriate use will result in restriction by CCE staff and/or the cancellation of those privileges.

     
  4. No smoking, drinks or food are allowed in the computer lab.

     
  5. Using CCE computer software/equipment in ways that violate local, state, federal, or international laws or statutes is prohibited. Neither CCE computers nor the network may be used in ways which infringe legal copyrights. Neither CCE computers nor the network may be used to access gambling, pornography or illegal or inappropriate websites.

     
  6. CCE computers and internet connections are intended to be used for legitimate civic engagement, educational, skill-building, and communications purposes only.  No one will be allowed to use the equipment for games or entertainment purposes.

     
  7. Users are responsible for managing, maintaining and backing up their personal files.

     
  8. Any attempt to render a CCE computer workstation unusable is prohibited and will result in the denial of further access to the computer lab.

     
  9. The lab projectors and other audio-visual equipment are for civic engagement purposes only.

     
  10. No disruptive behavior or game playing is allowed in the computer lab.

     
  11. CCE staff has the authority to contact the police if someone is mishandling or destroying equipment, or using the equipment for illegal purposes.

     
Library/resource center
This facility is available for providing citizens with more information about democracy, politics, economics, culture and other issues.
  1. CCE provides access and usage of its hard copy materials and publications by the general public. Any person who uses these publications agrees to its usage policy. This policy is intended to support and protect users and the library resources.

     
  2. All users are expected to use the resources in a safe, appropriate and legal manner. The use of the CCE library resources is a privilege, not a right, and unsafe, illegal, or inappropriate use will result in restriction by CCE staff and/or the cancellation of those privileges.

     
  3. No smoking, drinks, or food are allowed in the library/resource center.

     
  4. Users are responsible for the protection of library resources while using them.

     
  5. Any attempt to render library/resources unusable is prohibited and will result in denial of further access to the library/resource center.

     
  6. The materials and publications available in the library/resource center may be checked out for external use (2 days allowed) by the registration of users at the premises of the library.

     
  7. The library resources are available for non-commercial uses only.

     
  8. No disruptive behavior is allowed in the library/resource center.

     
  9. CCE staff has the authority to contact police if someone is mishandling or destroying the property of the library/resource center, or using it for illegal purposes.
     
  10. Library/resource center users have access to CCE
    equipment (printer, copier and scanner). Usage conditions will be authorized by CCE staff based on reasonableness and fairness. Up to one copy of any document may be printed and/or copied at a cost of 10 tetri per page. Copyrighted materials may not be copied, and fees may be waived at the written discretion of the CCE staff.



Responsibilities
The applicant must agree to the following:
  1. All activities or meetings must not violate local, federal, or international legislation.
  2. All activities or meetings must comply with the existing CCE access policy.
  3. Participation in activities or meetings is voluntary.
  4. Those attending must not engage in any activity that is illegal, dangerous, or which materially and substantially interferes with the CCE purpose. Such activities shall be grounds for a particular group to be denied access to the CCE.
  5. The groups may not use the name of USAID, Management Systems International (MSI), or USAID’s or MSI’s logos, emblems,  any endorsement, implied or explicit, in favor of the content of the activity. 
  6. Applicant assumes financial responsibility for any damage to the building or grounds caused by anyone attending the event, or present on the premises as a result of the event.
  7. Applicant will follow other provisions included in the CCE policy.
  8. The applicant is responsible to inform, invite and communicate with possible attendees and participants, as well as take care of media coverage of the event if needed.
The CCE coordinator will:
  1. Keep a log of application information.
  2. Find, assign and confirm a suitable time and room for the meeting or activity. 
  3. Note the condition of the facilities and equipment before and after use.
  4. Assist parties organizing the event with publicity based on the CCEs’ standard outreach scheme.
  5. Ensure fair opportunity and equal access to the CCE for all parties.
  6. Assure that the meeting or activity does not contradict the purpose of the CCEs and legitimacy principles.
  7. Provide parties with access to this policy and procedures.
  8. Ensure transparency of all events scheduled.
  9. Update content of the CCE website and develop text for a monthly bulletin for a CCE newsletter.
  10. The CCE coordinator will post  a banner with telephone number and contact information for the CCEs’ Tbilisi main office.  The banner will be attached to a central wall or stand in a clearly visible part of the CCE where it will be visible to any party.
  11. The CCE coordinator is obliged to report any direct or indirect threats that might cause human or property damage to CCE personnel or facility to the Component Director for Centers for Civic Engagement, or her Deputy, as soon as safely possible via telephone.


Procedure for scheduling events

Any user who intends to initiate a meeting under this policy shall apply to the CCE coordinator at least 1 business day in advance of the proposed time of the activity or meeting.

Users applying for use of the CCE facilities under this policy must provide the following information to the CCE coordinator: proposed time and date of meeting, duration, estimated number of persons in attendance, topic(s) of the event/meeting, as well as any special equipment needs.

The parties must complete a separate application form in order to apply for the booking of the CCE meeting hall or conference room.

If a user reserves the space and fails to show up without giving the center management written notice at least 1 business day in advance, the user will be barred from reserving the space again for another 15 working days.  A second infraction will bar the user from reserving it for 30 days following the second infraction. In the case of a third no-show, a party must provide a written clarification or it will no longer be allowed to make further reservations. Such clarifications shall be reviewed and determinations of further usage made by the CCE director or deputy director.

A party may reserve the space without restriction twice in one calendar month.  The third reservation in a calendar month will be considered tentative unless another group requests the facility at the same time.  The first party will be notified with 2 business days’ advance notice if no other party requests the space, at which time  the first party may use it.  If, with at least 2 business days’ notice, another party requests the space at the same time as the first party that has already used the space twice in one calendar month, then the first party will have to wait until the next calendar month to reserve, or look for another available time slot.

Library/resource center and the computer lab are available for users only during the working hours of the CCE without any preliminary booking. The registration of users is required.

Violation of this Access Policy Any intentional and/or negligent violation of this CCE access policy by any party applying for CCE use will result in the denial of further access to CCE facilities.

Special Clause Centers for Civic Engagement project management retains the right to make amendments to this access policy as may be needed, in consultation with USAID.  

Regular Operating Hours

Monday - Saturday - 10:00 to 19:00


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