Information on implemented measures, in 2016, in fighting against corruption and promoting open government in the Republic of Azerbaijan
Fighting against corruption is a priority direction of the state policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 2016, for the effective fight against corruption, legislative and institutional measures were continued and large-scale reforms were carried out.
2016 was a year for the country's large-scale economic reforms. With the aim of increasing transparency in the fields of customs and taxes, as well as improving investment climate, reforms that stimulated economic development were implemented. In order to conduct customs clearance in a more transparent and flexible manner, "Green Corridor" system was implemented, the number of documents required for customs clearance were reduced and customs procedures were simplified. A number of measures have been carried out to increase transparency and mutual trust between taxpayers and tax authorities, improve the quality of tax control and create favorable conditions for entrepreneurs.
In order to diversify the country's economy and ensure sustainability of the ongoing economic reforms, the Presidential Decree was signed, on 6 December 2016, to approve 12 strategic road maps on main sectors of the economy. These large-scale reforms created new perspectives and opportunities for the country. Despite the current global economic crisis, according to the results of 2016, the non-oil sector was successfully developed and all social programs were fully implemented.
Azerbaijan has improved its positions on various indicators in the relevant reports of the World Economic Forum (Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017; 37th place on “Global competitiveness index”) and World Bank (Doing Business 2017; 5th place on “Starting a business” indicator).
In 2016, the Commission on Combating Corruption of the Republic of Azerbaijan carried out final assessment of the National Action Plan, for the period of 2012-2015, on fighting against corruption and promoting open government. It was determined that National Action Plans on fighting against corruption and open government promotion were implemented, by the state agencies, in the level of 86% and 82% respectively.
During the reporting period, protection of the persons providing information with respect to offenses related to corruption, as well conducting recruitment, on the basis of competition and transparency, to the municipal civil service were ensured by the relevant legislative acts.
Conducing the recruitment of teachers in a centralized and transparent manner, as well as publishing information on vacant positions on the official website of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan were ensured. The measures on facilitating of information obtaining by public authorities, regularly providing information to the public about the activities of state agencies and improving electronic services were fully implemented.
In the framework of systemic institutional reforms carried out in the field of fighting against corruption, the scope and activities of "ASAN Service" centers were expanded, more than 13 million persons visited "ASAN Service" centers and citizen satisfaction rate was 98%. At the same time, in order to apply "ASAN Service" standards to all public services, "ASAN Service Index" was created. In order to coordinate efforts and activities of the state agencies and civil society institutions in expanding of application of open government principles, the Open Government Platform was created.
The status of implementation of the National Action Plans were regularly assessed by the relevant specialized non-governmental organizations, including the local representation of the "Transparency International", and final implementation status of the National Action Plan on fighting against corruption was identified as 83%. The high level of outcome of independent monitoring carried out by civil society institutions once again confirms effectiveness of the measures taken in Azerbaijan in fighting against corruption.
The positive dynamics in our country in fighting against corruption is also reflected in international anti-corruption ratings. In the last "Corruption Perceptions Index" prepared by the “Transparency International", Azerbaijan improved its position compared to previous years. "Global Corruption Barometer 2016" prepared by the "Transparency International" indicates serious progress in Azerbaijan in fighting against corruption and a decrease in the level of corruption. The outcomes of the very report show that 79% of surveyed respondents in Azerbaijan do not consider corruption as the main problem faced by our society. At the same time the implemented anti-corruption reforms were highly appreciated by the GRECO (The Group of States against Corruption), the Anti-Corruption Network of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the relevant UN system organizations.
In order to ensure sustainability of the implemented measures in open government promotion and fighting against corruption, the New Action Plan, for the period of 2016-2018, on open government promotion was adopted by the Presidential Decree dated 27 April 2016. The adoption and scope of the measures foreseen in the new National Action Plan are the indication of the strong political will in expanding open government principles and preventing corruption. In 2016, measures in increasing transparency and fighting against corruption were successfully implemented. At the same time, these measures complemented the economic reforms and created new opportunities for sustainable economic development.