The Commission on Combating Corruption of the Republic of Azerbaijan gave a report on the measures taken against corruption in 2016.
The document reads, combating corruption is a priority of the state policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and anti-corruption experience of Azerbaijan is distinctive with its innovative characteristics. The institutional and authoritative measures meeting the international standards continued and large-scale reforms were conducted for effective combat against corruption.
2016 has been a year of large-scale economic reforms for the country. To increase the transparency in customs and taxes, the country conducted reforms stimulating the state economy. The operation of the `Green Corridor` system was provided and the procedures were simplified by reducing the number of the demanded documents in order to provide quick and transparent customs registration. Several measures were taken to increase the mutual respect between taxpayers and tax authorities, advance the quality of tax control and create the conditions necessary for entrepreneurs.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree endorsing “Strategic road maps for the national economy and main economic sectors” on December 6, 2016. The decree aims to define the country’s development goals and priorities and ensure the sustainability of the implementation of the economic reforms in compliance with modern economic challenges. These large-scale reforms created new perspectives and opportunities for the country. Despite the global economic crisis, the non-oil sector improved in the country and all social programs were fully implemented according to the summary results of 2016.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Effectiveness Index 2016, Azerbaijan was ranked at the 37th place among 138 countries – up three places in comparison with the previous year as a result of the implemented reforms. Besides, Doing Business 2017 placed Azerbaijan the 5th among 190 countries in `starting business`.
The final assessment of the `National Action Plans for Promotion of Open Government and Combating Corruption in 2012-2015` was conducted by the Commission on Combating Corruption in 2016. The National Action Plan on Combating Corruption was accomplished at 86% and the National Action Plan on the Open Government Partnership was implemented at 82% by the state bodies.
During the reporting period, the state defense of the people giving information on the law violations and the recruitment to municipal civil services on the basis of competition and transparency were provided with the relevant legislative acts. The recruitment of teachers carried out in a centralized and transparent way as well as vacancy announcements for teachers published on the official website of the Ministry of Education were provided. Teachers` salaries raised and their social security enhanced. The relevant measures were taken by the state bodies on the accessibility to information, providing the public with regular information on the activities of the state bodies and the improvement of the electronic services.
Within the framework of the systematical institutional reforms in combatting corruption, the scope and the area of activities of the `ASAN Service` (The State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan) were expanded. More than 13 million people applied to the `ASAN Service` centers and the citizen satisfaction rate reached to 98%. Besides, `ASAN Service` index was established to apply `ASAN Service` standards in all public services. The Open Government Platform were established and provided with the necessary support with the purpose of the coordination of the efforts and the activities of the state bodies and civil society institution.
The condition of the implementation of the National Action Plans was evaluated by the specialized NGOs, as well as Transparency International (TI) Azerbaijan and `Constitution Research Fund`. The state of the final implementation of the National Action Plan on combating corruption was defined at 83%. The high-level results of the independent monitoring provided by the Civil Society Institutions prove the efficiency of anti-corruption measures in Azerbaijan.
The positive dynamics in the anti-corruption measures taken in Azerbaijan was reflected in the international anti-corruption ranking. Azerbaijan has had a larger rise - up seven places in the Corruption Perception Index released by ` Transparency International ` in comparison with the previous years. ` 2016 Global Corruption Barometer` survey by `Transparency International` shows the development on combating corruption and decrease in the level of corruption in Azerbaijan.
According to the report, 79% of Azerbaijani respondents do not consider corruption as one of the main problems of our society. This indicator is better than the average indicator of the European Union (68%) and post-soviet states (66%). Moreover, the innovative anti-corruption experience of Azerbaijan was also highly evaluated by the Council of Europe`s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), Anti-Corruption Network of OECD and relevant sub-groups of the UN.
National Action Plan for 2016-2018 on Promotion of Open Government was adopted with Presidential Decree of 27th April 2016 in order to provide the sustainability of promotion of Open Government and anti-corruption measures. The adoption of the new National Action Plan and the scope of considered measures show strong political will on the expansion of Open Government principles and combating corruption in Azerbaijan.
Increasing transparency and anti-corruption measures were successfully implemented and the elimination of conditions allowing corruption to occur was provided in 2016. These measures completed the reforms in the field of economic development and created opportunities for sustainable economic growth.