Anti-corruption mechanisms in Azerbaijan operates by 50%

Despite effective steps in Azerbaijan to fight corruption,  it is necessary to improve the transparency of government and public institutions, as well as public procurement, reads the report: "Assessment of the National System of transparency: Azerbaijan-2014" , which was presented  on July 18  by  the organization «Transparency Azerbaijan» Baku.

According to Rena Safaralieva, the head of «Transparency Azerbaijan», a research was prepared by the methodology of «Transparency International», which is used for reporting on more than 100 countries worldwide.

The estimate was made on the basis of  the analysis of the law and practice, surveys by authorities and independent experts.  The study involved the executive, legislature, political parties, NGOs, media, business, etc. The project was implemented with financial support from the EU.

Secretary of the State Commission Against Corruption , Vusal Huseynov, generally praised the report. In his view, the study reflects measures for strengthening the anti-corruption mechanisms, improving institutional structures in line with international standards. He stressed that the study was a measure of cooperation of government agencies and civil society.

Head of Operation Department of the  EU Delegation, Frederik Byrne, said that  EU supports  projects to enhance the capacity of government agencies to fight corruption and improve transparency. In particular, the EU  realized twinning projects implemented in ministries of finance and taxes, including creating an electronic audit of large taxpayers.  It is planned to  implement together with the World Bank  the project to assess government spending.

Coordinator of the project: "Evaluation of the National System of Transparency" Muhammad Muradov presented the study itself.

The objects of study were 13 subjects: public and private institutions, including the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the public sector (civil service), law enforcement, CEC, the Ombudsman, political parties, media, civil society and business.

The evaluation was conducted on three criteria - capacity, management , and the role of transparency in the system,  as well as five indicators: resources, independence, transparency, accountability, accuracy.

On the  indicator "Resources" National System of Transparency was estimated at 66 points out of a possible 100.

The most resources for the fight against corruption has executive power.

At the same time, civil society and political parties have problems with financing, including from the private sector.

Commissioner for Human Rights is endowed additional function  of Information Ombudsman, but additional funds are not allocated to it.  Resource base of the Accounting Chamber is also limited.

On the indicator "Independence" transparency score was 60 points. Again  more independence has the executive power. First instance courts depend on the executive authority - the Ministry of Justice in matters of budgeting and state employees. Justice Minister is also the head of the Judicial Council.

Opportunities  of Parliament in the query information from the executive power are also limited.

On the indicator "Transparency" - average estimation is 53 points, involving the problems with the transparency of the Parliament, where parliamentary debates are not shown on any television or online TV.

There is no transparency in the work of the National Television and Radio (NTRS) in tenders to provide frequencies.

Complaints  cause the amendments to legislation from 2012, when the information about the owner of the company was classified as a trade secret.

On  the  indicator "Reporting" there are 52 points.

Despite the quarterly reports of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor General's Office, the courts did not provide statistics on the completion of criminal cases. In business, there is no law on corporate governance, binding reports of companies.

There is no legal provision obliging the State Agency on Procurement attract tender committees of outside experts. This agency is also beyond the control of the Accounting Chamber.

On the  indicator  "Correct"  there are 54 points.  The talk is about compliance with codes of ethics. Among the shortcomings in this area is  that deputies  voted for their colleagues.

It was recommended to adopt the law on conflict of interest and the protection of whistleblowers of corruption.

Scores on the following three criteria were: "Capacity" - 63, "Control" - 53 , and the "role in the system of transparency" - 46.

On the last criterion  the highest score  has the executive branch – 68, probably  thank to creating "Asan Khidmet" service.  

The judiciary system has only 37 points, which is due to its dependence on the executive branch.

The report also  encouraged to ensure disclosure of income declarations deputies and officials.

It is also recommended  to give the Accounting Chamber the authority to audit the State Agency on Procurement and the Petroleum Fund, as well as the function of conducting the preliminary investigation. It is also recommended to ensure transparency and sustainable finance of the  NTRS  and finance civil society. -06C-

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