Fuad Aleskerov: Azerbaijan`s anti-corruption experience is positively evaluated by int`l organisations
-Mr. Aleskerov, how do you evaluate the results of Azerbaijan published in 2016 Global Corruption Barometer report of Transparency International?
The results show that there is a significant development in the field of anti-corruption and level of corruption has decreased in Azerbaijan. Regarding that, I would like to draw your attention to the statistics indicated in the report. 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%).
Another traditional indicator of the report is related with the effectiveness of the anti-corruption measures taken by states. In this regard, 37% of respondents in Estonia, 41% in Georgia, 42% in Romania, 45% in Serbia, 53% in Netherlands, 57% in Great Britain, 64% in France, 65% in Armenia, 71% in Latvia, 77% in Slovenia and 80% in Spain believe that anti-corruption measures carried out by their states are ineffective. This figure regarding Azerbaijan is only 15%. It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s result is better than the average score of the European Union (53%) and post-Soviet states (56%).
Another indicator of the report shows how much public officials and politicians are prone to corruption. In this regard, 27% of respondents in Great Britain, 30% in Portugal and Hungary, 36% in Italy, 39% Greece, 40% in Slovakia and 63% in Ukraine considers that public officials and politicians are exposed to corruption in their activities. This indicator is 11% for Azerbaijan. This result shows once again that position of Azerbaijan is better than the average score of the European Union (24%) and post-soviet states (31%).
It is obvious from report that, results of Azerbaijan are progressive. The comparison of the results of 2016 Global Corruption Barometer report with the results of previous reports published in 2010 and 2013 shows that level of corruption is decreased in Azerbaijan.
-What is the reason of the difference between the results of the current report of the International Transparency and Corruption Perception Index?
-As you might know, Transparency International (TI) has two conventional assessment mechanisms: Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and the Global Corruption Barometer. Findings of both reports indicate that there is progress regarding result of Azerbaijan. According to the results of 2015 CPI report of TI, Azerbaijan`s position improved 7 steps in comparison with results of the previous year. However, we consider that the Global Corruption Barometer is more transparent and better reflects the anti-corruption measures taken in Azerbaijan. Such as this report directly reflects the position of Azerbaijani citizens. However, the CPI is prepared on the basis of different subjective sources and the reports of different organizations.
-How can you explain the progress in Azerbaijan`s position reflected in those reports?
-Of course, these achievements are directly linked with existing strong political will in the field of fight against corruption in Azerbaijan. Adoption of anti-corruption state programs by Presidential Decrees and its effective implementation, successful functioning of “ASAN service” centers which are established with the initiative of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, efficient work of law enforcement bodies in this field, comprehensive legislation in line with international standards and active participation in international initiatives are main factors that ensured our success in this field.
Measures envisaged in National Action Plans on Promotion of Open Government and Anti-Corruption, which were approved by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, were implemented fully during 2012-2015. Civil society institutions also carried out independent assessment of National Action Plans and highly evaluate the implementation rate of them.
Besides that, with the initiative of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the inspections in the field of entrepreneurship were suspended for two years, the number of licenses and issuance period were decreased, the procedures required to issue the licenses were simplified. Number of e-services was increased within e-governmental portal and active participation of civil society organizations was provided in the work of state bodies.
The structure of the Anti-Corruption Directorate under Prosecutor General, which is in charge of enforcement of corruption offences, was improved; number of its staff was increased and its financial-technical capacity was enlarged. The technical and human resources of hotline within General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan were advanced and necessary conditions were created to take operative measures related to the given corruption related information.
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. Additionally, Azerbaijani brand - ASAN Service was awarded with UN Public Service Award 2015 in the field of public service delivery.