Scientific and Educational Center for Combating Corruption
Law Enforcement Academy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
The large-scale reforms initiated by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev since 2016 on the implementation of anti-corruption policy has showed significant results in all spheres of life, as well as form a positive image of the country.
Consistently, starting with the Strategy of Actions on the five priority areas of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, adopted on the initiative of the President in 2017-2021, which included the tasks of improving organizational and legal mechanisms for combating against the corruption and increasing the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures, the approved Strategy for the Development of New Uzbekistan for 2022 – 2026, continues to stimulate the implementation of reforms in this area, and includes such areas of anti-corruption activities as ensuring openness and expanding public participation in anti-corruption activities, the introduction of modern information technologies, including artificial intelligence in combating corruption, ensuring the development of regulatory legal acts on the principle of “legislation without corruption”.
The course promoted by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, based on the principle of service of state bodies to the people, is now enshrined in the updated Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which states that the State must express the will of the people and serve their interests, thus raising the tasks set to the constitutional level of legal regulation of anti-corruption in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In his speech at the inauguration ceremony of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasised that “If there is no corruption, everything will be as we promised the people.”
The President of Uzbekistan signed the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Combating Corruption“, developed on his personal initiative. The law establishes three main anti-corruption directions of state policy:
– raising the legal awareness and legal culture of the population, the formation of an intolerant attitude towards corruption in society;
– implementation of measures to prevent corruption in all spheres of state and public life, and
– timely detection of corruption offenses, their suppression, elimination of their consequences, causes and conditions conducive to their commission, ensuring the principle of inevitability of responsibility for corruption offenses.
In order to effectively implement state policy in all these areas, since 2017, medium-term State anti-corruption programs to combat against the corruption have been regularly approved and implemented.
In order to strengthen the ongoing anti-corruption reforms, the Anti-Corruption Agency was established in 2020, which is responsible for the formation and implementation of state policy in the field of prevention and combating against the corruption.
More than 40 legislative acts have been developed and adopted aimed at strengthening the legal and institutional foundations of the anti-corruption sphere, eliminating legal gaps that allow corruption in regulatory documents, legal regulation of the activities of competent anti-corruption bodies, as well as ensuring effective interaction between them.
Uzbekistan signed the law on accession to the UN Convention against Corruption in 2008, and has been participating in the Istanbul Action Plan against Corruption of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Anti-Corruption Network since 2010.
In the latest published OECD report on the results of the 4th round of monitoring under the Istanbul Action Plan to Combat Corruption in Uzbekistan, progress was noted on all 21 recommendations.
The involvement of society is of particular importance in the framework of the measures taken in the fight against corruption. Throughout the country, “Anti-Corruption Weeks” are held annually from November to December, timed to coincide with December 9 – the International Anti-Corruption Day.
Also, in order to inform the general public, including the international community, about the ongoing reforms and efforts to combat corruption in Uzbekistan, as well as to identify tasks for the future in this direction, exchange of best practices, large-scale Anti-Corruption forums are held annually in Tashkent with the participation of national, foreign and international experts, civil society institutions, the media.
In the period 2020-2022, the Anti-Corruption Agency held about 500 events of various levels and formats, including various contests, promotions, flash mobs, round tables, conferences, trainings and talk shows, which were attended by representatives of the general public, including young people.
Together with the Republican Center for the Study of Public Opinion “Ijtimoi fikr”, the level of public perception of corruption is studied quarterly. In order to actively attract and encourage NGOs to form an intolerant attitude to corruption, NGO representatives are included in the National Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Combating Corruption.
Adopted on August 8, 2023, the Law “On Anti-Corruption Expertise of Normative Legal acts and their projects” increases the involvement of the public in conducting anti-corruption expertise.
Training and education on anti-corruption issues is carried out by state authorities both independently and in co-operation with representatives of civil society and business circles.
For almost all categories of civil servants and representatives of other organizations, the Law Enforcement Academy of the Republic of Uzbekistan systematically conducts special distance learning courses on various aspects of combating against the corruption.
In order to implement the measures taken to combat corruption, international cooperation plays an equally important role. Uzbekistan actively cooperates with such organizations as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Council, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (STAR), the World Bank, etc.
Also, purposeful work is being carried out in the country to form a positive image of the country in the international arena, to ensure the improvement of the country’s position in international anti-corruption ratings.
In order to improve the investment attractiveness and strengthen the country’s image in the international arena, introduce new mechanisms for working with ratings and indices in government agencies and organizations, a single portal “The Republic of Uzbekistan in international ratings” has been launched since 2020 (http://ratings.gov.uz/ru /), which publishes information on socio-economic and political-legal ratings.
In this connection, one of the main indicators of the work done in the field of combating corruption is positively reflected in the positions of Uzbekistan in international ratings and indices measuring the level of corruption.
Thus, in the Corruption Perception Index for 2022 of the international organization Transparency International, it is noted that Uzbekistan has steadily continued to improve its indicators since 2013.
In particular, Uzbekistan in this rating, published in January 2023, demonstrated steady growth and rose by 14 positions compared to the previous year.
Also, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index rating for 2022, published every two years by the Bertelsmann Foundation, positively notes the anti-corruption reforms being implemented by the President of the country, including the adoption of the law on public service, legislation being developed on the declaration of income of civil servants, the introduction of responsibility for illegal enrichment, efforts to join the GRECO, etc. It is noted that the implementation of these efforts will improve the performance in this rating.
The summary report on the Rule of Law Index for 2022 conducted by the World Justice Project (WJP – Rule of Law Index) noted that over the past five years, Uzbekistan is one of four countries in the world that has been able to continuously improve its performance.
So, according to the factor “Absence of corruption” (Absence of corruption) Uzbekistan has risen by 4 positions in the Rule of Law Index for 2022.
In the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) rating published on August 7, 2023, Uzbekistan, having scored 70 points, rose to the 30th place among 195 countries.
This rating evaluates the openness of official statistics, the promotion of open data policy, improving access and encouraging dialogue between national statistical offices, as well as data users.
Thus, the above-mentioned reforms aimed at guaranteeing the protection of human rights, improving the standard of living of the population, ensuring freedom of economic activity, improving material and procedural norms in the judicial and legal sphere directly lead to an improvement in Uzbekistan’s position in international anti-corruption ratings and indices.
It is important to continue such interaction, which provides an opportunity not to rest on what has been achieved, to further develop recommendations, the meaning of which is to prioritize development issues, strengthening global partnership, the country’s authority, and to increase its position in international rankings.