The reforms started in Uzbekistan 7 years ago are being continued consistently. Decisions based on principles such as keeping up with the times, openness to positive changes, and ensuring human dignity are becoming important in determining the country’s future. The fact that the people are directly involved in these processes and the active participation of mass media and representatives of civil society indicates that the society is becoming more active.
This process was clearly demonstrated in the case of constitutional reforms. 150,000 suggestions were received during the initial period when the updated draft of the Constitution was put up for public discussion, and more than 220,000 suggestions were received as a result of continuing discussions.
We can see the reforms in the example of all directions. In particular, as a result of recent changes in our country, Uzbekistan is creating its own model for fighting corruption.
The main executors of these results are bodies responsible for fighting corruption, state organizations, representatives of civil society institutions, and the public. In the speech of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoev at the joint session of the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis dedicated to the inauguration ceremony, he emphasized that “In the last five years, the fight against corruption has been brought to the level of state policy, and the need to strengthen systematic preventive measures, not limited to bringing the guilty to legal responsibility in this regard, to the scourge of corruption it was noted that the whole society should fight against it not only with state-legal measures.
In addition, in the annual address of the Head of State, special attention is paid to the issue of combating corruption, and the adoption of many legal documents in this field shows the importance of the issue of combating corruption at the level of state policy.
In 2022, the creation of important preventive mechanisms aimed at preventing corruption, reducing bureaucracy in public administration, ensuring openness and transparency, improving the quality of public services, reducing the human factor through digitization served as important elements of the state policy to fight against corruption.
Firstly, the process of transition from “manual” management to “automatic” management system has started through the administrative reforms implemented at the end of 2022.
In particular, as a result of administrative reforms, the most important link of the state management system – the Cabinet of Ministers – was improved, the executive power became more compact, and redundant functions were eliminated. Most importantly, bureaucracy has been cut and the 9 step process of “getting permission” to advance a given initiative has been abandoned.
Secondly, preventive mechanisms aimed at preventing corruption in state bodies and organizations were created.
In particular, the Openness Index was introduced, aimed at rating the effectiveness of the anti-corruption efforts of state bodies and organizations and evaluating the effectiveness of the work carried out on openness in state bodies and organizations. Also, the “E-Anticorruption” project was launched to prevent corruption risks in state bodies and organizations.
Thirdly, the quality of public services has been improved, redundancies have been reduced, and the number of public services provided electronically has been increased.
In particular, the requirement of 73 types of documents and information from citizens was canceled, the number of documents to be submitted was reduced from 221 to 95 (43%), 17 requirements and conditions of 6 licenses and permits were canceled.
Fourthly, in order to reduce the “Human factor” through digitization, the wide introduction of information and communication technologies in all areas was further developed.
In particular, within the framework of the “Digital Uzbekistan-2030” strategy, 369 projects related to the digitization of the activities of state and economic management bodies were implemented.
In the social sphere, “Electronic Workbook”, “Electronic Healthcare” system, “Higher Education Process Management Information System” (HEMIS), in secondary schools The “Electronic Diary” system, the “Unified Register of Social Protection” system, which provides transparency in the allocation of allowances and financial assistance;
In the economic sphere, “License”, “E-Auction”, “YERELEKTRON”, “Transparent Road”, “Transparent Construction”, “Agrosubsidy”, “Electronic State Procurement System” and other information systems effectively serve to reduce the risks of corruption.
Lastly, in order to improve the field of fight against corruption, to eliminate legal gaps, 13 related to the field, as well as 24 normative legal documents aimed at reducing the factors of corruption as a result of reforms in other fields were adopted.
A number of works were carried out by the responsible committees of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis and the Legislative Chamber in the direction of parliamentary control in the field of combating corruption. In particular, the chambers of the Oliy Majlis reviewed and approved more than 10 projects of regulatory legal documents in the field of combating corruption (on conflicts of interest, anti-corruption expertise of regulatory legal documents, etc.).
The institution of parliamentary control occupies a special place in the activities of the Parliament. In this regard, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis’s Committee on Judiciary Law and Anti-Corruption and the Agency together with the information on the work done by the officials of regional state bodies in the regions to fight against corruption were heard, and based on the results, the decision of the Local Councils was adopted. Also, the Committee on Combating Corruption and Judiciary Issues of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis studied the work carried out in the education system within the framework of the “Corruption-Free Sector” project and the work carried out in the tax system within the framework of the Law “On Combating Corruption”. The reports of the leadership of the State Tax Committee on the implementation of the “Corruption-free sphere” projects, the Ministry of Health and Higher and Secondary Education, and the state of the fight against corruption in the system of tax authorities were heard.
In the normative legal documents adopted in the field of fight against corruption, special attention is paid to raising the legal consciousness and legal culture of the population.
In the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to introduce a system for rating assessment of the effectiveness of anti-corruption work”, the rating evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-corruption activities is one of the indicators set in five areas: “Effectiveness of promotional activities aimed at raising culture, forming an intolerant attitude towards this disease” was determined.
According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures for conducting an anti-corruption examination of regulatory legal documents in 2022”, responsible state bodies and organizations take measures to actively involve independent experts and the general public in the process of conducting an anti-corruption examination of regulatory legal documents in accordance with the procedure established by legislation. go loaded.
In order to implement these tasks, the Anti-Corruption Week is systematically organized every year throughout the republic. During the week, international forums, contests, promotional activities, open-door days in ministries and offices, and press tours were organized.
Also, in order to actively involve civil society institutions in this process and to encourage them, based on the order of the Agency, projects of 500 million soums were implemented by the public fund under the Oliy Majlis in 2 topics.
Also, together with international partners, grants and social orders were announced, and 70 thousand US dollars were allocated for 9 projects in cooperation with NGOs operating in our country.
As a result of the projects, the knowledge of women and young people about corruption was increased, manuals for schools and pre-school educational institutions, a collection of anti-corruption comics, and a co-working center were established in a higher education institution.
In conclusion, it can be said that the reforms implemented in the fight against corruption are of particular importance because they are aimed at eliminating the causes and conditions of corruption, rather than the consequences.
In particular, the work being done to ensure the open and transparent activities of state bodies, to establish effective public control, to introduce internal control systems against corruption, to ensure the freedom of the mass media, to take measures to reduce corruption risks by assessing them, and to improve the skills of civil servants are important preventive measures in the prevention of corruption. serving as mechanisms.
In addition, according to the results of the ranking of international organizations on the assessment of the level of corruption, it is confirmed that the work in this regard is changing in a positive direction in Uzbekistan.
For this reason, it is one of the important tasks before us to consistently continue the reforms in the fight against corruption and involve civil society institutions, media representatives and the general public in the fight against this disease by establishing a strong public control.
Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency,
Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor