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“There’s a systemic fight against corruption in Azerbaijan”

“There’s a systemic fight against corruption in Azerbaijan”
According to experts, measures against corruption and bribery is effective and approved by the people

Commission on Combating Corruption released its annual report recently. Calling 2016 the year of large-scale reforms in Azerbaijan, report stated that combating corruption was one of the main directions of state policy in the country and our counter-corruption experience stood out for its innovative nature. Report points out that institutional and legislative measures against corruption, which met the international standards, were continued in the country last year and large-scale reforms were carried out.  
 
Economic reforms such as increased transparency in the areas of customs and taxation and improvement of investment environment were stressed in the report. It was noted that hiring teachers in a centralized and transparent manner was ensured and new vacancies for teacher positions were published in the official website of the Ministry of Education. Salaries of teachers were raised and their social benefits were strengthened.  
 
It was stated in the report that as a result of expansion of institutional reforms, the coverage and activities of "ASAN service” centers and were expanded and over 13 million individuals sought the service of "ASAN service” and the rate of customer satisfaction was around 98%. At the same time, "ASAN service” index was created to apply the "ASAN service” standards to every other state services.  
 
Azerbaijan moved up 7 places in the latest report compiled by Transparency International. At the same time, the implemented reforms were highly praised by the Council of Europe State Group against Corruption, Economic Development and Cooperation Organization Combating Corruption Network and relevant subgroups of the UN.  
 
Report concluded that successful measures had been carried out against corruption and for increased transparency in 2016. These measures made complemented reforms carried out in economy and created new opportunities for sustainable development.  
  
MP Bakhtiyar Aliyev shared his opinions about the report with "Kaspi” and said several state programs have been approved by the president to combat corruption in Azerbaijan. According to him, institutional reforms were included in both state programs as well as action plans and they were successfully implemented: "We are already seeing the results of these measures. It’s important to tackle the reasons that lead to corruption in the fight against corruption. It’s imperative to prevent conditions that cause corruption. The legislative basis for this is becoming stronger. In almost all areas serious works have been done. Today we can confidently say that there’s a systemic fight against corruption going on in Azerbaijan. Population’s tolerance against corruption is sufficiently high. We have to note the role the media and the public organizations played in achieving this. Highlighting the flaws in the aforementioned area regularly, enlightening the people has helped a lot too”.  
 
MP pointed out that the reforms Azerbaijan carried against corruption was presented as an example in the world.  As an example he pointed to ASAN Service model: "ASAN Service is an Azerbaijani model and an example of combating corruption, increasing transparency and equality in the society. ASAN Service model was introduced in several other countries”.  
 
Vasif Movsumov, executive director of Foundation for Combating Corruption, thinks fight against corruption can be effective in a place where there’s economic development. Expert said counter corruption measures would be futile at a country where there is no economic stability: "We can point to Ukraine and the increased corruption in the country as an example. But the economic reforms in Azerbaijan help the fight against corruption. We also sense the declining corruption at the lower levels too. Creation of ASAN Service centers has helped eliminate bribery and corruption. This is, of course, the most effective way of combating corruption and bribery and is approved by the people. All these are happening before the eyes of people. Taking these measures into account, I approve the measures taken against corruption in Azerbaijan and consider them effective”.  
 
NGO leader Movsumov praised the efforts to ensure the safety and protection of citizens who made complaints about corruption. He said that citizens would avoid complainant about the cases of corruption is they were unsure of their safety. In his opinion, protection of citizens stimulates the participation of people in combating corruption: "It should be pointed out that, as the state and economy develops, and new models emerge, new mechanisms are needed to combat corruption. Thus, new mechanisms should be regularly employed in combating corruption. There is a constant need for improvement in various state agencies and other areas”.  
 
Rufik Ismayilov 
 
 


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