In every country that has chosen the path of democratic development, fight against corruption and bribery is at the forefront. The Azerbaijani people, who set up the first democratic republic in the Muslim East, the Azerbaijani state which granted the right to be elected to women for the first time as well as the modern Republic of Azerbaijan, also consider this struggle a priority. President Ilham Aliyev has also demonstrates political will to fight corruption. As a result, increasing transparency, development of online services, and anti-corruption have become one of the priorities of state policy. First and foremost, a legal basis has been established and strengthened over time, and various laws have been adopted to take substantial steps in the fight against corruption. President Ilham Aliyev has approved the law "On Combating Corruption" on January 13, 2004. It was unambiguously stated in the law that this document aims at detecting, preventing and eliminating corruption offenses, protecting social justice, human and civil rights and freedoms, creating favorable conditions for economic development, involving state bodies and local self-governance bodies, to ensure the legitimacy, transparency and efficiency of the activities of individuals. At the same time it has been shown that this law sought to strengthen public confidence in authorities, encourage professional staff in government agencies and local self-governance bodies, and exclude corruption offenses by these individuals.
Furthermore, the State Program on Combating Corruption was adopted in 2004-2007, and two specialized bodies - the Anti-Corruption Commission and the General Directorate for Combating Corruption under the Prosecutor General's Office were established. Adoption of the "National Strategy for Enhancing Transparency and Anti-Corruption" played an important role in enhancing transparency and eliminating conditions that lead to the cases corruption. This document has been instrumental in further improving the activities of specialized anti-corruption organizations and in building effective partnerships with civil society members. In order to combat corruption and expand the principles of open government and to ensure the continuity of the measures taken in this area, the National Action Plan on the promotion of the Open Government 2016-2020 was adopted in accordance with the Presidential Decree of 27 April 2016.
In addition, Azerbaijan has also cooperated with international organizations specialized in the fight against corruption. Of course, these are all facts confirming that the head of state demonstrates political will in the fight against corruption. The fight against corruption is currently the priority of state policy in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev's focus on this issue at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of the socio-economic development in the first half of 2018 and the forthcoming tasks, once again confirms this. Speaking at the meeting, the head of state said that the fight against corruption and bribery should be taken more seriously in Azerbaijan. The president said that these unpleasant cases should be eliminated: "In recent years, great work has been done which is also noted by the international organizations. Azerbaijan is constantly moving forward in the rankings of international organizations specializing in this field. However, we cannot be satisfied despite the progress. This great social ill must be eliminated in Azerbaijan. We also have conditions to make it happen. We have both strong political will as well as institutional mechanisms. Most importantly, personnel reform is being implemented. If any state officials do not meet these criteria, they will be dismissed and all public officials are aware of it. There will be a very serious fight against corruption and bribery. We have to make sure that institutional mechanisms exist to prevent corruption".
President Ilham Aliyev also pointed out the positive tendencies in this direction. He stated that "ASAN Service" was completely free of corruption: "Over 20 million applications have been submitted to ASAN Service and they boast of almost 100% popularity. So, it is possible to achieve this. There just must be political will, very serious measures need to be taken. However, I must also say that in some cases, administrative penalties do not work. Therefore, the most serious international practice should be applied. Azerbaijan must follow in the footsteps of the leading countries against corruption. Of course, control over the public spending should be strengthened. Relevant ministries have been instructed, now reforms are under way, and all heads of state bodies should know it and follow my instructions".
We should note that, Azerbaijan is one of the countries that successfully passed the 3rd rounds of assessment by the GRECO and OECD Anti-Corruption Network of the Council of Europe anti-corruption group. The achievements, targets, the political will demonstrated by the head of state allow us to say that the necessary steps will be taken to eliminate corruption bribery in Azerbaijan.