Corruption Perception Index 2013Posted by: admin | Posted on: Декабрь 3, 2013
The Transparency International national chapter in Azerbaijan presents the TI Corruption Perception Index 2013. This year Azerbaijan received a score of 28, and was ranked 128th out of 177 countries. Index is built from a new methodology since last year. The CPI 2013 is presented on a scale of 0 to 100 with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean, while the CPI scores for all the previous years were presented on a scale of 0 to 10. In 2012 the country was ranked 139th among 176 countries with the score 27. Altogether 13 data sources were used to construct the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013. Data for Azerbaijan was drawn from 6 different sources.
In 2013 Azerbaijan demonstrated its best performance in the rankings of CPI since 2000 when the country was first included in the report. The country’s progress has been made possible mainly thanks to its economic indicators. Azerbaijan scored considerably well in the ranking of the Global Competitiveness Report for 2012-2013 published by the World Economic Forum. The country moved up from the 55th place among 142 countries in the GCR for 2011-2012 to take the 46th place among 144 countries. This year Azerbaijan performed remarkably well on indicators like improvement of the trade market, innovation potential, technological development and macroeconomic stability. All of these changes indirectly contributed to the increase in the country’s CPI ranking. On the other hand, Azerbaijan’s position dropped in the Nations in Transit 2013 report published by Freedom House, which is another reference source for the CPI.
Since 1995 the CPI has been a flagship product for TI. The ranking of countries in the Index is delivered in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist in the public sector and it is not a verdict on the corruption of nations or societies as a whole.
A number of important measures have recently been taken in Azerbaijan to combat corruption, particularly to improve the anti-corruption legislation and bring it in line with the provisions of international conventions.
According to monitoring reports released by a project implemented by Transparency Azerbaijan, the Action Plan on Combating Corruption covering the period of 2012-2015 was implemented by 34% and the Open Government Partnership Initiative Action Plan was implemented by 25%. Expansion of the scope of activities and coverage by the State Agency for Social Innovations and organization of electronic services by public agencies are also important steps towards progress. However, it shall be empahsied that the expectations of people of electronic services have not been fully met. If services designed for the business sector are of high quality in terms of their scope and coverage, services rendered to the population are marred by serious deficiencies. To be precise, some long life electronic services that people need are lacking, for example, State Social Protection Fund does not provide online registration of the insured; no facilities exist for online application for change of the state registration plate for vehicles, declarations for customs clearance of goods and vehicles are not available either. It seems expedient to apply a unified approach in organization of these services.
The anti-corruption efforts shall be applied on an on-going basis and not take a form of a campaign. Policy of the Anti-corruption Department under the Prosecutor General to bring corrupt officials to responsibility are commendable, however they do not act upon suspicions of the media. Anti-corruption efforts shall focus on the prevention of corruption rather than the elimination of its consequences.
Corruption is still entrenched in the Azerbaijan society and the government needs to improve law enforcement procedures to ensure that anti-corruption legislation works. Measures should be taken to ensure the protection of people wishing to report cases of corruption. Furthermore, serious efforts are required to improve transparency and accountability in public budget expenditure and public procurement.
It is regrettable that several crucial laws and supporting regulatory acts are due since long: conflict of interest law; whistleblower protection; punishment of deprivation of the right to hold certain positions in legal entities outside of public service; submission of financial declarations by public officials; etc. These should include sanctions for violation of provisions to respective codes. Civil society monitoring of the implementation of the newly adopted regulations should be supported.
The display of political will by the Azerbaijan Government to curb corruption leaves room to optimism, as this is an indispensable prerequisite. Another substantial ingredient in the struggle against corruption is the cooperation between all relevant stakeholders. We strongly believe that the key to success of this struggle is a further enhancement of the joint efforts already carried out by the Government, the civil society, the business community and the citizens of Azerbaijan.