A meeting of the Working Group on development of the draft of the new National Action Plan on Promotion of the Open Government was held at the State Migration Service on July 5. Vusal Huseynov, Chief of the AR State Migration Service, representative of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Open Government Partnership Initiative; representative of the Secretariat of the Commission on Combating Corruption; representatives of the state bodies; coordinator and members of the Azerbaijan Open Government Platform, as well as NGO representatives participated at the meeting.
Development of the draft National Action Plan on Promotion of the Open Government, involvement of all the stakeholders in this process, holding public discussions, hearings, public consultations and collection of proposals have been discussed at the meeting and participants exchanged their views.
During the meeting V.Huseynov noted that the AR Commission on Combating Corruption, which controls and coordinates implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), has already had extensive experience in preparing the National Action Plans in cooperation with NGOs. Previous NAPs were developed with participation of the civil society and the majority of the proposals given were taken into consideration. The International Open Government Partnership Initiative (OGP) standards will be taken into account in development of the new NAP.
Alimammad Nuriyev, Coordinator, Azerbaijan Open Government Platform said that the Platform and the civil society is ready to actively participate in development of the new NAP. The first steps have already been taken and with initiative of the Platform, the Working Group, consisting of CSO representatives, has prepared a «Road Map» for development of the NAP in accordance with the OGP recommendations. Even further, the proposals on the structure and directions of the NAP have been submitted to the AR Commission on Combating Corruption.
A.Nuriyev said that the issues of developing the NAP with participation of the state bodies and ensuring broad participation will be initially discussed at this meeting. Representatives of the civil society organizations who wish to participate in the process will attend the next sessions. The information regarding this has already been published on the webpage of the Platform and its accounts on the social network.
Nurlan Hasanov, representative of the Secretariat of the AR Commission on Combating Corruption, informed that 3 meetings were held on development of the new National Action Plan in 2018 and numerous proposals were made by the state agencies. Further discussions on these proposals will be held at the upcoming meetings. The Commission analyzes the experience of the previous NAP and studies practices of other countries and their NAPs developed within the Open Government Partnership Initiative. The Commission is ready to provide broad participation and information on its part.
During the discussions, A.Nuriyev; Samir Aliyev, OGP expert; Osman Gunduz, head of the Multimedia Center; representatives of the state bodies provided their proposals.
Meetings on development of the new National Action Plan are scheduled for 3 pm every Friday in July-August 2019 at the Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Information on the agenda and the outcomes of each meeting will be published on the www.ogp.org.az website and on the social networks. The Open Government Platform invites all the stakeholders to actively participate in this process.
Baku / 01.07.19 / Turan: On Sunday, June 30, a tender announcement was published in the newspaper Respublika on the purchase of a car Mercedes Benz S350 by the Executive Authority of the Kalbajar region. The post dedicated to this purchase in the social networks by the correspondent of the Turan news agency caused a wide response, as a result of which the head of the executive power of the region Agil Mammadov told the press that he was refusing this purchase.
Chief accountant, member of the tender commission of the Kalbajar District Executive Office Kazim Zamanov told Turan that 55,000 manat was allocated from the state budget for the purchase of a new car by the executive authority; therefore, plans included buying not a new car, but a used one. «Toyota Avalon is the current car of the head of EP purchased in 2008 at a price of 36,000 manat and it is already outdated. As for the brand of the planned car (Mercedes Benz S350), the choice fell on it because of its stability indicators,» K. Zamanov noted.
Turan notes that the tender announcement was illegal because it was not placed in the unified e-procurement registry.
A representative of the Kalbajar District EP said the tender announcement was planned to be placed in the unified e-procurement register today, July 1, but it is likely that the procurement plan will be changed.
The cost of Mercedes Benz S350 ranges from 131,000 to 197,000 US dollars excluding customs clearance costs.
The Kalbajar district has been under the occupation of the Armenian armed forces since April 1993. The apparatus of the Kalbajar district EP is located in the city of Ganja. In the use of the EP there are 4 service cars.
The representative of the Azerbaijan national chapter attended the event
On June, 2019, a regional meeting of Eastern Europe and CIS chapters of Transparency International was held in Berlin. The event was attended by representatives from 50 countries.
The national chapters and the existing situation in those countries, the principles of organization Secretariat’s work with the national chapters and the issues of improvement of the relationships have been discussed at the event
During the event, the participants also exchanged views on the protection of the person reporting corruption offenses, honesty and political corruption, and the results of the survey conducted on the Transparency International 2030 Vision Strategy.
Ramil Iskandarli, Deputy Executive Director of the Transparency Azerbaijan Anti-Corruption Public Union, which is natoional chapter of the Transparency International participated a the event. He informed about changes in Azerbaijan’s national legislation on protection of the persons reporting on corruption offenses in Azerbaijan. R. Iskandarli offered to discuss the issues of cooperation with anito-corruption agencies and particularly for the protection of the persons reporting the corruption offenses at the annual Congress of the Transparency International.
P.S. Photo of Ms. Delia Matilde Ferreira Rubio (Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Transparency International) and Ramil Iskandarli.
The London Economic: The wife of a jailed banker who spent £16million in luxury department store Harrods is facing extradition to Azerbaijan under new ‘McMafia laws’.
Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, is said to have embezzled £15million from the country’s state bank – some of which makes up the shopping sprees at the Knightsbridge landmark. She has been targeted by the National Crime Agency after so-called anti-corruption ‘McMafia’ laws came into force last year.
The legislation, named after the popular BBC series, allows authorities to seize and liquidate the assets of wealthy foreigners who fail to prove where they got their money from. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (Mon) Hajiyeva has never provided any information about the source of her cash – but had ten credit cards in her name from the International Bank of Azerbaijan. She is now selling her jewellery to fund her lifestyle as she has ‘no income’, the court heard. Her husband Jahangir Hajiyev, 57, was jailed for 15 years in October 2016 for his part in a conspiracy to grant interest and guarantee-free loans without providing proper documentation. The banker only earned up to $70,600 a year, it was said, and could not have funded his wife’s lavish lifestyle of health and wellness retreats and shopping sprees at luxury boutiques.
Prosecutors say Hajiyeva must have been beneficiary of the ‘generous’ loans and was able to increase credit card limits through forged signatures and fraud. Representing Azerbaijan, Helen Malcolm QC said: “Mrs Hajiyeva is the subject of an extradition request issued in October last year. She is the wife of the former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan. “Her husband was a state employee who earned money somewhere between $29,000 to $70,600 dollars per annum – according to the public record and the judgement in connection with this case. “He was convicted in Azerbaijan in October 2016 and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. “This was related in part to a large number of loans taken out from the bank without appropriate documentation and forgery of the signature of the alleged borrowers of those loans. “A vast sum of money I believe some $97million dollars was obtained by 28 credit cards. “More than 30 people are accused in Azerbaijan and one of them is the lady before you. Ten of those 28 credit cards were issued issued in her name by her and linked to her accounts. “She withdrew sums partly in Azerbaijan both from ATM machines in cash and partly through a number of luxury boutiques, hotels and restaurants and what are referred to as grand department stores which I imagine is a reference to Harrods among others. “She spent money in US dollars, pounds sterling and euros. Once you convert the sums into Azerbaijan manat you get a number of slightly differing total amounts. It’s somewhere between £14.5m and £15.5m that she spent on those credit cards. “Her husband doesn’t appear to have had anything like the income that would have supported that kind of spending. Her representatives have responded to this court that she has no income of her own and is currently attempting to sell her jewellery through Christie’s in order to fund her lifestyle.
“The National Crime Agency have recently seized £400,000 worth of the jewellery. “She has not provided any evidence as to how she could fund honestly the kind of sums she has been spending.” The court also heard Hajiyeva owns three houses in Knightsbridge, west London, which were bought in 2009 for over £11million. Ms Malcom said: “She is also it appears the ultimate beneficiary owner of three houses. “The properties are registered to a British Virgin Isles company and it appears she is the beneficiary owner of the BVI company. “Documents she has submitted to this country shows she is the beneficiary. There’s no indication how that could be lawfully funded.” It was said the fraud was carried out by Hajiyeva’s husband at the bank by applying for interest and guarantee free loans – despite it being against the country’s laws to offer better terms to ‘related persons’ than other clients of the bank. Ms Malcom said: “Mrs Hajiyeva by the organisation of her husband applied for interest free and guarantee free loans without providing the necessary documents and in doing so deliberately embezzled the assets of the bank. “She was a related person to the legal identity of the international bank under the law of Azerbaijan which applies particular rules to the operation of banks with related persons. “In particular Article Four of the rules it is prohibited to grant related persons concessionary loans or generous terms that do not apply to other clients.
“In breach of those rules… ten bank cards linked to Mrs Hajiyeva’s bank accounts were provided and used through which she withdrew $13.5million, 2.79million Euros and 4.6million Azerbaijan manat.” The court heard an overview of the purchases made by Hajiyeva which included purchases of flight tickets for herself and members of her family, purchases of jewellery and gold and tuition fees for her three children. She also spent money in “grand department stores, beauty shops, health and wellness centres, hotels, restaurants and other places”. Hajiyeva’s knowledge of the fraud has been alleged by a bank worker, who is also a suspect in the embezzlement and says in a statement he had regular correspondence with his colleague’s wife about credit limits and other technical issues. Ms Malcom concluded: “She knew both that the credit cards were issued by and that the source of the funds was the Interntional Bank of Azerbaijan.” It was also said that Hajiyeva is blocking extradition to her home country on the basis she will not receive a fair trial because of her political views. But the barrister said there was ‘no suggestion’ that the fraud prosecution was politically motivated, and the government were ‘unaware’ she even had any political views. Ms Malcom said: “There is no suggestion in our position the this is a political prosecution. Mr Hajiyeva doesn’t seem to have disputed the amounts of money that he took from the International Bank. “This requested person has never disputed she took and spent those sums. She has, as far as we are aware, no political opinions. We are unaware. “There is no question of this being a political vendetta against her.” The extradition hearing, expected to last three days, continues.
Baku, June 24, AZERTAC
Co-organized by the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations, the UN Public Service Forum has today kicked off at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku.
First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva attended the opening ceremony of the Forum.
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva made a speech at the event.
Speakers at the event included the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin, Chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ulvi Mehdiyev, and Rector of Gunadarma University, Vice-president of Indonesian Private University Association Prof. Eko Sri Margianti.
Liu Zhenmin then presented the UN special award for promoting innovation in the digital public service delivery in Azerbaijan to First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva.
The Forum is annually held ahead of the UN Public Service Day since June 23, 2003. The purpose of the Forum is to hold discussions related to the issues on public administration, advanced public service delivery models, innovations and relevant topics in this field, as well as to ensure interstate exchange of advanced practices in this area. The Forum will also feature the award ceremony of the most advanced and innovative models in the field of public services.
The Forum involves more than 500 delegates from over 190 countries, including ministers of public administration and public services from various countries, as well as senior executives of local authorities, academic circles and private sector. The event will feature plenary sessions, different workshops and parallel events. It also plans to award this year’s winners of the UN Public Services Award in 5 different categories. Furthermore, the State Agency is planning to sign cooperation agreements with a number of foreign countries.
The most important factors contributing to the organization of the forum in the Republic of Azerbaijan are achievements of the country in the field of public services, the successful activity of “ASAN service” and receiving the UN Public Service Award in 2015.