31/10/2013 - Azerbaijan must do more to enforce recently introduced anti-corruption laws and to ensure law enforcement has the resources to prosecute complex corruption crimes, says a new OECD report.
The report commends Azerbaijan for introducing major reforms since its last review in 2010, including important laws against corruption and strengthening the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Department. Without proper enforcement, however, progress may stall.
The report calls on Azerbaijan to improve its capacity to prevent, detect and punish corruption crimes. It should:
- Strengthen the anti-corruption coordination role of the Commission on Combating Corruption;
- Involve civil society more actively in the anti-corruption efforts;
- Prepare regular surveys of corruption trends to develop and monitor anti-corruption policy;
- Strengthen integrity of public officials by implementing more transparent recruitment procedures, effective conflict of interest legislation, and asset declaration requirements;
- Ensure companies can be held liable for corruption;
- Reduce immunities of MPs and judges from prosecution for corruption and providing effective means for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute high-level corruption cases;
- Develop referral mechanisms to share information between the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Department and public bodies' internal investigations, control and inspection units to improve the detection and investigation of corruption crimes.
The report also highlights positive aspects of Azerbaijan’s efforts to fight corruption, such as the simplification and modernisation of administrative procedures and the establishment of e-services for citizens to reduce the scope for administrative corruption; empowering the Ombudsmen to oversee implementation of freedom of information legislation; and amendments to the new Law on Political Parties aimed at providing for greater transparency of political financing.
The full report on Azerbaijan is available here.
The IAP is an initiative launched in 2003 to support anti-corruption reform efforts in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as part of the OECD Working Group on Bribery outreach work under its regional initiative Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
For further information, journalists should contact Mrs Tanya Khavanska at the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Division at (33) 1 45 24 94 43 or firstname.lastname@example.org