Tajikistan must ensure anti-corruption measures lead to concrete actions


06/12/2017 - Measures taken by the government of Tajikistan to address corruption have not produced tangible improvements for its citizens. Corruption remains a key problem together with poverty, and has to be addressed by meaningful actions, according to a new OECD report. 


Over the past three years, Tajikistan has conducted many activities to raise awareness about the risks of corruption. A  new Code of Ethics for civil servants was adopted; the National council for corruption prevention was established under the President to improve coordination of anti-corruption efforts among various state bodies; and the national Anti-Corruption Agency has strengthened its capacity. Furthermore, the government conducts regular corruption surveys; however, the results show that the level of corruption remains very high.


The OECD report notes that anti-corruption legislation and institutions remain weak. For example, no major improvements have been introduced to the Tajik legislation to fully criminalize corruption as required by international standards. Civil servants, investigators and prosecutors as well as judges are open to political influences. The level of undisclosed information, including in public procurement, remains very high, and cooperation with civil society is very weak. Dialogue with the business community is largely formal, with the positive exception of working groups with business representatives that were established by the State Investment Committee.


The report's in-depth analysis of the land management sector demonstrates how the weak national anti-corruption system in Tajikistan provides fertile soil for corrupt behaviour in this sector at the local level. Land use rules are obscure and local authorities have unlimited discretion. The reasons for refusing the right to provide a land slot, the price for the use of the land plot and many other decisions are taken through direct negotiations between local authorities and citizens. Information about available land plots is not open for potential users and land use rights are awarded without open competition. The State Committee on land management has adopted its own anti-corruption programme and regularly visits local authorities to review complaints. However, these measures do not address the root of corruption that requires a fundamental review of land use legislation and a transformation of the land management institutions.


Recognizing these challenges, the report recommends that Tajikistan: 

  • Strengthen the monitoring of the Anti-Corruption Strategy by the National Anti-Corruption Council through supporting its work by a permanent secretariat that can be provided by the Anti-Corruption Agency and by ensuring meaningful participation of civil society;
  • Build analytical and specialized capacity of the Anti-Corruption Agency to enable it to investigate complex and high level corruption cases and improve its coordination with other state bodies responsible for preventing and combating corruption;
  • Improve the legal framework for the professional civil service and for effective prevention of conflict of interest, and take measures to enforce it in practice, including merit-based competition recruitment and asset declarations for public officials, including for high level officials;
  • Ensure the independence of judges and transparency in the judiciary;
  • Introduce merit based competitive recruitment in the prosecution service, promote integrity and independence of prosecutors, limit the role of prosecutors in the so-called general supervision to prevent risks of corruption and undue political influence;
  • Improve access to information through legal, institutional and practical measures;
  • Reform criminal legislation to bring it into compliance with international anti-corruption standards;
  • Establish a complete list of reasons that can serve grounds for refusal of the right for land use, open information about available land plots, implement a pilot project for awarding the land use right on a competitive basis, ensure independence of local inspectors of State Land Committee from local administration.

The full report and recommendations on Tajikistan is available in Russian here.

The report is published under the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan, initiative launched in 2003 under the Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), which is a part of the OECD Working Group on Bribery outreach work. More information is at www.oecd.org/corruption/acn/.

 For further information, contact Mrs. Olga Savran, ACN Manager at the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Division at +33 1 45 24 13 81 or anti-corruption.contact@oecd.org.

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.


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