On June 29, 2020, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan has approved the Decree No. UP-6013 “On Additional Measures to Improve the Anti-Corruption System in the Republic of Uzbekistan” (hereinafter – “Decree UP-6013”), which establishes the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter – the “Agency”). The Agency is a specially authorized state body responsible for the formation and implementation of state policy to prevent and combat corruption within the country. The Agency reports to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and accountable to the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis.
Among other things, the Agency’s main tasks include:
- Implementation of the internal anti-corruption control system (“compliance control”) and other international anti-corruption instruments within the governmental bodies and legal entities, including banks with a state share in the authorized capital;
- Analysis of the effectiveness of the anti-corruption control system in the field of public procurement, the use of budget funds, loans of international organizations and foreign states, and the sale of state assets.
In order to fulfill the above-mentioned tasks, the Agency is entitled to:
- Request, receive and explore documentation related to the expenditure of budget funds, sales of state assets, public procurement, implementation of investment projects and implementation of state programs;
- Consider appeals of individuals and legal entities on corruption issues;
- Study the status of corruption in the activities of the state and law enforcement agencies and organizations;
- Study the records of criminal cases in accordance with the law;
- Share the results of studies and other activities with law enforcement and other state bodies for taking measures in accordance with the law;
- Conduct administrative investigations of corruption offenses.
In addition, Decree UP-6013 enables the Agency to bind state customers to apply the anti corruption standard ISO 37001, to prevent and combat corruption in public procurement.
In the course of its activities, the Agency has a right to issue decisions in the form of a warning, presentation and appeal, which are subject to mandatory review. The revision results must be reported in writing within 10 days.
It is also worth noting that the Republican Interdepartmental Commission on Corruption Combating and its territorial interdepartmental commissions are being transformed into the National Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Corruption Combating (hereinafter referred to as the “National Council”) under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Senate of Uzbekistan. Under the Decree UP-6013, the Agency is a working body of the National Council.
In addition to the aforementioned, the Agency is entrusted with the tasks and rights of the National Coordinator of the Republic of Uzbekistan regarding Uzbekistan’s international obligations in terms of implementation of measures to combat corruption within the country. Thus, the Agency will:
- Work within the framework of Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia based on the Istanbul Anti-corruption Action Plan for Economic Cooperation and Development;
- Execute measures related to the implementation of the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption and other international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of corruption combating.
Moreover, the following is planned to be implemented soon:
- The electronic platform “E-Anticor.uz”, to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of public authorities and management in combatting corruption;
- Special mobile software that informs the Agency regarding corruption.
Within three months, the Agency was instructed to draft laws “On the Agency for Corruption Combating of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, “On the Declaration of Income, Property and Conflict of Interests of Civil Servants” and “On the Anti-Corruption Expertise of Legal Acts and their Drafts”.
Improving anti-corruption mechanisms and increasing the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures have always been on the agenda of the new government of the country and have been noted in the five priority areas of Uzbekistan's Development Strategy. In early January 2017, the Anti-Corruption Law was adopted, followed by a number of State anti-corruption programs.
According to the Corruption Perception Index for 2019, Uzbekistan ranks 153rd (out of 180) – five positions higher in comparison with 2018.