Senior legal officer at TI Russia Grigory Mashanov co-authored the civil society report on the implementation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Uzbekistan.
United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. The UNCAC Coalition is a global network of civil society organizations all over the world which TI Russia joined in September 2021.
The Corruption Prevention Agency of Uzbekistan has completed the self-assessment checklist for the UNCAC implementation review process. However, none of the independent civil society organizations were engaged in this work. A parallel civil society report, which is authored by the Uzbek Forum for Human Rights and Transparency International Russia with the support from the UNCAC Coalition, reviews Uzbekistan’s implementation of selected articles of Chapter II (Preventive measures) and Chapter V (Asset recovery) of the UNCAC.
The report outlines the progress achieved by Uzbekistan, as well as the problems that hinder the efficacy of reforms, such as:
- widespread nepotism;
- political interference in key institutions;
- impunity for crimes of corruption;
- gaps in legislation in public procurement and public sector hiring;
- refusals and denials of access to information and ineffectiveness of judicial challenges to such refusals;
- loopholes in anti-money laundering regulations, e.g. the absence of a definition of ‘public official’.
The report makes several recommendations to address the challenges outlined above and advance UNCAC implementation:
- lift all restrictions on work of media outlets and on foreign funding to registered independent NGOs;
- enroll in international mechanisms and organizations, including the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO);
- establish sanctions for non-compliance with every anti-corruption measure;
- publicize detailed financial statements of political parties;
- limit direct contracting of all public procurements to small and routine ones;
- develop a centralized Beneficial Ownership Register where data is publicized;
- ensure the judiciary and the prosecution service are free from any political interference.
Another important recommendation is to actively involve civil society in the asset recovery process, including the ongoing return proceedings, such as those of Gulnara Karimova’s ill-gotten assets.
The full report can be also found on the UNCAC Coalition website.