Uzbekistan Country Profile

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Business Corruption in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world; it is comparable regionally only to Afghanistan. Laws intended to fight corruption are in place but lack enforcement, and the bodies intended to fight corruption often have insufficient resources. The Department for the Fight against Economic Crime and Corruption, a part of the General Prosecutor’s office, has been tasked with taking up corruption cases and, according to government statistics, has had much success; however, it is claimed that these arrests are the result of a power struggle between rival oligarchic groups. The Uzbek government has recognised the importance of fighting corruption and has been training officials in corruption matters, such as in relation to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). According to Transparency International UK, there is currently no criminal liability for illicit enrichment, and non-public officials influencing the discretion of public officials is not a criminal offence.

The judiciary, although theoretically independent, is highly dependent on the central executive, with judges appointed by the president and rubber stamped by Parliament. Recent high-profile cases have involved government contracts and large international companies, notably TeliaSoneria. The president’s daughter and according to some, successor, has also been the subject of an investigation into allegations of corruption. Partial state-ownership and influence are also common as government officials use their position to promote their own business interests. This creates an environment rife with conflict of interests, and access to free media is extremely limited.

Detailed descriptions of the levels of corruption in a number of sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. For a more detailed analysis of the Uzbek government, media and civil society's anti-corruption activities, visit Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives.

Publication date: March 2014

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions

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