The last four years have been marked in Uzbekistan by a period of large-scale complex transformations of all aspects of the country’s social life. The main inspirer and initiator of these reforms, of course, is recognized not only in our republic, but also by the world community, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, whose ideas and initiatives laid the foundations for the formation of a new model of state and social construction. The cornerstones of this model were proclaimed the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
What are the main characteristic features of the new democratic model of public administration in Uzbekistan?
The First, it was the Head of State, from the very first days of his election to the post of President, who proclaimed the principle “It is not the people who serve the state bodies, but the state bodies must serve the people”.
In this sense, we can say with full confidence that in the history of Uzbekistan 2017 became the year of the creation of a new system of direct dialogue with the people, an effective solution to their life problems.
The People’s Receptions and the Virtual Reception of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Reception of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which are the basis of this system, have become a kind of democratic institution for working with citizens’ appeals.
Thanks to the initiatives of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the positions of the Commissioner under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of business entities were introduced for the first time.
The Second, in 2017, for the first time, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered an Address to the country’s parliament – the Oliy Majlis. Such a democratic method of public administration is especially in demand today and is consonant with the large-scale reforms being carried out in Uzbekistan, first of all, the principle of dialogue with the people, and serves to further increase the efficiency of the activities of state bodies.
The Third, achieving concrete results and ensuring human interests are identified as the main goal of the democratic reforms being carried out in the country. A new cluster system of economic activity has been introduced. Uzbekistan abandoned the cotton monopoly, focusing on strengthening the country’s expert potential, including through the generally recognized worldwide vegetable and fruit products.
The Fourth, on the basis of the President’s proposals, new comprehensive approaches and non-standard methods of solving the problems of poverty reduction, pensioners, poor citizens, youth and women were formed.
The Fifth, the President of the country outlined new priorities for public administration of the education system, as a result, the preschool education system has been completely reformed, modern standards of general education, vocational and higher education have been introduced. In the last 4 years alone, dozens of branches of leading foreign universities have been opened in the republic, the program “Digital Uzbekistan – 2030”, the Concept “Youth of Uzbekistan – 2025” have been developed and are gradually being implemented.
The attitude to the sphere of science has been radically changed. The Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan has been reformed and strengthened, new institutes have been created, engaged in fundamental research in the field of exact (for example, mathematics, physics) and humanities (for example, state and law). The material support of scientists and applicants has been significantly improved, and the scientific potential of research institutions has been increased.
The Sixth, the President of Uzbekistan proposed and defends, throughout his policy, an absolutely new approach to public administration of the spheres of culture, art and literature, and the media.
Among the most important projects in our spiritual life, proposed by the President of the country, are the organization of the activities of such scientific and educational institutions as the Center for Islamic Civilization in Uzbekistan, the international research centers named after Imam Bukhari and Imam Termizi, the Islamic Academy. Along with this, at the memorial complexes of our great thinkers, schools for the study of hadith, Muslim law, Sufism and other areas have been created.
The Seventh, thanks to the active and tireless efforts of the President, an absolutely new formation of state foreign policy was proclaimed, the main principle of which was openness and the desire to establish friendly good-neighborly relations with the countries of near and far abroad.
The main guidelines in improving the well-being of the people are determined by the President of Uzbekistan to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 and improve Uzbekistan’s position in international indices and ratings.
The Eighth, one of the main priorities of Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the formation of a new model of public administration were his proposals for the democratization and modernization of this system.
What are the main transformations and reforms of the public administration system, initiated by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, are the most significant and have significantly brought our country closer to building a humane democratic rule of law?
The First is the formation of a new system of public administration based on administrative reform, in which the following are recognized as the main priorities:
– imparting greater mobility and optimization of the management system of executive authorities, radical reform of the civil service and administrative procedures, including the provision of services to the population, the introduction of effective mechanisms to combat corruption. In fulfilling these tasks, it was the Head of State that proposed the Concept of Administrative Reform in the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the creation of the Civil Service Development Agency under the President and the Anti-Corruption Agency;
– gradual transition to the principles of advanced public management and “smart” management, active introduction of elements of public-private partnership and outsourcing into this system;
– reduction of licensing procedures, a significant decrease in administrative influence on the sectors of the economy and the widespread use of market mechanisms.
The Second, by the decisions of the President of Uzbekistan, important innovations were made in the sphere of powers of the highest bodies of state power, aimed at ensuring their coordinated functioning and interaction. What are they?
Firstly, in the introduction of the procedure for approving members of the Cabinet of Ministers by the Oliy Majlis, which was previously in the exclusive competence of the President of the country. In accordance with this procedure, a candidate for membership in the Cabinet of Ministers is considered and approved at a meeting of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
A candidate for the position of a member of the Cabinet of Ministers, when considering and approving his candidacy in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, presents an action plan that provides for legal, economic, social, organizational and technical measures to achieve targets and tasks for the future, interconnected with the action program of the Cabinet of Ministers.
A member of the Cabinet of Ministers takes up his duties after his approval by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Secondly. The post of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Cabinet of Ministers in the Oliy Majlis was introduced, which significantly improved the quality of interaction between the parliament and the government.
Thirdly. The practice has been introduced, according to which the Prime Minister, together with members of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, quarterly submits to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan a report on the progress of the implementation of the state program for the corresponding year, the tasks arising from the Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as on execution of legislative acts.
The Third, according to the Concept of Administrative Reform proposed by the Head of State, the structure of the Cabinet of Ministers has been reformed, democratization and modernization of the system of executive authorities have been carried out. What are the highlights of this transformation?
Firstly, measures have been taken to further improve the institutional and legislative foundations of the executive authorities by:
introduction of clear criteria and procedures for the creation and abolition of executive authorities, including their structural and territorial divisions;
optimization of executive authorities with the simultaneous improvement of financial support for the work of civil servants and the introduction of mechanisms to stimulate their high-quality work;
increasing the independence of the executive authorities and their leaders in the implementation of state policy in the assigned area;
further implementation of the “Electronic government” system, improvement of systems for the provision of public services and administrative justice.
Secondly, a clear delineation of functions has been carried out, the responsibility and accountability of state bodies in solving problems on the ground has been strengthened, a new system has been introduced to ensure the timely and effective implementation of decisions taken by the government.
Thirdly, a system for making effective decisions based on their openness and transparency has been introduced, as well as specific performance criteria (quality indicators) of the work of the government, civil servants, a system for the rational use of human and material resources.
Fourthly, methods and techniques have been improved to ensure close cooperation between representative bodies and executive authorities.
The Fourth. The head of the country proposed new forms of strategic planning and regional development.
Firstly, at the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a new model of public administration was developed based on the concept of long-term state policy based on the principles of strategic analysis, planning and forecasting.
Secondly, structures for strategic analysis and forecasting have been formed in government bodies, modern forms of government have been introduced, based on the wide use of innovative ideas, developments and technologies, which made it possible to improve the forms and methods of work of executive bodies, to focus their work on achieving final results.
Thirdly, the policy of decentralizing public administration, providing greater powers and financial opportunities to the regions has been intensified. At the suggestion of the Head of State, the full transfer of powers to the khokims of districts and cities in the selection and placement of cadres of leaders responsible for the socio-economic development of the territories was carried out.
Fourthly, the Head of State proposed a new model of territorial development of regions based on the Rim Mahalla Program. For this purpose, the Ministry of Economy and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan was transformed into the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Ministry for Support of Mahalla and Family was created.
Fifthly, the powers and responsibilities of local government bodies have been revised. Continuous dialogue with the people and serving the interests of the individual have become not just a duty, but a life principle for leaders at all levels.
And finally, large-scale reforms of the public administration system are planned or have already been implemented over the past period of 2021.
In particular, decisive measures were taken to further optimize and mobilize government bodies, expressed in:
firstly, in reducing overlapping bodies, eliminating obstacles and bureaucratic obstacles, including numerous meetings and sessions;
secondly, in simplifying the decision-making procedure in ministries and departments;
thirdly, in optimizing the production process through the introduction of digital technologies;
fourthly, in optimizing the production process through the introduction of digital technologies;
fifthly, in the introduction of a planning system for the activities of ministries in the context of districts, cities, villages and makhallas.
The activities of local executive and representative bodies have been radically improved due to:
– the introduction of a clear mechanism for the relationship of local government bodies with territorial administrations (departments) of government bodies;
– the definition of the types of normative legal acts adopted by khokimiyats and local Kengashes of people’s deputies;
– third, a clear delineation of the terms of reference, tasks and functions of khokims, their deputies and advisers;
– the consolidation of the legal framework and a clear procedure for the management of municipal property on the part of local government bodies.
In addition, an effective and open system for selecting personnel, improving their qualifications and evaluating their activities has been introduced, which includes:
– firstly, an open and public system for assessing the intellectual potential and moral quality in the selection and recruitment of personnel;
– a system of continuous training and assessment of the knowledge of civil servants in the field of combating corruption;
– a system for evaluating the activities of ministers and their deputies, taking into account the changes taking place on the ground, including in makhallas.
Decisive steps have been taken by the Head of State in the field of ensuring the openness of the activities of state bodies. In particular, by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated June 16, 2021 No. 6247:
– the list of socially significant information to be placed as open data by all government and administrative bodies was approved;
– a procedure has been established according to which state bodies and organizations annually post reports on various aspects of their activities;
– the procedure for live broadcasting on the Internet of many examinations has been introduced;
– new tasks for the Agency were set in the field of ensuring the openness of the activities of state bodies and organizations.
At the initiative of the Head of the country, the Anti-Corruption Agency was proposed to maintain an “Open electronic register of persons found guilty of committing corruption crimes”.
In relation to persons included in this register, a number of prohibitions have been introduced, including: to enter the civil service and receive state awards; to nominate themselves for elected and specially appointed positions; be a member of public councils and interdepartmental collegial bodies under government agencies; participate for business entities established by them and (or) with their participation in public procurement and PPP agreements as a participant (executor), as well as tenders and competitive bidding related to the privatization of state assets; carry out activities in leadership positions in organizations with a state share of more than 50% and state educational institutions.
In addition, from January 1, 2022:
– a system of compulsory declaration of income and property of civil servants, heads and deputy heads of organizations with state shares of more than 50%, state enterprises and institutions, their spouses and minor children is being introduced;
– civil servants are prohibited from opening and owning accounts, keeping cash, owning real estate and other property outside the territory of the republic (with the exception of civil servants working abroad and property acquired before entering the civil service).
At the same time, the evasion of a civil servant from submitting a declaration and the introduction by him of knowingly false information is the basis for his removal from the civil service and bringing him to responsibility established by law.
In addition, it was proposed to develop a package of legislative acts on the civil service; draft laws “On the declaration of income and property of civil servants” and providing for the definition in the Criminal Code of a specific list of articles included in the category of corruption crimes and a number of other measures.
The Anti-Corruption Agency has been empowered, upon identification of any circumstances related to a conflict of interest, to submit a submission to suspend the operation of an agreement, order and other act or a claim to a court to invalidate it.
The decree also approved the State Anti-Corruption Program for 2021-2022.
All these initiatives of the Leader of the country have significantly advanced us in democratizing the system of state power and administration, strengthening the responsibility and accountability of state bodies to the people, which has a positive impact on improving the image of Uzbekistan in the international arena.