Chief of the Department of the State-Legal Sciences, Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan N.AZIZOV
Chief of Coordinating Scientific-Research Department of MIA of Uzbekistan U.КADIROV
The constant implementation of the rules and tasks set out in the “Strategy of actions on the five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, announced five years ago, has shown its advantages. Consequently, Uzbekistan was able to show high indicators in a number of international indices. In particular, Uzbekistan has risen by 125 places and thus has taken 44th place in the international index called “Monitoring open data”. It is extremely important to introduce the practice of disclosure of indicators in 20 areas of the state and public administration.
 Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Oliy Majlis // December 29, 2020.
The content and essence of the unprecedented reforms in society and public administration was the idea put forward by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev: “The people should not serve the government agencies, controversely, the government agencies should serve the people”.
The first part of the Strategy of Actions on “The priorities for improving the system of the state and society structure” consists of three large groups of tasks that are inextricably linked to each other. These are the tasks aimed at improving the system of public administration to deepen democratic reforms and further strengthen the role of the Oliy Majlis, political parties in modernizing the country; and reforming the system of public administration.
It is noticeable in the example of advanced countries that the modern democratic society can be developed through the consistent introduction of the principles of people`s power, ensuring the extensive participation of citizens in the public life, further enhancing the role and prestige of political parties in the society.
Obviously, the improvement of the structure of state and society is intently linked with the creation of the efficient legislative system. Therefore, the important priority of the Strategy of Actions is to increase the role of the Parliament – the Oliy Majlis in the system of state authority, to further expand its powers to address important issues of internal, foreign policy, and parliamentary control over the executive authority.
The role of parliament and political parties has been further strengthened in the short recent past. Deputies and senators of the Oliy Majlis are no longer limited to reviewing introduced bills (drafts). Contrarily, they go directly to the places and obtain information about the living standards of the people, participate in the systematic analysis and solution of the problems that afflict it. In addition, the Legislative Chamber has established a “Government hour” practice, with anti-corruption committees set up in both chambers.
Moreover, the Virtual and People`s Receptions of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan were established to identify and address the concerns, vital problems and needs of the people. Parliament is not limited to passing laws. At the same time, the Parliament monitors the consistent implementation of adopted laws.
By way of illustration, the Parliamentary Commission was established to monitor the implementation of national goals and objectives in the field of sustainable development of the Republic of Uzbekistan until 2030, in accordance with the joint decision of the Councils of Chambers of the Oliy Majlis dated on February 27, 2020.
The Parliamentary Commission trains to monitor the implementation of national goals and objectives in the sphere of sustainable development Goals until 2030, and develops relevant proposals and recommendations on the basis of the results of the research addressing current socio-economic problems and further improvement of the legislation system, conducts research at the national and regional levels on the implementation of these goals, holds regular parliamentary and public discussions, discusses periodic reports of the relevant Coordinating Council and responsible structures established under the government.
The Commission intended to study the implementation of 8 of the 17 sustainable development Goals, throughout 2020. The potential of more than 6600 deputies of local Councils was used in odred to carry out this task.
Furthermore, the practice of discussing reports of plenipotentiary ambassadors of Uzbekistan to foreign countries has been created in the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The reports of the Ambassadors of Uzbekistan to Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Turkey, France and Greece were heard on March 12, 2020. “The senators` rooms” were established in local councils for senators working in the Senate on the permanent basis, are attached to local councils in charge of the regions in order to further strengthen the cooperation of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis with local councils.
The current condition requires that the needs, requirements and desires of every member, group and stratum of society be understood by the legislature in a timely manner and effectively applied in lawmaking. Therefore, the use of the results of the survey of public opinion in lawmaking activities is of great importance.
Evidently, the creation of the special web portal on the Internet with the title of “My opinion” for citizens to express their views on important issues of the state and public life is proposed in connection with the Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Oliy Majlis, as well as to implement collective electronic submission procedure as an advanced mechanism of democracy, introduce the mandatory procedure for consideration of initiatives put forward by a group of citizens in the Oliy Majlis or Councils of People`s Deputies. As a result, the portal of collective appeals “My opinion” is launched. Citizens have the opportunity to apply electronically to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis, local Councils of People`s Deputies. The Law “On appeals of individuals and legal entities” was adopted with a new edition in order to further strengthen the legal framework of the system of dealing with appeals. 440 collective appeals have been published since the launch of the collective appeal portal “My opinion”.
At the same time, the normative and legal acts put forward by government agencies are being put up for public discussion on the portal for discussion of draft normative legal acts under the Ministry of Justice.
The portal has discussed about 8,000 normative and legal acts, including 557 laws, 242 decrees of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 681 draft resolutions, 2380 draft resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers, about 35,000 proposals over the past period.
Today, young people under the age of 18 are about 40% of the population, and those under the age of 30 are about 64% in Uzbekistan. This, in turn, requires the broad involvement of young people in the social, economic, political and cultural life of society. Therefore, the “Youth Parliament” was established in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis in order to further expand the participation of young people in the legislative process. The Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis and the Central Council of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan signed the cooperative Agreement to promote the activities of the “Youth Parliament” on June 29, 2020.
The essential intention of the “Youth Parliament” is to increase the involvement of juveniles in the legislation system and legislative process and promoting the adopted laws among young people through supporting them, raising their legal awareness and literacy, making young people politically active in society and enriching their political and legal knowledge and skills in practice.
The issue of reforming public administration system is of paramount importance at the current stage of development of our country.
Actually, radical improvement of the public administration system in Uzbekistan, in turn, requires decentralization of public administration, as well as reforming the public administration and civil service system by increasing the level of professional training, material and social security of civil servants and gradually reducing state participation in the regulation of the economy; introducing modern mechanisms of public-private partnership aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of mutually beneficial cooperation in the implementation of tasks on socio-economic development of the country; ensuring the transparency of public administration, the introduction of modern forms of providing information on the rights and freedoms and legitimate interests of individuals and legal entities; and streamlining the system of “E-government”, improving the efficiency and quality of public services and increasing access to these services by the population and the subjects of entrepreneurship.
The important steps have been taken over the past period in the priorities of improving the system of state and society structure on the basis of the State Programs within the Strategy of Actions. Particularly, the role of the Parliament and local authorities in the organization of public administration has significantly increased, and the process of transforming the executive branch has been accelerated.
Quintessencially, the program of measures for the widespread introduction of “feedback” means of communication with the public in the activity of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan is approved.
According to the program, the organization of the implementation of government decisions regulates the practice of public opinion polls, the creation of special pages on social networks to study public opinion on the enforcement of government decisions, government monitoring of business decisions of khokims (local governors) upon the regulation of the activity of entrepreneurship and take appropriate measures according to its results.
The procedure for coordination of draft regulations on socio-economic development of regions and local programs with the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent city khokimiyats (government authorities) is introducted in accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No 219 “On amendments and additions to the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan” dated on April 14, 2020.
In order to materially and technically improve the information system of the virtual reception of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan – the Single interactive portal “business.gov.uz” is created in connection to the Resolution No. 214-f of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted on April 22, 2020. Developing technical requirements for the modernization of the portal, studying and analyzing the requirements of the system and mobile application, developing and implementing demands based on the research is intended according to this Resolution.
Additionally, the completely new and fruitful system of assisting public services has been introduced. In fact, the State service Agency was established under the Ministry of Justice, which provided 37 types of public services in 2018, and by 2019 their number increased to 130 services. 150 public services are provided through the Centers from the 2020 onwards.
At the same time, the State service development Agency under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was established to create a professional corps of civil servants and introduce transparent recruitment mechanisms.
On the basis of decentralization, 11 functions and powers of local executive bodies were transferred to the territorial divisions of relevant public administration bodies in order to free public administration from bureaucracy and reduce its costs, increase the efficiency and transparency of the management decision-making system. The practice of requiring 28 types of certificates from citizens has been abolished by government agencies and organizations.
The gradual reform of the public administration system has served to strengthen the confidence of our people in public administration.
The tasks facing society are effectively addressed, the integration of our country into the world community is increased as a result of integrated implementation of the state and public administration in Uzbekistan.
The improvement of the system of public administration, which is embodied in the Strategy of actions – is carried out in the following priority areas: introduction of effective mechanisms of communication with the people; development of modern forms of public control, increasing the effectiveness of social partnership; development of civil society institutions, increase of their social and political activity; increase the role and effectiveness of the makhalla (residential area) institution in public administration; protecting the professional activities of journalists and strengthening the role of the mass media.
Public control is one of the significant factor of the development of civil society, and it has strict legal framework in present. The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Law “On Public control” (2018), allows citizens to exercise effective public control over the activities of government agencies and institutions.
As noted by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. M. Mirziyoev, “We have set ourselves the prosperious and tremendous goal of building a new Uzbekistan together with our people. In this regard, the new idea of “Society – the initiator of reforms” is becoming more and more deeply ingrained in our daily activities”.
The Presidential Decree “On Establishment of the Public Chamber under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” is adopted owing to the realization of this idea, which is completely new in the socio-political life of our country, the expansion of public participation in the management of state and public affairs, achieving the United Nations Sustainable development goals, establishing close cooperation between citizens, society and the state, as well as strengthening public control over the activities of government agencies and institutions.
This decree stipulates the following:
- The Public Chamber is composed of 50 members working on the community basis;
- The Public Chamber annually submits annual national reports to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the state and development trends of civil society;
- Members of the Public Chamber and regional public chambers have the right to take part in open board meetings of each state body, as well as in the sessions of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “Government Hour”, meetings of the Jogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council) of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent city, district (city) Kengashes (Councils).
The system of regular reporting of government officials of the state organs to citizens on their activities through the media has been created as a result of the gradual introduction of the principle of public control.
The great impetus to the country`s development is determined by the fact that civil servants (the state bodies staff) serve by visiting to the most remote areas and go from house to house to study the problems of the population, the formation of “e-government”, and the improvement of legislation on the effective implementation of public control.
The “Strategy of actions on five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, is initiated by the idea and initiative of the head of state, with the main goal of social, economic, political, legal and cultural development of Uzbekistan, its worthy place among the leading democracies of the world, and highly valued by the international community, leading experts, statesmen and public figures, political scientists as the main priority document of the country`s short-term development path.
In particular, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany Guenter Overfeld commented on the Strategy of Actions: -“I believe that the Strategy of Actions for 5 years has had a profound impact on the development of Uzbekistan since 2017, including areas important for the country`s development, such as the economy, the judiciary, public administration, as well as civil society”.
“As the President of Uzbekistan has iteratively said, public authorities must serve the people. The Strategy of Actions play a key role in helping people and creating new jobs. When the head of state announced the adoption of this document, he said that this, in turn, will lead not only to the well-being of the population, but also to economic growth and prosperity. And we have seen evidence of this in a short period of time”, – said John McGregor, the OSCE project coordinator in Uzbekistan.
As highlighted by the former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Italian Republic to Uzbekistan, Andrea Bertozzi: – “Since my arrival in Uzbekistan in late 2016, I have witnessed all the changes taking place in the country. Most of them are related to the Strategy of Actions. I appreciate the reforms being implemented in five priority areas. We made up our mind the conclusion as a result of our observations that the state is moving in the right direction for the welfare of the people”.
Henceforth, the constant, systematic and gradual improvement of the state and society structure serves the social, economic, political, legal, cultural development of our Uzbekistan, the prosperious welfare of the people, and the realization of the needs and aspirations of the population.