Abdulaziz Janturaev

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Uzbekistan has made significant strides in recent years to combat corruption and promote transparency in the public sector. The National Strategy for 2023-2024 state program on combating corruption defines existing anti-corruption problems and priorities for their elimination. Nevertheless, the adoption of the asset declaration system faces several challenges. This blog post aims to contribute to the existing resource on anti-corruption efforts and provide valuable insights for policymakers, practitioners, and scholars working in governance and transparency in Uzbekistan.

The Importance of Asset Declaration in Fighting Corruption

Asset declarations serve as a powerful instrument in preventing and detecting corruption, conflicts of interest, and illicit enrichment among public officials. By requiring officials to disclose their income, assets, and financial interests, monitoring wealth accumulation and identification of discrepancies between declared assets and actual lifestyles becomes more effective. This transparency deters corrupt behavior and enhances public trust in government institutions. According to the World Bank, around 160 countries have implemented asset disclosure laws for public officials, recognizing their value in the fight against corruption.

Uzbekistan’s efforts to strengthen its asset declaration system are aligned with its international obligations under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Article 20 of the UNCAC calls for the criminalization of illicit enrichment, and asset declarations serve as a crucial tool in identifying and investigating cases of unexplained wealth.

Uzbekistan’s Asset Declaration System: Progress and Challenges

Uzbekistan’s current legislation includes more than ten laws and 40 by-laws regulating the anti-corruption sphere, along with the Law on Combating Corruption. Following the Presidential Decree on incorporating public engagement through creating intolerance against corruption in June 2021, the Anti-Corruption Agency developed the “Bill on Declaration of Income and Assets of Civil Servants” (the bill).

This bill consists of 4 chapters and 24 articles and aims to introduce groundbreaking reforms in the asset declaration system by requiring public officials and their families to fully disclose their income and assets (including savings accounts, valuable movable assets, and beneficial ownership of real estate). The bill also outlines general rules for regulating declarations, procedures for submitting and verifying them, and the information to be reflected in it.

This bill was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers in November 2021 and was planned for implementation on January 1, 2022. However, the bill has not been adopted by the Parliament since Cabinet of Ministers has not introduced this bill to the Parliament yet.

Afterwards, the Presidential Decree prescribed launching the electronic platform “E-anticor.uz”. As a result, over 7,000 functions were marked as having either “high”, “medium”, or “low” corruption risks. A draft of the Electronic Register of Corruption-Prone Relationships was subsequently formed and posted on the “E-anti-corruption” electronic system for public discussion. This process is crucial since it allows to accumulate opinions and suggestions of people. Based on these proposals, state agencies may develop their anti-corruption programs.

Nevertheless, the delay in adopting the asset declaration system in Uzbekistan has led to several issues. Firstly, without a legal framework in place, there is no official mechanism to monitor the wealth accumulation of public officials, making it difficult to detect and investigate cases of illicit enrichment. Secondly, the absence of an asset declaration system undermines public trust in government institutions, as citizens remain skeptical about the integrity and transparency of public officials.

Besides, Uzbekistan’s legal framework lacks sufficient sanctions for non-compliance with asset declaration requirements. The Law on Combating Corruption does not provide specific penalties for false declarations or illicit enrichment of public officials. Although Article 224 of the Tax Code deals with general penalties for non-payment of taxes due to unlawful actions, it does not directly address the issue of false declarations or illicit enrichment in the asset declaration system. The draft of the new Criminal Code includes articles related to the illegal enrichment of a public servant. However, adopting the new Criminal Code is a more complex process than adopting the law. For that reason, the adoption of this code is still pending. Therefore, the bill should incorporate sanctions to ensure accountability and deter the corrupt behavior of officials.

Meanwhile, the eventual implementation of the asset declaration system might cause conflict between public disclosure and privacy rights. Striking a balance between transparency and privacy is crucial for the system’s success. The asset declaration law should clearly define the scope of information to be disclosed, specifying which assets and interests must be reported and by whom. The law should also outline the circumstances under which the disclosed information can be accessed by the public, media, or investigative authorities. The bill lacks these aspects of the asset declaration system.

Furthermore, effective verification procedures are crucial for the success of the asset declaration system. Lifestyle audits, which involve comparing an official’s declared assets and income with their actual lifestyle, can help detect discrepancies and identify potential cases of illicit enrichment. Digital cross-checking of asset declarations with other databases, such as tax records, land registries, and bank account information, can further enhance the verification process. Uzbekistan should also prioritize the development and implementation of comprehensive digital verification mechanisms to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the declared information.

International Best Practices

In a globalized world, it is impossible to imagine system development without exploring international best practices. One notable example in this field is Georgia. The Georgian system requires a wide range of officials, including high-ranking officials, civil servants, judges, and prosecutors, to submit annual declarations of their income, assets, and financial interests. The asset declaration system in Georgia is administered by the Civil Service Bureau, an independent agency that is responsible for collecting, verifying, and publishing the declarations. The Bureau has developed a sophisticated electronic system for submitting and managing declarations, which includes features such as data validation, risk assessment, and public access to declaration data.

Another successful example is Ukraine. In 2016, Ukraine launched a new electronic asset declaration system for public officials, which requires detailed disclosure of income, assets, and financial interests. The asset declaration system in Ukraine is administered by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP), an independent body responsible for collecting, verifying, and publishing the declarations. The NACP has developed a sophisticated electronic system for submitting and managing declarations, which includes features such as automatic data validation, risk assessment, and public access to declaration data. Ukrainian officials are required to submit annual declarations through an online platform, which has helped uncover numerous cases of corruption and unexplained wealth.

Similar to Georgia and Ukraine, Uzbekistan should develop a secure, user-friendly online platform for public officials to submit their asset declarations electronically. This platform should be accessible to the public, allowing for scrutiny and promoting transparency.

Before launching the system, public officials should be trained on their obligations and how to use the online platform. A pilot program targeting a specific group of high-ranking officials can help test the system’s effectiveness and identify any issues that need to be addressed. Based on the pilot program’s results, the asset declaration requirement can be gradually expanded to cover more public officials at various levels of government.


To implement an asset declaration system and maximize its impact on combating corruption, Uzbekistan should consider the following recommendations:

1. Prioritize the adoption of the Law on Declaration of Income and Assets of Civil Servants, providing a clear legal basis for the asset declaration system;

2. Ensure the operational independence and capacity of the Anti-Corruption Agency to effectively collect, verify, and analyze asset declarations;

3. Establish mechanisms for public access to asset declarations, promoting transparency and enabling public scrutiny;

4. Implement robust verification procedures, including lifestyle audits and cross-checking of declarations with other data sources, to detect irregularities and investigate potential cases of illicit enrichment;

5. Strengthen sanctions for non-compliance, false declarations, and illicit enrichment, including criminal penalties where appropriate.


Uzbekistan has taken initial steps towards establishing an asset declaration system, but the absence of a comprehensive legal framework has hindered its effectiveness. The adoption of the Bill on Declaration of Income and Assets of Civil Servants is crucial for the system’s success. The effectiveness of the system also relies on the capacity and independence of the Anti-Corruption Agency, as well as transparency and public access to asset declarations. Uzbekistan must prioritize these aspects to effectively combat corruption and to foster a more accountable public sector. that is how the asset declaration system will become a powerful tool in the fight against corruption rather than a mere “paper tiger”.

Cite as:  Abdulaziz Janturaev, “How effective are Uzbekistan’s efforts on implementing an asset declaration system for public officials: is it a crucial tool or a “paper tiger”?”, Uzbekistan Law Blog, 16.05.2024.