Baku/17.02.22/ The Internet resources of the state bodies of Azerbaijan basically comply with the existing rules. They are convenient to use, their information content, technical capabilities and functionality are satisfactory.
At the same time, there are no data on financial transparency on the websites of government agencies. These are the conclusions of the study: “Measuring the information transparency of state structures”, prepared on the basis of a 6-month monitoring of 154 websites of state structures. These are 17 ministries, 7 state committees, 7 civil services, 30 agencies, 20 OJSCs and CJSCs, 29 funds, management centers, LLCs, 18 companies, commissions, institutions and other structures.
As the project leader, legal expert Alesker Mammadli said at the ZOOM conference on February 17, the assessment was carried out in terms of compliance with the Law on Obtaining Information and other legal acts, according to 13 parameters and 59 criteria.
The study was presented by the head of the monitoring group Nasimi Mammadli. According to him, despite improvements in a number of indicators, there is a regression in terms of recruitment and vacancies, wages, conditions for receiving citizens.
The transparency of tenders and other competitions has decreased. Information openness on this indicator was 57%, although last year it was 76%.
There are problems with getting responses to requests for information. In terms of information openness, the Ministry of Economy, as well as its structures – the Antimonopoly State Service and the Tax Service, are in the lead with an indicator of over 93%.
This is followed by the Ministry of Labor (89.8%), the Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Customs Committee (86.4% each).
The monitoring also revealed shortcomings on a number of issues. So, on most sites, platforms for sending requests are not sufficient, and on some they are not at all. Keyword search on sites is unsatisfactory. Often, public information found in a Google search is not present on the site itself or is hidden in subheadings.
In most cases, there is no information about the powers of divisions, the tariff rate of heads of departments, their deputies and heads of structural divisions, the conditions for citizens to participate in the discussion of current regulatory projects, the budget and its implementation, the use of extrabudgetary income, information about tenders, competitions, state programs and public procurement.
Government agencies usually keep confidential data on the expenditure of budgetary funds. The constant payment for the use of Asan imza (electronic signature form) negatively affects the receipt of electronic services.
The problem of access to high-speed Internet remains in the country, including a significant part of Baku. In the regions, and especially in villages, broadband Internet is supplied via telephone wires. During the pandemic, about 1.7 million education users had problems with distance learning.
As an expert in the field of media law Khalid Agaliyev noted, the Ombudsman for Human Rights, who is assigned the role of monitoring the implementation of the law “On Access to Information”, does not cope with the task due to the lack of human resources.
There is a need to create a special institution to oversee the implementation of the provisions of the law, Agaliyev said. The responsibility of officials for providing information should be strengthened. You can also create a database of frequently asked questions and answers on websites to make it easier to get information.
The authors of the study and the participants in the discussions put forward recommendations to eliminate the identified shortcomings and ensure the rights of citizens to information.—06B-