In December 2011, government ministries across Kyrgyzstan were directed to develop and report publicly on their plans to address corruption, part of a new government strategy (State Strategy against Corruption and Implementation Plan for 2012-2014) to expose government corruption and increase accountability through regular and open public forums.
To promote wider transparency of the process, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives partnered with the Anti-Corruption Business Council (ABC) to conduct live televised public hearings with three ministries on their anti-corruption agendas. In September-October 2012, the public hearings aired on the national broadcaster’s popular program “Svobodnyi Microphone” (“free microphone” in Russian) on prime time, and provided an opportunity for civil society and citizens to question government officials about their plans to address corruption.
The ABC is a local NGO advocating for policy changes to improve the business environment and eliminate corruption. To coordinate civil society monitoring efforts alongside the new state strategy, ABС partnered with ministry public advisory boards and organized initial public hearings with a few agencies, including the Ministry of Finance. USAID covered the expenses for a live hearing on the ministry’s implementation plan, as well as first-time public hearings for the Ministry of Energy and the State Agency of Geology and Mining Resources, two critical sectors with widespread incidents of corruption resulting in citizen discontent and conflict.
The hearings were well-received by both government officials and interested citizens. “We highly appreciate such open discussions in the format of public hearings,” said Kyrgyz Minister of Finance Olga Lavrova.
In addition, the Ar Namys political party initiated a parliamentary hearing on the Ministry of Finance’s monitoring results, and the Ministries of Education and Health both asked ABC to help organize similar hearings.
“Public hearings helped us to attract wider attention to corruption in key sectors and ensured participation of the government members in discussions with the civil society," said Nuripa Mukanova, secretary general of the ABC.
ABC captured the proceedings in a publication alongside analyses of corruption in the energy and finance sectors, including the Office of the President, parliament and the media.
Last updated: October 14, 2014