Since April 2010, President Roza Otunbaeva and the transitional government of Kyrgyzstan have been working hard to reform the Kyrgyz political system. With a myriad of challenges ahead of them, including corruption, a new parliamentary system of government is expected to role over to a new president by the end of October 2011.
However, before this occurs, the current administration is trying to ensure that the transition includes safeguards and measures for ensuring that civil society has a greater say in government processes, especially ones that combat corruption. As part of this effort, Global Integrity was invited to Kyrgyzstan to see if our method of research and analysis could potentially help the Kyrgyz government make a smooth transition.
During my visit to Kyrgyzstan, I had the opportunity to meet with senior government officials and present the work of Global Integrity at various conferences and seminars. The first stage of my stay in Kyrgyzstan was attending the Conference on Fuel and Energy Sector Transparency Initiative (FESTI) held on 26 and 27 September. The two days-long conference focused on ideas and principles for how to improve transparency around financial flows and investments, corporate governance, and access to information in the energy sector.
At the beginning of the conference, I had the opportunity to briefly meet the Kyrgyz president, Roza Otunbaeva, and later spoke with her Chief of Staff, Mr. Mamakulov. Both suggested that our methodology could be helpful in Kyrgyzstan due to its universal applicability. This is especially the case with our national-level “integrity indicators” and their division into “in law” and “in practice” questions, the results of which can be used to pinpoint practical potential reforms in a variety of sectors.
The last three days of my visit I spent on the beautiful lake of Issyk-Kul in Eastern Kyrgyzstan, at a seminar focused on the country’s “supervisory boards.” The law, which is currently in its preparatory phase, envisages supervisory boards allowing for civil oversight over most government sectors. In other words, the supervisory boards will serve as control mechanisms, where the public will be allowed to have a say about the functioning of government institutions.
As an organization that promotes accountable and transparent government, Global Integrity looks forward to supporting the exiting and incoming Kyrgyzstan governments in their efforts to ensure that the Kyrgyz people have a say in how their government operates.
— Marko Tomicic