The 1st AmCham Conference on “Ethics and Compliance in Azerbaijan” organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AmCham Azerbaijan) took place at Four Seasons Hotel Baku on December 6, 2017. The event was held with the support of BP as a Gold Sponsor, Kapital Bank as a Silver Sponsor as well as Ekvita, KPMG Azerbaijan and Rapid Solutions as Bronze Sponsors.
Mrs. Natavan Mammadova, Executive Director of AmCham Azerbaijan, and Mr. Nuran Kerimov, President of AmCham Azerbaijan, delivered the opening speeches and welcomed the participants. Both stressed upon the importance of the event for ensuring that business practices in Azerbaijan conform to relevant laws, regulations and ethical business principles, as well as developing a culture of integrity within the business community of the country.
The floor was passed then to Mr. Niyazi Rahimov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent of Azerbaijan. Mr. Rahimov greeted the Conference participants and acknowledged the continuous Chamber’s work aimed at improvement of the business climate in the country. He emphasized the importance of the Conference for cultivating transparency in Azerbaijan, fighting corruption and reducing bureaucracy burden. Mr. Rahimov noted that the positive dynamics in the fight against corruption in Azerbaijan is reflected in international anti-corruption ratings, particularly, due to implementing open government principles and measures aimed at expanding the use of ICT in public administration, ensuring transparency in accessing information, enhancing public participation and co-operating with civil society institutions. He also informed the participants about the achievements in the work of the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent of Azerbaijan. Namely, he mentioned the development and adoption of a state standard project in accordance with ISO 37001 “Anti-Corruption Control Systems” international standard approved in 2016; establishment of an electronic database of existing standards throughout the territory of Azerbaijan to be publicly available; completion of the integration of the e-services provided by the committee with the information resources of relevant state agencies in order to ensure the reduction of the number of official documents and references requested by the public authorities in connection with the application of electronic services etc.
Afterwards, the floor was given to Mr. Elnur Humbatov, Prosecutor of Organizational and Information Support Department of Anti-Corruption General Directorate under the Prosecutor General’s Office. He delivered a detailed speech on the activities in the field of preliminary investigation. Mr. Humbatov provided the statistical information on the number of criminal cases sent to the courts by the completion of the investigation as well as classification of criminal cases sent to courts in the first halves of 2016 and 2017. Specifically, he stressed upon that the ratio of criminal cases on taking bribes and abusing official powers has decreased for 5% and 3% respectively. He noted that such a dynamics is a positive indicator of the performance of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate under the Prosecutor General’s Office, and updated the Conference participants on the work to be undertaken.
The Conference highlighted two panel discussions. The first one named “Building and operating effective compliance function in organisations” was moderated by Mr. Ilgar Mehti, Ekvita, Chairman of AmCham Azerbaijan Legal and Compliance Working Group. The session featured the speeches by Mr. Rashad Guliyev, Azercell; Mrs. Clare Farley and Mr. Vladas Stankevicius, BP; Mr. Emil Garayev, Deloitte Azerbaijan; Mr. Agshin Amirov, International Bank of Azerbaijan; Mr. Kamil Latifov, Kapital Bank.
Another panel discussion was dedicated to the “Tips and tricks for conducting anti-bribery audits in organisations” and moderated by Mr. Toghrul Ahmadov, BP. The session highlighted the speeches by Mr. Matin Asgar, Baku Legal Center; Mr. Seymur Muradov, EY Azerbaijan; Mrs. Liubov Martynova, KPMG; Mrs. Aynura Ismayilzada, PASHA Bank; Mrs. Madina Omarova, PwC Azerbaijan.
The Conference was followed by an active Q&A session.
The languages of the Conference were Azerbaijani and English with the two-sided simultaneous translation.