EGI Kyrgyzstan recently released Electricity Governance in Kyrgyzstan: An Institutional Assessment. The assessment evaluates policy-making and regulatory processes within the context of sector reforms that have been in progress for over a decade. Using a subset of 32 indicators from the EGI toolkit, the report traces the relationship between closed processes and the continued poor performance of power sector enterprises.
The main findings conclude that although reform legislation provides a strong legal basis for good governance, mechanisms to put information in the public domain, provide opportunities for public participation, and hold sector actors accountable are weak or non-existent. This institutional weakening has meant, for example, that much needed scrutiny of the reasons for the growing debt of supply companies is avoided in the policy process as well as in the media. Weak access to information has been exacerbated rather than improved with the corporatization of state-owned electricity enterprises.
On the regulatory front, the assessment found a parallel closing of doors. Although legislation mandates public hearings for many regulatory issues including tariff settings, this practice has been withdrawn in recent years. Public meetings are of an explanatory nature only, designed to announce decisions once they have been made rather than collect input. This constrained space has meant that important debates over the effectiveness of raising tariffs to stem the loss of revenues cannot be held.
Assessment of the environmental and social aspects of electricity sector governance suggests that the capacity, training and coordination of the executive and regulatory bodies to consider environmental issues are insufficient. Although the National Energy Plan (NEP) for 2007-2011 discusses environmental issues, there is no concrete strategy for environmental protection in the energy sector, nor the capacity to implement one. Additionally, there is weak access to information on websites and in the media relating to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).
The full report, including recommendations for improving governance of the electricity sector, is available below.