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On the Combat against Corruption in Kazakhstan

March 04
11:14 2020

The fight against corruption in Kazakhstan is regarded as a top strategic priority of state policy in terms of improving the well-being of the population.

The idea that effective elimination of corruption is impossible without the joint efforts of the global community, state agencies, business sector, non-government organizations and ordinary civilians, has been fully understood. The new anti-corruption strategy of our country has been formulated in this dimension which was developed on the initiative of our first President, N.Nazarbayev. Implementation of internationally recognized principles and standards in the national practice of anti-corruption activities is one of the key requirements for fulfilling the recommendations of the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The analysis suggests that if the center of gravity tends to resort to use of forceful methods, the level of corruption decreases inconsiderably and temporarily, and the degree of its latency and devious flexibilityincreases.In this context, China is a good example where despite the imposition of death penalty for corruption and the number of people amounting to more than 10,000 officials who were executed, the situation has not absolutely been changed. Therefore, the successful strategies of the developed countries of Europe and Southeast Asia are based on prevention, enlightenment and criminal prosecution.

Today’s approach towards the usual algorithms of action and the ideology of anti-corruption work is changing. All of our initiatives are realized through the prism of the values we have set for us. These include justice, fairness, and reliability.

Confidence can be considered as a substantial change in citizens’ approach towards corruption among the other aspects. We can judge the situation based on the following facts.

According to the survey conducted by Transparency Kazakhstanwith the support of UN Development Program Office “On the monitoring of the levels of corruption in Kazakhstan” in the current year, more than half of the respondents, in particular, 54,4 % stated that the levels of corruption have been decreased in the country. 76% of respondents believe that it is entirely possible to develop your own business in Kazakhstan without bribery and in the legal field.

There are an increasing number of citizens declaring their readiness to participate in anti-corruption measures not only orally. The number of calls (notifications) about the facts of corruption increases in the anti-corruption services every year. For example, approximately 1,000 people applied to the agency’s call center onnumber 1424 last year, which is three times morethan in 2018. While there were 32 pre-trial investigations based on such reports in 2018, in 2019 alone the number of criminal cases increased by 66. These are important the indicators of the level of confidence in the state’s anti-corruption policy.

European countries took hundreds of years to minimize the levels of corruption, but no one has been able to fully eradicate it. Many European experts point out that despite the measures taken, the levels of corruption in the EU are more widespread and deeply rooted than it is shown. Every year cases of bribery, abuse of powers and embezzlement are investigated. The surveys and reports of the International organizations are regularly published, which confirm the widespread levels of corruption in all fields of activities, and not only in developing countries.

Special reports and accountsofthe international organizations are regularly published which indicate to the intensive spread of corruption in a wide variety of areas of activities, not only in developing countries. We have chosen the right strategy for persecution of corruption-related people, and appropriate plans for promoting community-based prevention and fairness. The results are obvious. According to the annual surveys of the World Bank, The Worldwide Governance Indicators, Kazakhstan’s Corruption Control Indicators have been improved twice in 2018 compared to previous years. In the World Competitiveness Ranking on Combating Bribery and Corruption, we have the best performance not only amongst the CIS countries, but also amongst the countries such as South Korea, Israel, Spain etc.

Kazakhstan got 34 points out of 100 in the corruption index and was ranked 113th among 180 countries, improving its performance by 3 points and taking 11th position compared to the previous year.

All countries have their distinctions and differences. In its aspiration to move from the lowest level of corruption to the 9th, Kazakhstan has begun to actively use the approved approaches and principles along with the mechanisms and tools that have become universal in terms of achieving one’s goal.

The next step in this direction was the membership of GRECO, which allows us to attract the expert potential of the Council of Europe to further refine the national systemsto fight against corruption.

Overall there is much done. Large-scale automation allowed us to reduce the levels of corruption in the public service sector by more than three quarters. The access of Citizens to litigation has greatly expanded. The state office has been cleansed from corrupted officials who led us to achieve a steady decline in corruption offenses in recent years.

In the month of November of the previous year, the President signed the law which calls for the resignation of chairpersons of the state agencies and personal disciplinary liability for their subordinates in cases of identification of corruption offenses.In particular, if an official of the state agency is held accountable for corruptive cases, personal responsibility shall be rested upon his/her direct supervisor. If these people are state officials – ministers, vice ministers, relevant mayors and their deputies – they must resign and the next word is up to the president. If he/she is the administrative state worker he/she shall take administrative responsibility, including dismissal. In addition to this, the duty of ministers of state agencies to prevent corruptive offenses committedby their subordinates enters into force. Failure to adopt such measures will result in disciplinary liability.

The same law shall restore the expertise of anti-corruption normative acts both at the republic and local levels as well as at the level of public involvement in the case. Another way to increase the number of people in the fight against corruption is to encourage citizens to report about the corruption cases. If the maximum incentive is 250,000 Tenge about such cases, the amount will soon increase up to several millions. I cannot deny that the agency will soon be able to use smart phones in the workplace at the initiative of the agency which, in our opinion, will significantly increase the work productivity, including the interactions with citizens.

The works will continue for the eradication of the root causes of corruption, including in the economy, the reduction in turnover of cash flow, the optimization of state agencies and their interagency organizations with a view to involving government,significantly increasing the remuneration of public servants as well as diminishing the control and supervision functions.

The other legislative measures have also been initiated, the complex realization of which will allow us to reduce the level of corruption cardinally. The responsibility for unjust enrichment is one of the key points, which obliges all government officials to declare a statement of expenditure and revenue without exception, as well as the introduction of Integrity Testing Institute is of paramount importance which carries our control of professional incorruptibility.

Understanding and realization ofthe core idea of the enforcement of the law is at the heart of that law. This feature makesa man different from a machine which runs only within a given algorithm. The meaning of the law determines the appropriateness of any action and we believe that respect for the law is impossible without fundamental moral values ​​such as fairness.

Fairness is the cornerstone of present contemporary system of governance, which is focused on prioritizing the public interests. It is about the mature anti-corruption culture of citizens and the practice of applying the law.That’s what the OECD stands for. The large-scale social changes shall not be possible without it. Fairness involves the strict denial of everything that impedes our movement towards an open and fair society.

At the first stage, we consider developing a methodology for determining the public fairness of state agencies, which should reflect the level of openness, transparency and accountability of public authorities. Accountability should become a key value for civil servants and not just for them. For example, the independent compliance services have already begun working in certain national companies which aim to become one of the most effective tools of integrity in the quasi-sector.

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