OECD Public Governance Reviews

2219-0414 (online)
2219-0406 (print)
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This series includes international studies and country-specific reviews of government efforts to make the public sector more efficient, effective, innovative and responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations. Publications in this series look at topics such as open government, preventing corruption and promoting integrity in the public service, risk management, illicit trade, audit institutions, and civil service reform. Country-specific reviews assess a public administration’s ability to achieve  government objectives and preparedness to address current and future challenges. In analysing how a country's public administration works, reviews focus on cross-departmental co-operation, the relationships between levels of government and with citizens and businesses, innovation and quality of public services, and the impact of information technology on the work of government and its interaction with businesses and citizens.


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OECD Integrity Scan of Kazakhstan

OECD Integrity Scan of Kazakhstan

Preventing Corruption for a Competitive Economy You do not have access to this content

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15 June 2017
9789264272880 (PDF) ;9789264272873(print)

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This report looks at how to curb corruption and build a more competitive economy in the Republic of Kazakhstan by assessing four crucial factors: governance, prevention, detection, and prosecution and recovery. In its analysis, it draws on good international practices as well as OECD instruments and tools in 15 policy areas: regulatory governance, competition policy, public financial management, development co-operation, public sector integrity, public procurement, tax administration and transparency, export credits, lobbying, whistleblower protection, business sector integrity, criminalising bribery, civil society, and media. The report provides recommendations for improving Kazakhstan’s laws and policies as well as effectively implementing them in each of these areas.

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  • Foreword Acknowledgements

    Many of the world’s ills can be traced, at least in part, to corruption. Indeed, corruption is recognised as one of the main barriers to sustainable economic growth, political and institutional stability and social cohesion. It generates added costs to doing business, deterring investment and stifling an economy’s competitive advantage. It weakens the rule of law and threatens security. It diverts resources and public services from those who need them most, undermining their chances of achieving greater wellbeing and prosperity. It strips ordinary citizens of their voice in democratic processes, cementing or exacerbating social inequalities and ultimately eroding trust in, and the legitimacy of, institutions.

  • Executive summary

    The Republic of Kazakhstan’s economic performance over the past 16 years has been impressive. The transition from a Soviet Republic to an independent market-based economy created significant economic turbulence during the 1990s, as did the Russian crisis in 1998. Since 2000, however, the economy has grown strongly, driven by price increases in its leading exports –oil, metals and grain – allowing the country to record double-digit growth rates.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    As an integral part of effective public governance - the foundation for building integrity - regulatory policy helps shape the relationship between the state, citizens and businesses. In Kazakhstan, there has been undeniable progress in strengthening the rule of law. Going forward however, Kazakhstan must focus on the implementation of the reforms. This will involve strengthening the regulatory impact procedure when preparing regulations to capture the full consequences of draft regulations. Additionally, Kazakhstan should continue with existing administrative simplification efforts and consider developing a systemic programme on administrative burden measurement. To be effective, these efforts must be accompanied by improved regulatory transparency through a pro-active approach to public consultation.

  • Improving regulatory governance in Kazakhstan

    Regulation, i.e. tools which the government use to intervene in the economy and life of their citizens (laws, secondary legislation, and other alternative tools), is of critical importance in shaping the welfare of economies and societies, and contributes to promoting a strong integrity system. For example, overly complex regulatory frameworks, lack of transparency in the preparation of new regulations, plus ineffective and inappropriate application of the rules, are all factors which combine to favour corruption and dishonest behaviour. This chapter assesses how regulatory governance could support integrity in the Republic of Kazakhstan and explores issues related to the rule of law, regulatory transparency, quality of regulations, administrative implications, and enforcement and inspection, and presents recommendations for their improvement.

  • Competition policy in Kazakhstan: promoting efficient and sound markets

    It is widely accepted that more competition drives productivity and innovation, key factors that contribute to macroeconomic growth. However, high levels of corruption can undermine competition by creating entry barriers into lucrative markets. Ultimately, corruption replaces a virtuous circle of competition and growth with a system that rewards inefficient and sometimes outright criminal behaviour. This chapter assesses the role of status of competition policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan, analysing the country’s competition framework underpinned by the “Law on Competition” adopted in 2008 against OECD best practice. It explores issues related to restrictive agreements and concerted practices, dominance and monopolisation and concentration control. It also discusses actions taken by Kazakhstan’s competition authority KREMZK against public actors restricting competition, as well as issues related to the institutional structure and procedural aspects of KREMZK.

  • Open budgeting for integrity and accountability in Kazakhstan

    The budget has a central role in impacting citizens’ lives through translating public policy objectives into budget lines, and improving the openness of the budget process and documents. This is crucial to strengthening the integrity, accountability, and strategic approach of public governance. This chapter assesses the status of open budgeting in the Republic of Kazakhstan, describing the specific practices of open, transparent, and inclusive budgeting and oversight in the country’s public sector. The overview of the legal framework and the budget cycle is followed by the assessment of budget transparency on national and sub-national levels, the extent of social accounting and audit, and the adoption of participative budgeting practices - including those targeted at ensuring women play a larger role in the budget process (“gender budgeting”).

  • Development co-operation in Kazakhstan

    Development co-operation is related to a country’s public integrity system in two ways. First, it can be used to combat corruption. Second, funds received and provided need to be safeguarded against corruption, to ensure they are ultimately used for their intended purposes. This chapter assesses the role of development co-operation in promoting integrity and combating corruption in the Republic of Kazakhstan. An assessment of Official Development Assistance (ODA) support for integrity measures in the country is followed by an analysis of Kazakhstan’s role as an emerging provider of development assistance. Transparency of development assistance, in regards to both receipts and contributions, is also evaluated.

  • Strengthening public sector integrity in Kazakhstan

    This chapter assesses the core elements of the public sector integrity system in the Republic of Kazakhstan, where a series of new laws and codes to combat corruption were passed in response to the objectives set out in the Anti-Corruption Strategy and the 100 Concrete Steps Plan. In light of these reforms, this chapter identifies challenges and opportunities to enhance public sector integrity through an analysis of the legislative and policy framework for public sector integrity, institutional arrangements, policies for Ethics and Codes of Conduct, and the management of conflict of interest, internal control and audit, as well as the disciplinary regime for integrity violations.

  • Ensuring integrity in public procurement in Kazakhstan

    As a large share of total public spending and characterised by high levels of interaction between the public and private sectors, public procurement is a major risk area for corruption. This chapter describes public procurement practices in the Republic of Kazakhstan, covering issues such as efficient and clear structures in the public procurement system, transparency and participation of stakeholders, awareness-raising and capacity building to support a culture of integrity that prevents capture and undue influence, controls and risk management, and appeals mechanisms.

  • Creating a level playing field in Kazakhstan through tax transparency

    Tax transparency is crucial to countering tax avoidance, tax evasion, tax crimes and other financial crimes. Transparency in particular refers to the existence and availability of information on the ownership and accounting documents of companies and other entities, as well as the availability of banking information of individuals and legal entities. This chapter provides an overview of tax transparency in the Republic of Kazakhstan vis à vis the international standard on tax transparency and exchange of information on request. Specifically, the legal and regulatory framework concerning the availability and access to information by Kazakhstan’s State Revenue Committee, and the exchange of information mechanisms in place are assessed.

  • Deterring and detecting bribery in export credits in Kazakhstan

    This chapter examines the measures that the Republic of Kazakhstan has established to combat bribery when providing government-backed support to exporters. The chapter describes the key policies and procedures that Export Credit Agencies (ECA) from OECD countries have put in place to implement the 2006 OECD Council Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits and the related measures applied by Kazakhstan’s two ECA: KazExportGarant Export Credit Insurance Corporation JSC and the Kazakhstan Development Bank. This chapter deals with the two ECAs’ actions for deterring bribery, the information required from customers to help detect bribery, enhanced due diligence that might need to be undertaken in specific circumstances, and the appropriate actions to be taken when there is credible or proven evidence of bribery.

  • Regulating lobbying in Kazakhstan to prevent policy capture

    Lobbying can act as a positive force in that it has the potential to promote democratic participation and can provide decision-makers with valuable insights, as well as facilitate stakeholder access to public policy development and implementation. Yet, lobbying can also be an opaque activity perceived of dubious integrity. This chapter provides an overview of lobbying practices in the Republic of Kazakhstan and addresses the policies that apply to lobbying activities. The chapter underscores areas where more could be done to promote a culture of integrity at the intersection between the public and private sectors.

  • Corporate governance and business integrity in Kazakhstan

    Corrupt corporate activities can be prevented, exposed and effectively addressed with well-functioning corporate governance practices that underpin a framework of responsibility, transparency and accountability. Good corporate governance is therefore an important tool for fighting misconduct from within the firm. This chapter describes the practices of corporate governance and business integrity in the Republic of Kazakhstan’s private sector. This chapter addresses business integrity and anti-corruption frameworks in corporations, the practices of corporate social responsibility in Kazakhstan, and risk management systems in the private sector. In addition, it provides examples of good practices at a company level as well as of external incentives for business integrity, collected during a recent stocktaking exercise carried out by the OECD.

  • Empowering civil society in Kazakhstan

    Uniquely positioned to independently monitor public services, raise awareness, and denounce bribery perpetrated by different economic and political actors, this chapter will assess the key role that civil society can play in fighting corruption and holding public officials accountable in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The chapter covers the legal environment governing CSOs in Kazakhstan and assesses whether there is an enabling environment for the effective role of civil society organisations. Second, it looks at the role of civil society organisations in combating corruption and promoting integrity in Kazakhstan. Finally, the chapter assesses CSOs’ commitment to integrity within their own organisations.

  • Enabling the tax administration in Kazakhstan to better detect corruption

    Tax administrations have an important role to play in combating financial crimes such as bribery and corruption. Firstly, they are essential in ensuring compliance. Second, in the course of their activities, tax examiners and auditors are in a strong position to identify indicators of possible bribery or corruption; the tax administration also has a responsibility to exercise its duties and powers to assist other government agencies in fighting these crimes. This chapter provides an examination of the present treatment of bribes in the Tax Code of Kazakhstan and provides recommendations on what changes could be introduced to comply with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). To support Kazakhstan in updating its Tax Code, this chapter also provides examples of legislation adopted by some Parties to the OECD Bribery Convention to deny the tax deductibility of bribes.

  • Encouraging reporting of corruption in Kazakhstan through

    This chapter assesses existing whistle blower protection provisions in the Republic of Kazakhstan for both public officials and citizens, including the coverage of the laws and protections from retaliation and reprisals. The chapter discusses the value of implementing measures to encouraging good faith reporting whilst simultaneously preventing reporting in bad faith. The need for clear reporting channels to facilitate disclosures, the positive elements of implementing an incentive structure for whistleblowers, as well as the importance of a strong communication regime are also explored.

  • Supporting an independent, vibrant media in Kazakhstan

    The media - whether in print, online, or on television and radio - play an important role in ensuring social accountability, and can support integrity and curb corruption by informing the public and holding government actors and institutions to account. The media can also inform public opinion on corruption matters more generally by raising public awareness about corruption. This chapter discusses the role of the media in the Republic of Kazakhstan in combating corruption. First, it provides an assessment of the recently passed access to information legislation in the country as it relates to media’s access to government information. Second, it analyses the extent to which freedom of press is guaranteed and protected, before looking at the level of professionalism and ethics in the media sector. Lastly, this chapter analyses the plurality of Kazakhstan’s media sector.

  • Criminalising bribery in Kazakhstan

    Criminal liability for bribery is a necessary element of any comprehensive anti corruption framework. The corruption of public officials undermines integrity of the public administration, affects social and economic development of the country, and erodes trust in public institutions. Criminalisation is one of the main tools to combat such serious wrongdoing as public corruption. This chapter provides an assessment of the actions taken to criminalise bribery in Kazakhstan. With a focus on the so-called active part of the bribery transaction (i.e. actions of the bribe-giver), this chapter analyses how the standards set by the OECD, United Nations and the Council of Europe’s binding international treaties are implemented in Kazakhstan.

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