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Public procurement can have a significant impact on a country’s development. As highlighted in the 2015 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Procurement, ensuring broad access to the public procurement market is essential for achieving value for money, as it promotes competition and creates a level playing field.

Kazakhstan has been undertaking a significant transformation of its economy, society and public administration, steered by a long-term vision and national development strategies. Among these broad reforms, public procurement was identified as a priority, given its increasingly strategic function for public service delivery and its impact in citizens’ life and well-being.

The OECD supports countries in developing more strategic and effective public procurement. OECD members have been exploring and testing approaches to more sustainable and strategic procurement, seeking to improve efficiency and provide better outcomes for society. As part of a broad co-operation programme on public governance in place since 2015, Kazakhstan asked the OECD to undertake a review of its public procurement system and provide recommendations for further reforms.

This review looks at Kazakhstan’s system against the twelve principles of the OECD Recommendation. These principles – covering aspects ranging from efficiency to access and integrity – set out the main elements of a modern, state-of-the-art public procurement system.

Kazakhstan has made substantial progress, notably thanks to its most recent public procurement legal reform. The legal and regulatory framework and public procurement institutions are now much more robust and better adapted to modern needs. The comprehensive, mandatory use of e-procurement has transformed public procurement and accelerated its delivery. Centralisation initiatives promise efficiency gains, and automation has improved the integrity of Kazakhstan’s public procurement system.

At the same time, challenges remain. Kazakhstan could strive to increase competition and access for foreign companies. The country should also put further emphasis on efficiency gains. Greater procurement capacity is needed to implement the new legal and regulatory framework. Finally, the potential to use public procurement for achieving sustainability remains untapped.

Building on the progress so far, and drawing on international good practices, this review provides concrete recommendations to help shape Kazakhstan’s public procurement reform agenda for the coming years.

This document was approved by the OECD Working Party of the Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement (LPP) on 8 November 2019.

This document [GOV/PGC/ETH(2018)4/REV1] was approved by the Public Governance Committee on 26 November 2019 and prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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