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Kazakhstan launches 10-year anti-corruption strategy

31 december 2014, 13:36
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©RIA Novosti / Mikhail Kutusov
©RIA Novosti / Mikhail Kutusov

Kazakhstan is launching a 10-year anti-corruption campaign. President of the country Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a relevant decree on anti-corruption strategy for 2015-2025 on December 26, Tengrinews reports.

The document specifically focuses on measures aimed at preventing preconditions causing corruption rather that fighting the consequences of this phenomenon. The strategy calls for a “radically eradication of legal nihilism in the society.”

“In this document the leading role should be given to package measures of preventive nature, capable of radically reducing the level of corruption, eradicating the causes and conditions that give rise to it in different spheres of life of the state and society. The emphasis should be placed on elimination of corruption preconditions and not on the fight against its consequences," the strategy document states.

In addition, it notes that corruption is a problem existing in all countries, differing only in typical manifestations and scale. "In determining the causes, conditions and consequences of corruption, such factors as local mentality, national and religious differences, the level of legal culture should be taken into account," it points out.

The document stresses that Intolerance to corruption should become a “civil position of every citizen of Kazakhstan”, while honesty and integrity should be a “norm of behavior." In the absence of such a culture in society, it will be impossible to eradicate corruption. Each individual and every family should understand that fighting corruption is the task of the whole society.

"Only by nurturing anti-corruption standards of conduct from earliest age will we be able to eradicate this social evil. It is important to bring up a child in the spirit of Kazakhstan patriotism and rejection of corruption. Educational anti-corruption courses should cover all educational institutions, government agencies and civil society as a whole," the document proposes.

However, this is still a very complicated and massive task requiring knowledge of professionals, who “can explain the mechanisms of obtaining public services, protecting rights and lawful interests of citizens in an accessible and qualified manner."

The policymakers recognize that anti-corruption activities are largely limited to isolated actions and campaigns and formulaic statements in the media. The Internet is under-utilized. In addition, the existing information field is not always conducive to creating an atmosphere of zero tolerance for corruption.

The text also draws attention to the fact that at the legislative level violation of norms and rules of professional ethics have not been delineated from actual corruption offenses. This "distorts the real picture of propensity for corruption, prevents the concentration of state efforts on acute directions in the fight against corruption and leads to an increase in corruption rating of the country."

With this, there is no clear distinction between the levels of corruption and penalties for engaging in them.

The documents stresses that the government will continue creating conditions under which the use of official powers for personal gain will be unprofitable and impossible.

For example, it is proposed to undertake gradual, regular wage increases of state apparatus designed to improve social well-being of civil servants, serving as an incentive for carrying out duties in a fair and equitable manner.

Another important measure envisioned is the obligation of public servants to declare not only their incomes but also their spendings. In the future, such a declaration will be extended to the entire population, which is supposed to have a positive impact on the rule of law and transparency in the public service.

In general, the key points of the strategy include: forming an anti-corruption culture; fighting corruption in the public service, in the quasi-public and private sectors; introducing the institute of public control; preventing corruption in the judiciary and law enforcement bodies; developing international cooperation in fighting corruption; and monitoring the progress of the program.

The strategy aims at making the procedure of obtaining public services simpler and more transparent. In this regard, a number of government functions will be gradually transferred to the private sector and self-regulatory organizations.

In general, the principle of transparency is a key factor in the fight against corruption and therefore the work on its implementation will be carried out on a regular, systematic basis, including by monitoring the quality and accessibility of public service delivery. The volume of services provided to the public in electronic format will grow, including in the real of issuance of permits.

In addition, an institute of public control will be introduced. This requires not only the activation of civil society, but also the appropriate legal regulation. Adoption of the law "On public control" will first create an integrated system of civilian control by regulatory fixing the basic rules of its organization and implementation.

Importantly, the program stresses that an important factor in a successful fight against corruption is the ability of citizens to participate directly in solving local issues. This will be facilitated by the adoption of a law providing for the empowerment of local governance.

By Dinara Urazova


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