07ASTANA1148, KAZAKHSTAN: INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON ANTICORRUPTION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA1148 2007-05-02 00:57 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2749
PP RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #1148/01 1220057
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020057Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9303
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC//IET//
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 001148 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (OMARA), INL/AAE (ALTON) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR ASEC KCOR KCRM PREL KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON ANTICORRUPTION 
STRATEGY 
 
 
1.  Summary: On April 24, the Academy of Public Administration 
hosted an International Seminar on "Anti-Corruption Strategy: Theory 
and Applications.".  The one-day seminar generated 16 
recommendations for Kazakhstan which if implemented would 
significantly combat corruption.  Most significantly, the experts 
recognized that punitive measures alone will not reduce corruption; 
socially stigmatizing corruption is necessary.  End summary. 
 
---------- 
BACKGROUND 
---------- 
 
2.  Addressing the Security Council in February, President 
Nazarbayev stated that in the light of the goal of Kazakhstan to 
rank among the world's 50 most competitive countries, combating 
corruption must be one of the priorities of state policy and was the 
responsibility of all state agencies.  In order to begin fulfilling 
the task set forth by the President, on April 24 the Academy of 
Public Administration conducted a seminar to discuss the integration 
of progressive anti-corruption forces of Kazakhstan and 
collaboration with other countries. 
 
3.  Among the participants were representatives of international 
organizations, diplomatic missions, social scientists and 
academicians, Kazakhstani officials from the Presidential 
Administration, Security Council, Parliament, Constitutional 
Council, Supreme Court, KNB, other law enforcement and security 
agencies, representatives of banking sector, national companies, and 
educational institutions. 
 
 
-------------------------------- 
CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION EVERWHERE 
-------------------------------- 
 
4.  The participants of the seminar discussed the role of 
educational institutions in combating corruption, national security 
and state anticorruption policy, how to fight corruption in land 
management, and corruption prevention in tax administration.  During 
the session on international anticorruption practices, the 
participants discussed challenges and prospects of anti-corruption 
efforts, international legal cooperation in fighting corruption, and 
corruption as a threat to national security.  They also talked about 
how to intensify anti-corruption practices in Kazakhstan, considered 
the origins of corruption, pondered whether lobbying was a type of 
corruption, and compared practices in light of anti-corruption 
strictures of Kazakhstani legislation.  The participants touched 
upon corruption and anti-corruption practices in law enforcement 
agencies, legal and organizational challenges in MVD anticorruption 
strategy, corruption prevention in the armed forces.  They also 
discussed Kazakhstan's ranking in the Transparency International 
corruption index (para six) and learned about the statistical basis 
on which the rankings are calculated. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
LET'S BORROW BEST PRACTICES FROM ABROAD 
--------------------------------------- 
 
5.  At the Plenary session, the Chairman of Anticorruption Committee 
underscored the necessity and importance of studying best 
international practices to develop Kazakhstani anti-corruption 
policy.  In particular, he pointed out that corruption in GOK 
procurement need to be resolved on a legislative level. 
 
6.  The Ambassador of the Slovak Republic, Dushan Podgorski pointed 
out that government procurement is highly corrupted not only in 
Kazakhstan but in many other countries and quoted a survey where 60% 
of respondents in Slovakia believe that state procurement is an area 
that is often corrupted.  The Ambassador also provided statistics on 
Kazakhstan's overall rank in the Transparency International 2006 
Corruption Perceptions Index (113/163) with a score of 2.6 on five 
point scale.  This put Kazakhstan ahead of neighboring Russia at 
127, Kyrgyzstan at 142, Turkmenistan at 149, Tajikistan at 150, and 
Uzbekistan at 155. 
 
7.  EU expert Michelle Sigo shared the experience of European 
countries in combating money laundering, pointing out that this evil 
creates favorable conditions for corruption.  Speakers repeatedly 
underscored that the implementation of electronic government would 
help fight corruption. 
 
8.  INL Officer spoke at the plenary session explaining U.S. 
interest in combating money laundering as a pathway to preventing 
terrorism, creating a financial sector compliant with international 
standards, and preventing corruption.  He reiterated U.S. readiness 
to assist Kazakhstan to establish and train a Financial Intelligence 
Unit when Kazakhstan enacts the necessary enabling legislation. He 
noted e-government was an opportunity to de-layer the bureaucracy 
 
ASTANA 00001148  002 OF 003 
 
 
and eliminate possibilities for corrupt individuals to demand bribes 
when official documents are transmitted. 
 
9.  International practice of combating corruption in the &#
x000A;Asian-Pacific Region was shared by Zautbek Turisbekov, Chairman of 
the Pubic Administration Agency (and former Minister of Internal 
Affairs) who visited Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand 
last year to study their experience.  He stressed that in these 
countries anticorruption policy is not based on deterrence but is 
focused on development of a professional public service with a high 
ethical standard.  Using social science research and public 
involvement in combating anti-corruption, officials in these 
countries created ethical codes of conduct rooted in the fact that 
professionals do not accept bribes.  According to Turisbekov, this 
has become a motto for many civil servants. 
 
10.  He also noted that in Malaysia, for example, they consider both 
factors, "the need" and "the greed", when sentencing a person for 
accepting a bribe.  If it is determined that need drove the bribe 
taker to accept the bribe he will be fired and banned for life from 
work in civil service.  If it was greed, the bribe taker may also 
receive a lengthy prison sentence. 
 
----------------------------- 
PARTICIPANTS' RECOMMENDATIONS 
----------------------------- 
 
11.  As a result of the Seminar, the participants developed the 
following 16 recommendations which they believe will significantly 
improve Kazakhstan's anti-corruption efforts: 
 
a.  Adopt a compressive approach to implement the anti-corruption 
policy of the Anti-Corruption State Program for 2006-2010; 
 
b.  Study the most successful and internationally-accepted 
anticorruption strategies and adapt them to Kazakhstani society and 
culture; 
 
c.  Bring Kazakhstani legislation into accordance with international 
standards including through ratification of international 
conventions.  The first that should be ratified is the UN 
Anti-Corruption Convention, then the EC Convention on criminal 
activity for corruption.  International corruption standards should 
be incorporated into national legislation; 
 
d.  Continue supporting the establishment of a single government 
agency responsible developing anti-corruption strategies and which 
would consolidate all state and public structures responsible for 
combating, preventing, and monitoring corruption; 
 
e.  Implement accountability, transparency, and public oversight of 
and access to state agencies; 
 
f.  Implement an evaluation system to assess financial activity of 
government agencies in order to detect corruption; 
 
g.  Improve the current procedure for selecting judges and increase 
the anti-corruption responsibility of the chairmen of the courts of 
law; 
 
h.  Promote development of socially responsible businesses and 
decide whether to adopt a law regulating lobbying; 
 
i.  Develop a management culture that will inculcate 
internationally accepted values into Kazakhstani culture; 
 
j.  Based on the Code of Honor of state employees approved in May 
2005, develop and improve codes of professional ethics in law 
enforcement and public administration agencies that will promote 
moral improvement and increase the responsibility of state 
officials; 
 
k.  Advocate for anti-corruption legislation through the use of mass 
media and public outreach, create a training center for legal 
studies for all state officials and other citizens to demonstrate 
the preference for preventive, not punitive measures; 
 
l.  Increase the role of mass media in exposing corruption cases and 
require government officials to make public information about each 
corruption case covered by the press; 
 
m.  Improve the personnel policy by improving transparency and 
objectiveness in the hiring policy.  Recruit capable, honest, and 
well recommended employees for state service; 
 
n. Regularly monitor professional ethics and efforts to combating 
corruption; 
 
 
ASTANA 00001148  003 OF 003 
 
 
o.  Actively include anti-corruption training into official 
curricula covering professional, legal, and humanitarian courses, to 
successfully implement the state anti-corruption policy of the; and 
 
p.  Require state agencies to consider all analytical and practical 
recommendations developed during conferences and seminars on 
anti-corruption; create a special unit to study, summarize and 
advocate for implementation of the most valuable recommendations and 
proposals developed during conferences and seminars. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
12.  Conference participants seemed to agree that corruption is a 
social problem which can be conquered only through joint efforts of 
government, business, and society.  The speakers advocated for 
combining preventive and punitive measures, as well as law 
enforcement efforts to combat corruption.  However, they claimed 
that the most important factor in combating corruption is public 
intolerance.  In short, they believe that corruption must become a 
shameful and disgraceful act unacceptable to society at large. 
 
13.  To change the public perception of the acceptability of 
corruption, participants proposed that the state should become more 
efficient, in part by creating professional standards and ethical 
codes, opening government to public scrutiny, and streamlining the 
process through which citizens interact with the government.  Post 
welcomes these initiatives and will monitor progress, but must point 
out that this is likely to occur in fits and starts.  No particular 
individual or group took ownership of securing implementation of the 
recommendations, a situation that often makes initiatives such as 
this "bureaucratic orphans." 
 
 
ORDWAY

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