Bribery in international business

Kazakhstan should build on its efforts to fight corruption and push forward with reforms


04/10/2017 - Kazakhstan has achieved progress in reforming its legislation, in particular with regard to the civil service, judiciary, instruments to prevent corruption in the public administration and access to information, as well as in prosecuting corruption. However, some of these reforms are not yet complete, many laws are still not fully in line with international standards and enforcement is uneven, according to a new OECD report.

The report notes that public companies remain a source of high corruption risks and as a result require additional efforts to ensure good governance and transparency. The announced privatisation of national companies poses additional risks and this process should therefore be competitive and open to public scrutiny. The report also recommends opening up access to public registers.

The report further recommends that Kazakhstan better engage civil society in the development and implementation of its anti-corruption policy, to repeal liability for defamation and other provisions that hinder reporting corruption, and adopt a comprehensive legal framework to protect whistle-blowers.

The report welcomes Kazakhstan's additional progress in implementing its civil service reform but notes remaining issues with the separation of political and administrative positions, merit-based recruitment and bonus payments. Conflict of interest and gift policies should be strengthened and better promoted through guidance and extensive awareness-raising.

The report commends Kazakhstan for launching the judicial reform but notes that the measures taken so far are insufficient. The independence of the judiciary and judges is not properly guaranteed by the legislation in place as well as in practice; the composition of the High Council of Judges is not fully in line with international standards; grounds for disciplinary liability are vague and disciplinary proceedings do not guarantee due process; supervision of judicial ethics is inadequate and entrusted to bodies formally situated outside of the judiciary. Similar problems are evident in the public prosecution system, where even stronger reforms are needed to ensure autonomy and accountability.

The report further recommends that Kazakhstan:

  • Establish detailed rules and effective enforcement mechanism to ensure the integrity of political officials.
  • Introduce without further delay an effective system of asset and interest disclosure for public officials with a high level of transparency.
  • Urgently adopt the Law on Administrative Procedures and the Administrative Adjudication Code.
  • Revise the newly adopted Access to Information Law to bring it in line with international standards and best practices, and provide an effective enforcement mechanism.
  • Limit the volume of non-competitive public procurement, publish procurement data in machine-readable format, improve the debarment system and anti-corruption declarations.
  • Finalise reform of the criminalisation of corruption to ensure it is fully in line with well-established international standards.

The report also includes an in-depth study of the higher education sector and recommends a set of measures to develop specific anti-corruption policy actions targeting the education sector to increase transparency and bolster corruption prevention.

The full report and recommendations on Kazakhstan are available in Russian here.

The report is published under the Istanbul Anti-Corruption Action Plan, initiative launched in 2003 under the Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), which is a part of the OECD Working Group on Bribery outreach work. More information is at

For further information, contact Mrs. Olga Savran, ACN Manager at the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Division at +33 1 45 24 13 81 or

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

Also available: Anti-Corruption Network


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