In addition, Law of November 26, 2019 No. 273-VI “On Amending and Supplementing Specific Legal Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Issues Concerning Civil Service and the Fight against Corruption” imposes on public officials the obligation to take measures to prevent corruption among their subordinates, extends the powers of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Kazakhstan and provides for the necessity to undertake anti-corruption assessment of legal acts.
1. Liability of officials for the commitment of corruption crimes by their subordinates.
The adopted document amends article 60 of Law No 416-V of November 23, 2015 “On the Civil Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan” (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Civil Service). In accordance with the amendments, the ministers, deputy ministers, akims (governors) of the regions, republican cities and the capital and their deputies, as well as the akims of districts are obliged to resign if it becomes known that three months after their appointment their direct subordinates committed a corruption crime. The indicated individuals must resign within ten days after the conviction judgment against the subordinate enters into force or after the termination of criminal prosecution against the latter for non-rehabilitating reasons.
At the same time the law establishes a separate list of direct subordinates for each of the abovementioned top officials:
1. for the ministers – their deputies, executive secretaries, chiefs of staff, heads of regional administrations, republican cities or the capital and local units of the public body;
2. for the deputy ministers – the heads of the bodies they oversee or of the autonomous structural units;
3. for the akims of regions, republican cities and the capital – their deputies, chiefs of staff and akims of districts;
4. for the deputies of the akims of regions, republican cities and the capital – the heads of the executive bodies they oversee that are funded by the local budget;
5. for the akims of districts – their deputies, chiefs of staff, heads of the executive bodies they oversee that are funded by the local budget, as well as the akims of villages, settlements and rural districts.
Since the law was adopted the akim of Shyngyrlau District in West Kazakhstan Region has been dismissed on the grounds of a proven fact of bribery of his subordinate. Other 11 high-ranking officials may resign if the ongoing criminal proceedings against corruption offences committed by their subordinates result in convictions.
Moreover, the adopted legal act amends article 43 of the Law on Civil Service, providing for the disciplinary liability of the civil servants who occupy the positions of heads of public bodies, autonomous structural units of the republican public bodies and local government bodies in the event that their direct subordinates commit a corruption crime.
The penalties will be imposed on the indicated individuals if the following conditions are simultaneously respected:
- the link between the corruption crime committed by a subordinate and the failure to fulfill or improper fulfillment of the duty to prevent corruption offences by the official was established;
- there is a conviction judgment against the subordinate for having committed a corruption crime that entered into force or the criminal prosecution against him/her was terminated for non-rehabilitating reasons.
2. The obligation of officials to take measures to prevent corruption.
The legal act also amends article 10 of the Law on Civil Service, imposing the obligation on the heads of public bodies to take measures to prevent corruption among their subordinates.
At the same time, in accordance with the amendment to article 22 of Law of November 18, 2015 No. 410-V “On Combating Corruption” (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Combating Corruption) the failure to fulfill or the improper fulfillment of the indicated obligation entails disciplinary liability for the official.
3. The extension of the powers of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Kazakhstan.
The adopted document also amends article 20 of the Law on Combating Corruption, extending the list of functions of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Kazakhstan which will now be responsible for:
- developing and implementing national anti-corruption policy;
- coordinating the activities of the public bodies and organizations aimed at preventing corruption;
- taking measures to minimize the causes and conditions that favour the commitment of corruption offences;
- measuring the level of corruption in the public and private sectors also through organizing necessary sociological surveys.
4. Anti-corruption assessment of draft legal acts.
Finally, the adopted document amends article 6 of the Law on Combating Corruption, providing for the necessity to carry out scientific anti-corruption assessment of draft legal acts to detect the factors that generate the risks of corruption and to put forward the recommendations to eliminate them.
A reward system for whistleblowers was also established in Kazakhstan in early 2020 (see Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan of February 2, 2020 No. 32).
Before that there had been only one fixed reward amounting to the sum ranging from 30 to 100 monthly calculation indices (MCI) and depending on the gravity of the corruption offence disclosed by a whistleblower (from 83,000 to 278,000 KZT or approximately from 197 to 660 USD).
According to the introduced amendments, if the cost of the damage caused by an offence exceeds 1000 MCI (2.8 million KZT or around 6,700 USD) the whistleblower may count on receiving a reward equal to 10 percent of the indicated sum of money which, however, cannot exceed 4,000 MCI (11.1 million KZT or 26,000 USD). In other cases the range of the amount of the reward remains unchanged.