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Clan relationships among officials need be removed - expert

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Aidos Sarym, a political scientist, hopes Kazakhstan will eventually get rid of venal practices in the 21st century. For the moment the situation leaves a lot to be desired.

The figures financial police voiced - 7 billion tenge stolen from the state is the top of the iceberg only, Sarym believes.

Representative of finpol Murat Zhumanbai said 78% of all corruption crimes in public procurement in 2012 were committed by akims, their deputies and akimat officials.

Clan relationships among officials need to be exterminated and public control should be strengthened, the politologist says.

- Aidos, why, do you think, according to finpol, the ones who most often caught for corruption are akims and their subordinates?

- It's simple. Why akimats? Because they are closer to the land. Wide range of services is carried out there, from snow cleaning, road paving and maintenance and so on.

Lack of appropriate public control today is the only reason for corruption. We will lack it for some more time. With my hand on my heart I can say - currently there is no actual fight against corruption in our country.

- Do you mean this is Kazakhstan's destiny?

- No. Notionally, finpol should have no work to do - people should not bring the situation to corruption or violations.

In other countries, information comes up to surface owing to mass media and with time everything gets uncovered. Unfortunately, we haven't got this.

In Kazakhstan, they talk of a corrupt person either in the event the person goes too far or his sun is down. Times will come, when finpol sits without work, but not soon.

- Is there any suggestion as to what needs to be done exactly with akimats and akims?

- The problem in akimats lies in clan relationships and absence of democracy. Ideally, akims should render account and explain why had they requested such an amount. But what is being done now - their proposed budgets get blindly approved and nobody from the ministry of economic development holds them accountable.

An akim agrees with the government, which allocates money and that's it. I think, finpol has voiced the top of the iceberg only. Should someone dig deeper, he will be painfully disappointed in his life and no longer believe politicians.

- Mechanism of laundering money from the state is smoothly running for a long time. One can't break it within "an hour"...

- When budget planning is in process, officials well know how much of it they will get. There is not a big inflation in the country, but every year the amounts requested are larger than previous ones and obviously exceed annual and other inflations.

This means, budgets get swollen artificially with no substantiation. There is no a single vision or a single system of control and account of akims.

If you are an akim and more or less involved in this schemes, you will do this. The case of Atyrau Oblast governor is a good example.

Local government agencies perform public procurement. Akims and their deputies member commissions to control buying process. Then the cream is taken.

- That's what people well know, isn't it?

- Corruption is increasingly hated in the society. However, the reality is - we condemn corruption, but then, for example, we bribe road police officers.

- I don't pay them...

- God bless you... We need millions like you [laughs]. One should not pay to bypass a waiting list. Media can make strong contribution to rooting out corruption.

Of course, a journalist may not go and put a corrupt person in jail. But they write and talk of it. Some details will come up and measures will be taken.

April 3 2013, 09:54

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