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​Two mysteries of the local government-2: "Legalization" action

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By Zulfiya Bainekeeva

Image 0“Saltanat Saraiy" new wedding palace has a legal manager now, who was officially presented to us by the department of finance.

Our previous publication about Wedding palace (see "Two puzzles of the Akimat") evoked a wide response: over 18 thousand hits, about 170 comments of readers, some of them believed that supervisory authorities will be interested in the issue, and local executive body would make an attempt to save their face and answer the questions that cast shadow on their good image. But it didn't happen. Therefore, after a long pause the editorial office sent an official inquiry to the Governor of Atyrau Oblast B. I. Izmukhambetov, and the copy to the prosecutor of Atyrau Oblast G. I. Togizbaev. Let me provide you the text of inquiry:

"On February 2, 2015 our newspaper published the article "Two puzzles of the Akimat" ( in which there was a speech about commercial activity of the facility that was signed off to department of finance (according to department of construction). Governor's deputy Shakimov hasn't answered the question about the form of management and the entities that conduct direct management of the state facility. Though the publication caused great public outcry, it unfortunately, didn't become a reason for investigation neither by local government office, nor by prosecutor's office to what many readers counted on. Could you please comment on the facts specified in the publication, and also answer the following questions:

1. Who manages the palace operations?

2. On what legislative bases?

3. What was the amount of income that the government gained from the facility during its operations?

4. What amount does the local government allocate from the budget for a monthly service and maintenance of the facility?

5. On what basis does the facility that was built on public funds render commercial services to the public: paid registration of marriage; rent of the restaurant, banquet hall and VIP-halls, etc.?"


Literally on the second day the prosecutor's office answered that our inquiry was sent "for consideration" to department of finance of Atyrau Oblast. Soon we received the comment from B. Zhylkybayev, the finance department head. It appeared that the facility was handed over to finance department in February for its further transfer to the competitive environment (strangely, in their reply sent to us in January it was mentioned that the facility has been already handed over to finance department). The text further reads: "Concerning items 2, 3, 4 in your inquiry – an open tender was conducted. According to tender requirements Hotel Service Home LLP won the bid on March 6 with offered monthly rent price of 6,09 million tenge. The lease contract of facility was signed. The rent payment for March had been transferred to regional budget account. The regional budget didn't foresee any money for maintenance of Saltanat Saraiy and hasn't allocated any money.

Re. item 5: The facility was transferred on the basis of lease contract according to article 75 of the RoK Law "On State Property", as well as on the basis of the RoK government resolution # 88 "The Rules of transfer of state property to property rent".

The answer is very laconic. But, in my opinion, some items require explanation. Therefore it was necessary "to dig" several additional sources. To begin with, tender announcement for management of the Palace was published on February 7 in the daily republican edition "RoK Official Bulletin". Private newspaper exists mainly, if not only, on orders from the state. Its rating is 0, comments – none. Mr. Baizhanov answered by phone that the bulletin has 25-thousand copies circulation, but in actual fact the information provided in the bulletin says that it issues only 15 thousand copies. He had a difficulty in explaining the orientation of the bulletin, forms of its distribution and availability of the edition in our city. When I asked the question about the founder, he apparently disliked my question, briefly said about "Sunkar" company and hung up with the words "I have no time to answer to your foolish questions". A peculiar edition - no editor, no journalists, only one "representative" in the face of Baizhanov. Why do the state customers are so attracted to this edition, I wonder?

The proposed price was 5,1 million tenge. Two companies were qualified for the bid - Atyrau Hotel Service Home LLP and provate company "Zhanshin" registered in Karaganda. The winner was Hotel Service Home that offered 6,09 million tenge.

Information about the winning company in Internet was scarce. But powerful Google provided information that “Hotel Service Home LLP" was established for management of “Kazakhstan" hotel that belongs to successful businessman Adil Zhubanov (he is also the director of Batys Aliance Stroy LLP that built this Wedding Palace on the request of the regional Akimat).


According to official version of regional Akimat, Adil Zhubanov was supposed to receive 1,9 billion tenge from the budget for the construction of the Wedding Palace. By the way, in the neighboring Uralsk city absolutely identical facility was built last year. But the investor "Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B. V", who presented the facility to the city, it only cost 1,4 billion tenge.

By the way, in Uralsk the construction of the beautiful new wedding registry palace started when the governor there was Baktykozha Izmukhambetov (our current regional governor). The idea seems so lucky and even President Nazarbayev, standing under the roof of the new Wedding Palace in Atyrau, praised to skies the ability of Baktykozha Salakhatdinovich, who built the facility for interregional Forum in only a few months before the arrival of President Putin.

But let's continue the topic of comparison - the Uralsk Palace was transferred to the city that carries the burden for the second year: marriage registration halls are more or less operating (marriage registration there costs 25 thousand tenge, here in Atyrau it costs from 100 thousand to 130 thousand tenge). But not many are willing to rent banquet rooms and restaurants costing 2,5 million tenge. In Uralsk the restaurant-keepers are afraid that premises will stand idle, and here in Atyrau the waiting list is full for months ahead. When Uralsk residents hear the cost of services in our Palace per one guest is 20-25 thousand tenge, or if the restraint is full then the cost of rent is 6 - 7,5 million tenge- they become speechless. They live by other economic categories.


Our cities are only 500 kilometers apart, but how we differ from our neighbors! However, it is possible not to coincide cardinally in an objective assessment of reality when you even live in one and the same city.

I will speak for myself. I drive past the Palace 4 times a day during the working week and see that it is used quite actively starting from last year. Weddings, corporate parties, jubilees …

In any case the facility looks well looked after and was obviously heated all throughout the winter and generously illuminated. And it is not a small private apartment of 30 sq. meters, the payment for heating of which is still expensive, and the Wedding Palace occupies 5,4 thousand square meters. And who was that “sugar daddy" who paid millions of tenge for its maintenance, I wonder, when the facility stood idle till it was handed for management?

The bid announcement was published in such a newspaper that Atyrau never heard of, not counting a few officials and their relatives.

Well, there is a portion of practical attitude here. Just imagine, if everybody will learn about the bid then there will be a crowd of people who are interested in bid participation.

It's better to avoid hassle and bustle with those who will dissatisfied with the results of bid…

Because we are not from Uralsk, and we are not afraid of the word “millions", especially when you can return them from just one event…

Photo taken by Kanat Eleuov

April 29 2015, 11:12

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