SHYMKENT – The Agency for Civil Service Affairs of Kazakhstan held a seminar for journalists from the southern regions on Dec. 23 titled “Civil Service Reform: An Outward Glance and its Portrayal in Regional Mass Media.” The seminar was supported by the EU-funded project “Civil Service Reform and Modernisation of the Government of Kazakhstan.”
Media representatives from South Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Kyzylorda and Almaty oblasts, members of the Public Council for Interaction and Collaboration with Individuals, non-profit organisations focused on the provision of civil services and members of the Disciplinary Board of the South Kazakhstan oblast, employees of government bodies and human resource services of the South Kazakhstan oblast all took part in the seminar.
Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs of Kazakhstan Alikhan Baimenov outlined the main provisions of the new model of civil service, taking into consideration questions frequently asked by local journalists on new HR methods, ethics and anticorruption control in civil service and top government officials known as “Corps A” officials.
The head of the agency noted that “the dialogue with the general public, non-profit organisations and mass media is an agency priority.” An expert council on civil service improvement issues was established to discuss conceptual and legislative initiatives of the agency. Public councils on civil service affairs have been established under the agency and its regional departments. The subject is now taught at the Academy of Public Service under the President of Kazakhstan and regional training centres now include a course titled “Civil Service and the Mass Media”.
In his speech, a key expert of the EU-funded project Edward Zakharchenko spoke about current trends in civil service development and the application of the best practices of European countries in Kazakhstan’s civil service.
Ways of making it easier for local media outlets to put forward suggestions for improving regional government agencies were also discussed at the seminar. The idea of “ethics counselors” and public observers aroused particular interest in the audience.
Earlier, similar review seminars to clarify the new civil service model to journalists were held for representatives of the national media in Astana. Right after that, seminars were held for journalists of the north-eastern and western regions of Kazakhstan as well in Pavlodar and Aktobe, all with the support of the EU project.