Mystery shoppers to be used against corruption

ASTANA – The Kazakh Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption together with the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan are looking for ways to solve the country’s corruption problem. Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption Agency Deputy Chairperson Alik Shpekbayev recently talked about the methods being used at a public conference.

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“One of the projects is a so-called mystery buyer. It will be aimed at improving the quality of public services and eliminating corruption risks. When the whole society is involved, when people act together and help identify unlawful actions, we will make appropriate decisions. There is a special department for monitoring the provision of public services, but we believe that its efforts are not enough. In order to bring this to the public, we decided to involve civil society,” he said.

Shpekbayev noted it is impossible to guarantee the instantaneous effect of all taken and planned measures, citing the example of European countries that “have worked for centuries to minimise the corruption.”

“For many years, they have been making appropriate changes and additions to the normative legal acts, constitutional-management functions and personnel policy. Changes cannot be made immediately,” he said.

The main goal of the agency’s actions is not only to eliminate the consequences of corruption, but is also aimed at forming society’s right attitude towards the issue.

“Many of our citizens do not know that there is an anti-corruption policy, that there is a law on combating corruption. We want to bring this to the people, because if they face corrupt cases – they need to know where to report them. We pay great attention to this by distributing special recommendations. A person should show zero tolerance for corruption; he should not accept such a phenomenon at all,” said Shpekbayev.

He also urged the entire population to take an active part in anti-corruption activities, noting corruption risks can only be minimised through comprehensive support of the initiative.

“In his last address to the nation, the head of state once again drew attention to the efforts of civil society in this direction. The recommendations received at the latest anti-corruption forums are being put into practice. Corruption is a topical issue that must be addressed by the whole society. To defeat corruption only by the efforts of the state body is impossible. To minimise it, we need a strong civil society, which today has already been formed in Kazakhstan,” said Shpekbayev.

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