Anti-Corruption service centre opens in Nur-Sultan

NUR-SULTAN – Antikor Ortalygy service centre, the Kazakh Anti-Corruption Agency model for providing transparency, opened Dec. 12 in the capital.

Photo credit: Kazakh Anti-Corruption Agency press service.

The department is the only law enforcement agency in the country that has completely switched to the open space format, as all administrative and operational investigative staff work is done in glass-enclosed rooms, demonstrating transparency and availability.

Anti-Corruption Agency Chair Alik Shpekbayev and city Akim (Mayor) Altai Kulginov cut the blue ribbon to open the centre. Ambassadors and representatives of several foreign countries, as well as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Programme Office in Kazakhstan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) deputies also attended the event.

Service centres are legal offices offering counselling by qualified specialists in a quick, comfortable setting, said Shpekbayev. Antikor Ortalygy is one of five in the country operating in an open space format with barrier-free access to agency services.

The centre also represents “a new philosophy of communication and working with people,” noted Integrity Department head Daniyar Sabirbayev.

“President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for ‘a state that hears’ policy. Our goal is to implement his instructions, and this centre is one of the steps,” he added.

The visitors were also introduced to the possibilities of the Interactive Budget Map, aimed at providing public control over budget spending. Monitoring group member Marat Satarkulov demonstrated the method for mapping and distributing 500 billion tenge (US$1.3 billion) of capital budget funds.

The project became possible due to substantial financial support from the Dutch Embassy in Kazakhstan, said Shpekbayev. Dutch Ambassador Andre Carstens noted he was pleased the joint effort led to such significant results.

The centre contains legal advice offices, a press area, the Astana-Adaldyk Alany project office for receiving visitors and an interrogation room modelled on those used by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption. It is equipped with a triangular table designed to accommodate a suspect, his legal representative and an interrogator.

Kulginov commended the new format.

“The state agencies must be closer to the people and address their issues in time and eliminate barriers in providing services. We need to meet global standards. It is not easy to do all at once, but the task is to prevent, to foresee the risks and complaints in advance,” he said.