NUR-SULTAN – The entire public administration system in Kazakhstan should undergo a major upgrade to become people-centered, said Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the second meeting of the Supreme Council for Reforms Dec. 9, the Akorda press service reported.
The council was created in September to serve as a supreme body for finalizing and adopting the nation’s reform plans. Chaired by Tokayev, the council is co-chaired by Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the former president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The first meeting took place in October.
The council’s second meeting focused on ways to reform the state planning system, macroeconomic policy, social sector development, economic diversification and business regulation, among other issues.
The new state planning system should ensure continuity and coherence between the country’s programs and reforms, said Tokayev.
“It must be free from dogmatism and formalism. Less beautiful words, and more quality content. It must be absolutely practical to leave room for the executives. It is extremely important not to burden the executives with extra work. Burnout should be minimized, but not to the detriment of other efforts. I would like to emphasise that the government must work in close cooperation with the expert community and the public,” said Tokayev.
Digitization must be the focus in reforming the state planning system.
“Over the course of several decades of independence, a large number of programs have accumulated, some of them have been lost and new programs and documents are being introduced. All of them need to be structured hierarchically, getting rid of unnecessary things and to build an absolutely clear and transparent planning system. First and foremost, understandable for those implementing it and for the people,” said Tokayev.
The task is now to determine priority reforms and make suggestions on their implementation. Tokayev suggested focusing first on large scale reforms, including the development of a Social Code, a Digital Kazakhstan program and the 2025 Agriculture Development Program.
Fair competition and reducing administrative burden can help foster the growth, said Tokayev.
Addressing the council members, Tokayev also spoke about reforms in the judiciary and in law enforcement. Digitisation and the introduction of advanced IT technologies in the work of judges and law enforcement agencies should be continued.
Tokayev stressed the need for systemic measures, especially in the recruitment stage.
“Every appointment to the post of judge, whether it is a Supreme Court judge or chairs of regional courts, is subject to a heated debate, primarily within the judiciary system itself. Judges accuse each other of unprofessionalism, the use of personal connections and so on. We need to overcome all these negative trends,” said the Kazakh president.
Tokayev expressed hope in the success of the reforms in this area, but cautioned against fickle amendments to criminal legislation.
“It destabilizes the entire law enforcement system and misleads those who work in the field. The risk of mistakes that could cost the fate of our citizens is growing. Therefore, in principle, the pace is set quite well in this direction,” said Tokayev.
Chair of the Kazakh Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms Kairat Kelimbetov, Adviser to the President and Deputy Chair of the Supreme Council for Reforms Sir Suma Chakrabarti, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Chief of the Presidential Administration Erlan Koshanov, Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration Timur Suleimenov, and Chair of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Timur Kulibayev also spoke at the meeting.