Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)

Research Article: 2017 Vol: 20 Issue: 3

The State Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan at a New Stage of Development

Indira Rystina, L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Abyz Sadu, L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Bibigul Bulegenova, L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Marina Onuchko, L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Aigul Kozhakhmetova, S. Sefullin Kazakh Agrotechnical University


The present study critically evaluates and analyses several models of public service reform and their applications within the framework of reforming the Kazakhstan state service system. The main driving force of national development is the public services that implement government policy and solve issues of strategic development of the country and the everyday life of people. Authors stressed on the key features of positive image of public servants relying on the expectations of society. The result is a dynamic reform processes over the last 20 years created a national model of public service, with its characteristics and peculiarities, which are caused by the system of state management and socio-political structure of Kazakhstan. The authors emphasized the priority principles of the administrative reform, which became a new stage in the formation of effective public administration. Authors explored, analysed and compared the different models of civil services implemented in the European countries, USA and Asia, and examined the innovations and effectiveness of the Law “On state service of the Republic of Kazakhstan”. Authors also developed their recommendations to ensure professionalism and stability of personnel in the public service and to adapt the establishing civil service system to new economic conditions and implementation of internal and external policy of the state.


Public Service, National Development, Government Policy, Kazakhstan.


State service is a kind of activity of state servants in state structures to execute the powers of office, aimed at implementing the tasks and functions of state power (Ujhelyi, 2014).

The formation and strengthening of positive image of civil servant of the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the priority directions in the development of the state system. Every person in the public service should be aware of the significance of their work, understand and accept that he is on the path of serving the people. In this regard, any person must be a true patriot of his/her country, fair and dedicated. Competence is an integral feature of the high style of leadership. That is what society expects from a modern public service (Asio & Khorasani, 2015; Sasan, Maghazei & Cross, 2015).

In civilized countries, the reform of the state service is permanent and integral part of all administrative-state reforms. This is particularly significant in the transition from traditional management methods to more modern forms during the late twentieth century in the countries of Western Europe. For example, those established and the US, where the practice was vigorously pursued the theory of “new public management” (Dubrovin, 2008). According to this theory, the essence of civil service reform was concluded that the state delegates part of its functions to market structures. Leaving behind the state apparatus, the main strategic functions are realized through the public services mechanism. In this way the state seeks to ensure greater efficiency, flexibility, transparency and closer links with citizens-the consumers of public services (Dobos, 2015).


In practice, the theory of “new public management” has given rise to several models of public service reform. Within the political science schools in the UK and the USA, France, Germany, China, Japan and South Korea, there are traditional, “market”, “participating”, “flexible” and “deregulated” model of civil service (Dobos, 2015).

The model of “market civil service” is implemented in the United States. The government, as “service centre”, which represents the respective services, determines the exhaustive obligations of different spheres and levels of public administration. This model provides training for citizens with appropriate skills and access to the development of mechanisms for domestic and civil control and assessment of quality of public services.

The model of the “participating” public service is implemented to some extent in the UK (Revolvy, 1998), Germany (Von Krämer, 2007), France (Etat, 2008). It is the implementation model of public service based on informal mechanisms affecting the efficiency of activities of persons holding public office and holding positions in the public service.

The model of the “flexible” civil service is a system of appointment based on merit for all positions, as well as the selection and staff selection based on merit, which allows achieving the criterion of “universal selection”. “Flexibility” in this case is that each candidate may stand for any position in the public service. In international practice it is considered one of the most effective models.

The model of “deregulated” state service is a certain type of the recruitment into the civil service that is characterized by a certain degree of openness. This means that the criteria for selecting new personnel is based on available candidates, the management experience and open competition for filling vacant posts with persons in the public service.

These same models by different scientists are classified according to the legal structure as a Romano-Germanic (career) and Anglo-Saxon (positional) model of civil service. There is also Sharia (Islamic countries), East Asian or elite (Asia-Pacific) model. The latter are motivated by material motivation of civil servants and permanent control of the society. In China (Burns, 2007) and Cuba the public service is based on the principles of party membership, nomenclature, administrative hierarchy and centralism.

Every society, of course, has its own characteristics in the socio-economic structure, national ideology, beliefs and traditions (Sasan Khorasani, 2014; Sasan Torabzadeh Khorasani & Almasifard, 2017). At the same time, these characteristics have some features in common in the context of state services so that they bring political, cultural, social and other aspects of a society together. For this reason, the existing model of state service of different countries can mutually adapt certain principles of its organization in such matters as staff selection, training, promotion. The principle of strict competitive selection of civil servants at all levels in the “positional” model allows you to create the type of professional manager, administrator and is used generally in a number of countries.

A common and characteristic feature of the global practice of public service is, however, the search for a balance between the role of political appointments in the civil service professional and non-party bureaucracy, the strengthening of open, democratic civil service, its responsiveness to the needs and interests of individuals and society. De-politicization of the public service is by far the most significant trend in the practice of public administration of most countries of the world.

New Model of State Service

Problems of public administration and state service do not lose their relevance for Kazakhstan public during all the years of sovereign development. The reason is quite obvious and seemingly simple. To build an independent state is primarily based on the definition of principles of public administration, the formation of administrative structures, finding the most optimal and effective working methods of state-administrative apparatus (Oser, 2015).

Public service is an important social institution of society, ensuring the functioning of all subsystems of public life-economy, culture, politics and social sphere. Kazakhstan for a short historical period has passed away from the command-administrative system of governance to the state with a market economy, new management and administrative model of development. This country has developed a fundamentally new structure of the public service, which practically carried out the first market reforms in the country.

Realization of New Model of State Service

From the 1st January 2016 introduced a new Law “On state service of the Republic of Kazakhstan”. The law defines the legal basis for transition to a career public service model in Kazakhstan.

The introduction of this model ensured by the following mechanisms (Republic, 2015a; 2015b)

• Promotion of government employees will be subject to length of work at lower positions by internal competition. In the first stage, an internal competition is held among the employees of the state body.

In the absence of suitable internal candidates the selection is made among all civil servants.

• Lower positions in state agencies, i.e., essentially at the entrance to the civil service, will be replaced only by general competition based on a three-stage selection process:

• At the first stage candidates will be tested for knowledge of the law;

• The second stage will be evaluated by their personal qualities and basic skills;

• At the third stage, a competitive interview is conducted in a state body on specialized knowledge.

The Ministry has developed suitable automated test program for the assessment of personal qualities and competencies. It carried out the necessary procedures for its validation, including the assessment of domestic and international experts.

The second phase candidates can be admitted in the case of passing the threshold on the results of the test on knowledge of legislation.

• For the first time entering the civil service establishes a probation period of 3 to 6 months with retention of mentors.

• The personnel reserve of corps “B” was abolished.

• The Institute of transfer is limited. The transfers are saved only for:

• Assistants, advisers, press secretaries;

• Government agencies in relation to the categories “A” (Administration of the President) and “B” (office of the Prime Minister, the apparatus Parliament`s chambers, the Central election Commission, the Supreme court, the constitutional Council, counting Committee, the Manager of the President).

• The institution of rotation is introduced for governing staff of “B” corps.

The procedure and conditions of the rotation will be determined by the presidential decree (President, 2011).

During the rotation to another area the civil servants are provided with office accommodation without the right of privatization.

• The introduction of restrictions for receiving and tightening the grounds for termination of the political services of persons who have reached retirement age.

The age restriction does not apply to political office for which the Constitution and the laws defined in terms of their powers (“On the Concept of a New Model of Civil Service”, 2011).

Political officials appointed by the President, on reaching retirement age can continue to exercise its powers by decision of the President for a term of up to five years.

Regarding the administrative civil servants who have reached retirement age, the period of their stay in government service may be extended for one year only.

About “A” Corps

Corps “A”-administrative public offices of management level, which provides a special procedure of selection of personnel reserve, competitive selection, passing and termination of state service and special qualification requirements;

Special qualifying requirements to administrative state positions of corps “A” are shown to citizens, applying for occupation of administrative state positions of corps “A”.

Specific qualification requirements include:

• Requirements for education;

• Requirements for work experience;

• Requirements for professional knowledge, knowledge of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, strategic and policy documents.

Rules of selection of personnel reserve of administrative public service of corps “A” determine the order of selection of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the relevant special qualifying requirements to administrative state positions of corps “A” and other requirements for transfer in a personnel reserve of administrative public service of corps “A”.

Selection of the personnel reserve of administrative public service of corps “A” is carried out by the National Commission on personnel policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

For occupation of administrative state positions of corps “A” can be evaluated by the competition.

The competition for vacant or temporarily vacant administrative state position of corps “A” is carried out among citizens, enrolled in personnel reserve of administrative public service of corps “A”.

Since 2013 in the personnel reserve of administrative public service of corps “A” enlisted 1254 person, including in 2013–940, 2014–149, 2015–115 people.

Given all reservists, enlisted in a cadre reserve for three years, the reserve consists of 191 people, of whom 158–government officials, 31-are not civil servants, and 2 were unemployed.

Gender breakdown: Men 166 (87%) and 25 women (13 %) of the total number of reservists.

For today of the 513 existing posts of corps “A” vacant is 12, of which 4 posts are related to local Executive bodies.

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Public Servants

Human capital theory proved that the driving effective force of any society is a human, his/her intellectual abilities, creative qualities that are considered as the main force of social and economic development of the country (Nechayeva & Upabekov, 2016).

The assessment is based on analysis of information from state agencies on criteria such as the efficiency of human resources, training of civil servants, the effectiveness of the prevention of corruption, the level of satisfaction of civil servants (Baimenov, 2013).

Assessment shall be 12 Central and 16 local Executive bodies.

So in 2015, the Ministry of public service evaluated the area of “Personnel Management”.

By the end of 2015 the average score amounted to 74.2 points (at the end of 2014-72.4). The average evaluation score among Central government bodies amounted to 74.5 points, which is 0.9 points higher compared with 2014, the local Executive bodies-73.9 points, which is also more compared to the 2014 year by 2.4 points.

Positive changes are the effectiveness of work on prevention of corruption, training of civil servants and the efficient use of human resources.

Significantly reduced the number of civil servants convicted of corruption offences: 111 (end of 2014) to 69 people.

14.6 % (71.9%) increased the proportion of government officials voluntarily published the Declaration on incomes and property (at the end of 2014-57.3%).

The state agencies provide almost complete coverage of public employees to be professional training–97%, which is higher compared to the 2014 year by 2%. The share of civil servants retrained rose to 88% (in 2014-85%).

In terms of efficient use of human resources has been a slight decrease in turnover of personnel in public bodies (Agency, 2016).

In 2015 according to the grounds, stipulated by the Technique of an estimation of efficiency of personnel management, resigned 8.9% of employees of state bodies (2014-9,1%), including local authorities, the turnover decreased to 13.8%, which is lower than in 2014, amounting to 14.4%.

There are given a necessary recommendations to the state bodies in the result of estimation (Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service and Anti-Corruption Affairs, 2016)

Improving Ethical Standards of Public Officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The performance of state service is expression of special trust from society and the state, and makes high demands to the moral and ethical image of public servants (Valickas, Valickiene & Grakauskas, 2015).

The society expects that civil servants will put all their strength, knowledge and experience in their on-going professional activities, impartially and honestly serve their Homeland–the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Civil servants in its activities must be committed to a policy of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan–Leader of Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev and consistently pursue it in life.

Public servants should meet the following criteria:

• To promote strengthening of unity of people of Kazakhstan and ethnic harmony in the country, respect the state and other languages, traditions and customs of Kazakhstan people;

• Be honest, fair, modest, to observe generally accepted moral and ethical standards in dealing with citizens and colleagues to be polite and correct;

• To ensure the legality and justice of their decisions;

• To ensure the transparency of decision-making affecting the rights and legitimate interests of individuals and legal entities;

• Oppose actions detrimental to the interests of the state interfering or reducing the efficiency of functioning of state bodies;

• To improve their professional level and qualification for effective execution of official duties, to comply with the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan restrictions and prohibitions;

• By own actions and behavior do not give rise to criticism from society, to avoid prosecution for criticism, use constructive criticism to correct deficiencies and improve its activities;

• Not to use his official position to influence the activities of state bodies, organizations, public officials and other persons in matters of a personal nature;

• Not to distribute information that is untrue;

• To ensure the safety of state property rationally and efficiently and only for official purposes to use the entrusted state property, including vehicles;

• Strictly observe the service discipline, faithfully, impartially and efficiently perform their duties, efficiently and effectively to use working hours;

• On a permanent basis to take action to improve the quality of public services, fully focusing on the needs of the population as consumers of state services;

• To prevent the occurrence of misconduct and other offences for which the law envisages disciplinary, administrative or criminal liability.

• To observe business etiquette and rules of official conduct (Code, 2015).

The appearance of a public servant during the performance of his duties must contribute to the strengthening of the authority of the state apparatus, to comply with the generally accepted business style, which is distinguished by the formality, the restraint and accuracy.

Civil servants must not use his official position and related opportunities in the interest of public and religious associations, other non-commercial organizations, including for the promotion of their attitude towards him (honor, 2005).

State employees, including in managerial positions are unable to openly manifest their religious beliefs in the team, to force the subordinated workers to participation in activity of public and religious associations, other non-profit organizations.

Youth in the System of State Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan

There is a project in Kazakhstan–“School of state service of Kazakhstan`s Youth Congress”. Each year hundreds of young people try their hand participating in the competitive selection of School`s trainees. Students of leading universities of the capital, keen to participate in this contest. To go to School can be anyone aged 18 to 29 years. Competitive selection consists of two stages: The test for knowledge of legislation of the Republic and interviews with members of the selection Committee.

After admission to the faculty, depending on the chosen specialty, trainees listen to a two-week course, after which will begin a three-month practice in the state bodies. For three months the students have internships in various state agencies, according to their specialization. The priority is always 6 directions of School: State regulation, state regulation of economy, international relations, political science, public relations, journalism and information technology (Rystina, 2012).

Intern, passed all stages, shall be awarded a Diploma from the School of public service, indicating the development of the specialty. Graduates of SSS always had a high intelligence, showed a genuine interest in public service, politics and public life of the country. Those young enjoying appropriate knowledge of present practices and a clear idea of the work in this area can confidently stand for public positions

Today the development of the state youth policy is implemented in stages as follows:

• The period from 2012 to 2015;

• The period from 2016 to 2020

In the first stage:

• The law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On amendments and additions to some legislative acts on state youth policy” is adopted;

• Specified the competences and powers of the Central state and local Executive bodies, increased responsibility;

• Systematized and improved efficiency of Advisory bodies on youth policy at local Executive bodies;

• Qualifications of employees of Central and local Executive authorities on youth policy, leaders of youth organizations are increased;

• A system of analysis, monitoring and forecasting of the youth policy is created;

• Creation of the Republican expert-analytical structure “Zhastar”;

• Created youth organizations and adopted by the corporate program of youth policy at enterprises of different sectors of the economy;

• Continue the youth initiative “Youth practice”, “Zhasyl El”, “With diploma to the village!”, “Youth personnel reserve”, “School of state service”, “Zhastar-Otanga!”, etc.

• Created a database of graduates of educational institutions, including certified, on the website for further employment

• Introduced new methods of civil education, promoting civil engagement (courses a “Serve for society”, etc.)

• Increased level of civil consciousness of youth

• A new civil institute, penetrating all strata of society in volunteer activities “No excuse for tomorrow!”

• The business community is involved in implementing state youth policy

• Implemented a special project to support young entrepreneurs “Good luck!”

• To enhance the prestige of science among youth and their involvement in the development of innovative projects launched project “KarkynKZ”

• Began implementation of the project “Enbekor” increasing the value of labour in the minds of young people

• Expanded the network of sports and leisure infrastructure for young people and access to them

• Launched the project for promoting the image of a successful young Kazakhstani “Otandastar”

• Implemented the funding of youth organizations through the state social order for each region

• Developed a network of youth health centres and schools for young mothers, family planning

• To promote a healthy lifestyle among young people initiated the project “Alga, Kazakhstan!”

• Reduced the average duration of job search by young citizens from 6 to 4 months

• Increased proportion of young people employed by the authorized bodies of employment of the total number of applicants in search of work until 10%

• For the category of “young family” created the conditions for receiving housing, in particular in the framework of the program “Affordable housing–2020” (from 2014 about 3,000 apartments annually until 2020).

In the second stage increased the level of satisfaction of youth in action in youth policy, in particular:

• Increased proportion of young people employed by the authorized bodies of employment of the total number of applicants in search of work until 20%

• Increased level of representation of youth in Maslikhats of all levels to 14%

• Increased proportion of young people working in the civil service of the total number of civil servants by up to 30%, including, in the “A” corps

• Increased coverage of young people by preventive examinations (screening studies)

• Increased coverage of children and adolescents engaged in physical culture and sports

• Further measures for youth employment and increase entrepreneurial activity of young people, including through preferential credits

• Under the education authorities a special services are established in order to coordinate the work on professional orientation of pupils

• Continued implementation of the special project to support young entrepreneurs «???? ???!»

• Continue the implementation of the project “Enbekor” increasing the value of labour in the minds of young people

• Continue the implementation of the project on the promotion of the image of a successful young Kazakhstani “Otandastar”

• To promote a healthy lifestyle among young people continued implementation of the “Alga, Kazakhstan!”

• To enhance the prestige of science for young people and their involvement in the development of innovative projects continued implementing the project “KarkynKZ”

• Created the regional expert-analytical structures (Astana and Almaty)

• Implemented a new funding model of youth organizations (aw of the Republic of Kazakhstan on State Youth Policy, 2015)

These measures in the implementation of state youth policy should be taken into account by Central and local authorities and serve as criteria for their evaluation.


In conclusion, it should be emphasized that state service reform in the Republic of Kazakhstan should be aimed at formation of personnel potential, adapted to the new economic conditions, capable of qualitatively new level to ensure the implementation of internal and external policy of the state; on the transition to a career civil service model, in order to ensure professionalism and stability of personnel in the public service; the introduction of open and transparent procedures for the selection and promotion of civil servants according to their professional qualities; permanent skills development and ensuring their social and legal protection. While civil servants, meeting all the requirements for their professional preparation, are designed to transform from master to servant of society. For this reason, the President in his Message to the people of Kazakhstan “Kazakhstan–2030” emphasized that “the official of a new generation–a servant of the nation, patriotic and fair, dedicated and professional”. That is what society expects from a modern public service.

The priority principles of the administrative reform, which became a new stage in the formation of effective public administration, are as follow:

• The qualitative improvement of processes and procedures of public administration and public services

• Increase the professionalism, efficiency and coordination of the state apparatus

• Administrative reform at the present stage is based on a number of factors which in turn affect expected results. Select two groups of factors

The factors that increase the potential of administrative reform include:

• The political will of the President

• The inner potential of society (the formation of the middle class, the accumulation of capital, the structuring of the financial sector, the presence of a class of owners, etc.)

• Financial resources;

• Administrative resources (Executive power)

• Staffing (professional public managers, administrative managers)

• Factors that can slow down the process of reform, in our view, can be:

• Bureaucratization of the administrative apparatus;

• Corruption;

• Low level of professionalism of managers and employees.

Implementation of the tasks largely depends on the existing state apparatus, its staff, the competence and professionalism of public servants.

Achieving the high goals the state has set for itself, will require additional mobilization and largely new, unusual attitudes and approaches to business on the part of all organs and institutions of government, business, scientific and expert communities.

And most importantly, the process of complex modernization should occur in the interests and with the direct participation of the entire population, all sectors and institutions of society.


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