Discussion Papers

No.475 Corruption in Kazakhstan and the Quality of Governance

by Dossym SATPAYEV

August 2014


In Kazakhstan, uncover of numerous corruption scandals involving government officials has become almost a normal feature of life. Behind the high-profile acts of waging a battle against corruption, however, is a serious and systemic phenomenon. The most endemic form of corruption is the various transfers of funds in the state structures and national companies which remain opaque and thus unaccounted for. There are questions about the volumes and spending of revenues earned from natural resources, and there is no independent monitoring and control of the flow of funds in national oil and gas companies. The main actors involved in the shadow economy are state officials and informal pressure groups, who distribute resources among themselves, and accumulate wealth by way of legalising informal incomes or obtaining official business using connections. While important decision making is carried out among the close circles of the elite, formal institutions remain weak and ineffective.

Keywords: corruption, shadow economy, informal networks, informal pressure groups, Kazakhstan

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