Transparency Kazakhstan presented an interactive map of the country’s rural budgets

An interactive map of rural budgets appeared in Kazakhstan. It displays the costs of 3,255 villages, towns, rural districts and cities of regional subordination for 2019-2021.

The developers were activists of the organization Transparency Kazakhstan.

Since 2018, the so-called fourth level of the budget has been introduced in Kazakhstan, according to which all small villages with a population of more than 2 thousand people have the opportunity to independently approve the budget of their community, determining what local problems will be spent. 90% of such budgets are generated by taxes and payments of residents themselves.

«In fact, in Kazakhstan there is no consolidated information about which items of expenditures were spent on local budgets, and how did the procedure for adopting new budgets for three years go. Therefore, we decided to collect all the budgets and analyze what types of expenses local authorities plan to spend», — said Executive Director of Transparency Kazakhstan Olga Shiyan.

The results showed that most of the budgets of the fourth level were accepted by the authorities of Almaty, Turkestan, Zhambyl, Karaganda and Pavlodar regions.

Least of all budgets are local communities of the Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions.

Not a single budget of the fourth level was adopted by the authorities in the Karakiy district of Mangistau region and Akkula district of Pavlodar region, although the population density allowed these communities to have their own budgets.

All budgets were adopted in the format of decisions of maslikhats, combined into normative legal acts at the level of districts or rural districts.

A high degree of interest of deputies in studying problems of local importance and the formation of key costs on their basis is noted in the Aktobe and North Kazakhstan regions. Medium degree — in East Kazakhstan, West Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Kostanai, Kyzylorda, Mangistau, Pavlodar regions. Low degree — in Akmola, Almaty, Atyrau, Zhambyl and Turkestan regions.

In 2020, the total budget of the fourth level decreased with the exception of the West Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda and Mangistau regions.

At the same time, the total number of settlements with their own budgets has increased. In 2021, a trend is expected to persist for a slight increase in the budgets of the fourth level, but it does not reach the level of 2019.

Most of the money to support local self-government was laid by the authorities of the Turkestan, Almaty and Zhambyl regions.

The least amount of money for local self-government is among the residents of rural districts of the West Kazakhstan, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions.

The development potential of local self-government is limited by the need to transfer part of its funds to the budgets of the district and city levels.

Another drawback in the development of budgets of the fourth level is the lack of a gender approach that takes into account the needs of the population, ensures a fair budget policy and helps reduce inequality between women and men, increases transparency and targeted services.

The top 10 largest expenses of 2019-2021 included expenses for:

  • activities and maintenance of apparatus of rural akims
  • capital repairs of office buildings
  • other expenses
  • street lighting
  • improvement and gardening of settlements
  • sanitation of settlements
  • preschool education and training
  • ensuring the functioning of roads

Least of all in the budgets of 2019-2021 are funds allocated for:

  • local employment
  • construction and reconstruction of roads
  • water supply of settlements
  • burial site maintenance
  • social assistance to the population
  • healthcare and delivery of seriously ill people to the nearest healthcare organization
  • sport
  • utility management.

Not a single budget of the fourth level of 2019 was allocated funds for:

  • The maintenance of burial places and the burial of rootless ones is not provided for in the Mangistau and Kyzylorda regions,
  • Water supply — not provided for in the Mangistau region,
  • Improvement of settlements — not provided for in Zhambyl, Mangistau, North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Preschool education — not provided for in the Akmola and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Primary, basic and secondary education are not provided in Zhambyl, Kyzylorda, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Culture, sports, tourism — not provided for in the West Kazakhstan region,
  • Sports and recreational activities are not provided for in the North Kazakhstan, Mangistau, West Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Atyrau, Almaty, Aktobe, Akmola regions,
  • Cultural and leisure activities — not provided for in the Akmola, West Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions,
  • Road repair — not provided in Atyrau and Pavlodar regions,
  • Automobile transport is not provided in the Zhambyl, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions.

In 2020, the situation will not improve, funds are not pledged to:

  • The maintenance of burial places and the burial of rootless ones is not provided for in Atyrau and Mangistau regions,
  • Water supply is not provided for in Aktobe, Almaty, Mangistau and Turkestan regions,
  • Improvement of settlements are not provided for in Zhambyl, Mangistau, North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Preschool education and the implementation of the state order for preschool education is not provided in the Akmola, North Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, West Kazakhstan and Mangystau regions,
  • Primary, basic and secondary education are not provided for in Zhambyl, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Social assistance and social security is not provided for in Zhambyl, West Kazakhstan and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Culture, sports, tourism is not provided for in the West Kazakhstan region,
  • Cultural and leisure activities is not provided in the West Kazakhstan region,
  • Sports and recreational activities are not provided for in the North Kazakhstan, Mangistau, West Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Atyrau, Almaty, Aktobe, Akmola regions,
  • Overhaul and average repair of roads is not provided in Akmola, Aktobe, Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Automobile transport is not provided in the Zhambyl, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions.

Improvements should not be expected in 2021, as deputies and akims approved budgets without providing for expenses:

  • The maintenance of burial places and the burial of rootless ones is not provided for in Atyrau and Mangistau regions,
  • Water supply is not provided in Aktobe, Almaty, Mangistau, Turkestan regions,
  • Improvement of settlements are not provided for in Zhambyl, Mangistau, North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Preschool education are not provided in Akmola, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Primary, basic and secondary education are not provided for in Zhambyl, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Culture, sports, tourism are not provided for in the West Kazakhstan region,
  • Sports and recreational activities are not provided for in the North Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Mangystau, West Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, Atyrau, Almaty, Aktobe, Akmola regions,
  • Cultural and leisure activities are not provided for in the Akmola, Almaty, West Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions,
  • Road repair is not provided for in Akmola, Aktobe, Atyrau, Kostanai, Kyzylorda, Mangistau, North Kazakhstan regions,
  • Automobile transport is not provided in the Zhambyl, Mangistau and North Kazakhstan regions.

Transparency Kazakhstan experts recommend before the reporting meeting of the akim to take 4 steps to the financial stability of local self-government:

  1. Study the budget of your village, rural district or city of district subordination for 2019-2021 in this interactive map.
  2. Analyze how much money has been allocated for the maintenance of the akimat’s apparatus, addressing the improvement of your community, education, health, social support, as well as the development of sports, culture and road repair.
  3. At the reporting meetings of the akim, specify for what purposes the funds provided for in the budget of 2019 were spent and how it is planned to absorb the funds in 2020.
  4. In case of disagreement with the ratio of the costs of maintaining the akim, other costs and resolving issues of purely local significance, invite deputies of the maslikhat to amend the budget taking into account the views of the local community and existing problems.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE AUTHORITIES responsible for the development, adoption and implementation of fourth-level budget funds:

  1. Ensure that the deputies of Maslikhats are widely involved in discussions with local communities on the possibilities of distributing local budget funds, taking into account the views of the population and existing problems.
  2. Ensure the availability and timeliness of information about the gatherings of the local assembly and the discussion of draft budgets by deputies.
  3. When developing draft budgets, use a gender approach that takes into account the real needs of the population.
  4. Ensure the ratio of the costs of maintaining akim’s apparatus with the costs of solving local problems, reduce the amount of funds allocated to “other” akimat expenses.
  5. Ensure timely and affordable publication of fourth-level budgets on the Open Budgets portal and on the oblast akimat sites.
  6. To realize the potential of the institution of self-government, to increase the involvement of the population in resolving issues of local importance and people’s confidence in government, enter the election of akims of cities of regional subordination, rural districts, villages, towns, villages with a population of more than 2 thousand people.

The full study «Development of local self-government in Kazakhstan» can be read here.

An interactive map of rural budgets is published here. Click on the area and read the full layout of budget expenses.

You’ll find a collection of fourth-level budgets here.

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The project «Development of local self-government in Kazakhstan» was implemented thanks to the support of Transparency International and aims to reduce the economic and social gap between the most and least developed regions of the country through a detailed analysis of the financial support of the smallest administrative units (Goal 10.2 of SDG UN, Goal 1.A from UN SDG 11).

The recommendations on civil and public oversight are aimed at strengthening legal literacy and reducing corruption in local communities (Goal 16.5 of 16 SDG UN).