UNDP and Agency for Civil Service Affairs presented the results of the survey on ethics among civil servants

March 11, 2021

Nur-Sultan, 10 March 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan and the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service Affairs presented today the results of the sociological survey on ethics among civil servants, conducted by the Public Opinion Research Institute in 2020.

“Cooperation with UNDP is an important part of the Agency's activities. With UNDP’s support, we have implemented many projects on enhancing the capacities of the state apparatus. This has a positive impact on strengthening the Agency's capacity, developing the civil service system in Kazakhstan and contributing to a continuous improvement of the quality of public services. I am sure that the survey will provide a significant support to the Agency in developing further measures to improve the ethics of the state apparatus,” said Azamat Zholmanov, Director of the Strategic Development and International Programs Department of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service Affairs.

“UNDP appreciates the long-term partnership with the Agency for Civil Service Affairs, that enabled us to implement a number of successful projects and important initiatives. We will continue providing support in promoting the principles of ethics and integrity in public service,” said Konstantin Sokulskiy, Head of the Governance Unit at UNDP Kazakhstan.

The survey focused on analyzing the level of ethical standards among civil servants, following an introduction of the new provisions into the current legislation on civil service in Kazakhstan. In total, 7000 respondents participated in the survey, including civil servants, entrepreneurs, legal entities, as well as independent experts.

The results showed that more than a third of the respondents (37.5 percent) believe that the Code of Ethics is observed by “more than half of civil servants”, while 23.6 percent of respondents believe that half of civil servants comply with the Code.

The following opinions are less common: the Code is observed by almost all civil servants (15.9 percent), the Code is observed by less than half of civil servants (14 percent). Only 4.1 percent of the respondents believe that “no one complies with the Code”.

Slightly more than a third of respondents (34.9 percent) believe that the situation with the behavioral ethics of civil servants has been improving, 31 percent believe that the situation remains as good as it used to be.

An overwhelming majority of the respondents did not take any measure against a civil servant’s unethical behavior, such as negligence, inattention, unwillingness to help, rudeness, concealment of important information, or actions in personal interests.

Comparative analysis of the 2020 data with those from 2017 and 2018 showed that there has been a significant decrease in the number of cases where the respondents had to take action against civil servants due to their unethical behavior. For instance, in 2018, 34.7 percent of respondents answered that they had had to take measures, while in 2020, only 13.4 percent of respondents answered alike.

The vast majority of respondents (92.8 percent) did not observe any ethical misconduct while interacting with civil servants during the coronavirus pandemic. Only 10 respondents (0.4 percent) noted such behavior during that period.

According to the survey, 85.7 percent of the polled civil servants trust the fairness of the procedures applied when considering cases by the Ethics Council and their decisions. In comparison with the 2017 results, in 2018, there was an increasing tendency in confidence in the procedural fairness of the bodies and institutions responsible for the observance of the civil servant’s ethics.

Also, comparing the 2020 survey results with the ones of 2017 and 2018, the percentage of civil servants claiming to be familiar with the content of the Ethical Code of a civil servant has increased.

Additionally, for the very first time in 2021, the Agency requested the Ethics Commissioners to publish a survey on the official websites of each of the government agencies in order to assess the level of ethical standards. This way, every citizen can participate.

The ratings of the level of ethics among civil servants by the general population and the activities of the Ethics Commissioners are available here: https://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/qyzmet?lang=ru.

This survey was conducted as part of the joint project between UNDP and the Agency for Civil Service Affairs “Improving the instruments of state apparatus professionalization, public service delivery quality assurance and corruption prevention”.