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Kazakh administrative reform: foreign experience

In the Message of President Nursultan Nazarbayev “New Kazakhstan in a new world” as of February 28, 2007 to the people of Kazakhstan implementation of an administrative reform was determined as a priority task, as a tool of realization of the Kazakh “breakthrough plans” to enter the club of the 50 most competitive countries of the world.

The administrative reform has not completed yet, it is early to estimate its results as well as positive and negative sides. In connection with this it is interesting to consider the experience of foreign states in conducting such administrative reforms, get an opportunity to analyze comparability of administrative reforms, held in the former socialist countries of Europe in the 90s years of the last century, Kazinform reports.

A one-type soviet model of political and public administration was typical for the East European countries. The model was based on such principles as unity of the whole system of power and management, leading and directing roles of the ruling Communist Party, constitutional recognition of socialist forms of property. Therefore, the reforms of political and administrative management had similar starting conditions and common historical experience. The first steps of administrative reforms’ realization in the post-socialist countries took place in the beginning of the 90s.

The laws, which reflected new democratic concept of the state power and management, were adopted namely during this period in 1990-1992. They fixed post-soviet changes in political system and created legal basis for administrative reforms’ implementation. The reforms ruined 3 major monopolies of the communist country: political monopoly of one party; unitary principle and unanimity of state property. The major aims, principles and directions of the administrative reforms held in East Europe are determined by the following parameters: creation of an effective system of administrative-public management; privatization of a significant part of the state property as the means of increasing economic scheme management effectiveness; legal consolidation of power division principles in a working constitutions.

One of the fundamental principles of the modern democratic states of East Europe is the principle of power division. It has functional and organizational aspects. The functional aspect means “horizontal” division of power, while organizational aspect means “vertical” differentiation of the sphere of activities between analogous bodies of one type, acting on various levels of the territorial organizations of the state. It establishes certain rules and norms of relations between them. The organizational aspect occurs in differentiation of managing functions on the national, regional and local levels, and secondly, determining the subject of the government’s political responsibility as a supreme state body of the executive branch.

In the first case parliamentary republic is formed, in the second case – presidential one. Parliament plays a leading role in the process of a government formation, although the initiative here belongs to a president. In fact, president instructs the leader of the winning party (Bulgaria) to form government or appoints head of the government and ministers (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland) or introduces a candidate, proposed by the party of the parliamentary majority (Romania). But in any variant he is the deputy of the parliament simultaneously.

The parliament selects (Bulgaria, Hungary) members of the government or expresses confidence in the government formed by the president (Poland). In some states parliament approves personal stuff of the government as well as expresses its attitude towards the program of its work (Poland). In fact it means that it can approve or decline the program. Besides, in a number of states as Poland and Hungary parliament has a right to delegate several legislative authorities. President, in the first instance, is the constitutional head of the state, which is chosen during national elections or by parliament. Generally, management of internal and external policy in the states of East Europe is rested on the Government.

The structure and personnel of the government is changed permanently in the course of the whole reforming period. As a rule, the government includes a chairman of the government, his (her) deputies and ministers. The scope the activity of the minister, managing the governmental administration sector, is defined by laws. With the aim to provide professional, conscientious, impartial and politically neutral execution of the state tasks, there is the civil service corps in the institutes of governmental administration. The chairman of the government is the head of the civil service corps.

Ministries of the East European countries are the specialized bodies of state management in an appropriate sphere. Their legal status is regulated by the rules of the organization and work of each ministry. Structurally the ministries consist of administrations, departments and secretariats. The administrations and departments are established in accordance with the functions and ministries’ tasks. Moreover, the system of central executive bodies of the East European countries’ state power includes national committees, national departments, national agencies, national control committees, national commissions and national services.

At present organization of the territorial and local management and self-government in the countries of East Europe is built according with the system of administrative-territorial division. In the most post-socialist countries the system of administrative-territorial division is two-tier and includes the following levels: highest – oblasts in Bulgaria and Hungary, districts in Romania, voivodeships in Poland, regions in Chech Republic and Slovakia, and the lowest – communities in Bulgaria and Chech Republic, communes in Romania, gmins in Poland and villages in Hungary.

The administrative-territorial units in the East European states can be divided into self-governing units and ones, managed by the central authority. For example, all the local units in Hungary and Romania are self-governing, while in Bulgaria ad Poland self-government is pursued only on the level of community. The administrative reforms of the neighboring Russia are expanding nowadays. The system of federal executive bodies will be completely changed soon. Today all the conditions for strengthening federalism are created.

The reform proposes to divide functions of the executive branch into 3 types: constitutive, i.e. normative regulation, law-enforcement that will exercise control and functions on state services provision and state property management. Administrative reforms were held in the USA too. From 1993 the White House has been carrying out the 13th reform, in which political aims and practical objectives on state management reorganization are determined. Activity of constitutional process in different countries is connected with the intensive democratic processes, expansion of democratic contents of a person’s rights and freedoms, changing of mutual relationships between legislative, executive and judicial authorities.

International regional structures and organizations also underwent reforms. The European parliament is planning to hold certain reforms. After the elections in 2009 the number of deputies of the European parliament will be reduced. It considers at present a proposal on redistribution of deputy mandates between the EU states, according to it each country, depending on its population, will get from 6 to 96 places in the legislative body of the UN.

Conducting of the administrative reform in Kazakhstan, experience of domestic constitutional development as well as modern tendencies of the world constitutional development should be taken into account. The world experience of the reforms proves that perfection of the Basic Law is a natural process of adaptation to the realias of practice. (inform.kz)