The President’s Affairs Administration of Kazakhstan and its branches employ over 3 thousand people, while the annual budget of it amounts to more than 87 billion tenge or 224 million dollars (at the rate 390 tenge for 1 dollar).
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This is half as much as the amount that the country spends on the “judicial protection of rights, freedoms, and legal interests of its citizens”, despite the fact that this area requires funding and strengthening the most as violations of human rights and freedoms in Kazakhstan are widely spread and systematic.
The President’s Affairs Administration of Kazakhstan is responsible for the activities of the head of state, Elbasy – a status legally assigned to the first president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, of the prime minister, and other officials of state agencies. The website of the Administration provides the following information about the money spent on the foregoing from the national budget.
As you can see, there is no information about the budget. The sections “statistics” and “work done” are also blank.
The expenditure part of the republican budget for 2019 (as amended on October 22, 2019 No. 266-VI) gives a general idea of expenses. The amount referred to herein is 87.4 billion tenge, or 224 million dollars.
For comparison, the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan spends 54 billion tenge, or 138.4 million dollars, on “judicial protection of rights, freedoms, and legal interests of its citizens.”
What did the President’s Affairs Administration of Kazakhstan spend 87.4 billion tenge on in 2019?
One of the largest subdivisions of the President’s Affairs Administration of Kazakhstan is the Directorate of administrative buildings of the president and government, which has 1,790 employees. According to official data, the directorate operates buildings with total area of 370,561 square metres, which is equal to 50 football fields: this is the residence of the president Akorda, Government House, House of Ministries (the biggest office building in the country), Ministry of Finance, Museum of the first president, the administrative building of the Central Election Committee.
The budget of the directorate is not available to the public, but the indicators published annually on gosreestr.kz give an idea of yearly expenses. According to 2018 data, the expenses amounted to 9.3 billion tenge, or 23.8 million dollars. The data for 2019 will be available in the middle of next year, but this amount gives an idea of the expenditure level of the directorate.
There are a couple of other directorates. The Directorate of State Residencies is responsible for the procurement, social and welfare support of activities of the president of the country and his family members, and other officials specified by law. The staff of the directorate in 2018 was 439 persons, and their expenses amounted to about 7 billion tenge, or 17.9 million dollars.
The Directorate of administrative buildings in Almaty has about 1 billion tenge, or 2.5 million dollars, budget. The staff is 114 persons. In fact, it operates one building in the southern capital located at the address: 205 Nazarbaev Street.
Moreover, according to the same gosreestr.kz, the President’s Affairs Administration has 337 real property items registered to it. Namely, they are houses and apartments in the capital of the country, Nur-Sultan, including land plots.
For example, in 2014, the President’s Affairs Administration purchased a twelve-storey building located at Momyshuly Avenue, with total area 15.7 thousand square metres, with more than 90 apartments in it. Moreover, the two houses at Dostyk Avenue have 41 apartments, at A-98 Street – 15 apartments, at Tilendiev – 15 apartments, at Zhirentaev – 13 apartments, at Azirbaev – 9 apartments, and at Omarov – 6 apartments. There are 38 apartments more located at different locations in Nur-Sultan.
Burabai Damu Limited Liability Partnership and Hotel Alatau Joint-Stock Company, which are the part of the President’s Affairs Administration, are responsible for “summer holidays” of the establishment. Burabai Damu is responsible for the operation of facilities of the President’s Affairs Administration located in the Borovoye resort area. The company has 57 real estate items registered and 77 employees. Its expenditures in 2018 were half a billion tenge, or 1.2 million dollars.
This is how Hotel Alatau JSC describes its mission on the website of the President’s Affairs Administration:“The mission of Hotel Alatau is to provide resort and recreation services in the hotel located in the village of Beldibi, Antalya, Republic of Turkey, to persons who are residents and non-residents of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Tourists enjoy the “all inclusive” system. In addition to the main restaurant, the hotel has five a la carte restaurants, French and Italian, seafood, Turkish restaurants and grill house. Today, Hotel Alatau, which proves its status of a five-star hotel every year, provides proper rest and recreation to its guests.”
However, the staff of Hotel Alatau JSC in 2018 was 6 persons, and the expenditure part was over half a billion tenge, or 1.2 million dollars. The republican budget was indicated as the source of funding.
Another major item of expenditures of the President’s Affairs Administration is the Berkut state-owned airline, whose staff is about 200 persons. Latest auditor’s reports give a rough idea of expenses on “very important flights” (this is the official activity of the company). Thus, according to AR-AUDIT LLP, which audited the Berkut in 2018, the airline company provided services to the President’s Affairs Administration in the amount of 8.6 billion tenge (22 million dollars).
In 2019, this amount could be much higher because now Berkut provides services not only to the incumbent president of Kazakhstan, but also to ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has the status of “the first president of Kazakhstan – Elbasy – “the father of the nation”.
About 3 billion tenge (7.7 million dollars) per year is spent by the Car Service of the President’s Affairs Administration, which employs about 400 persons. “Today the enterprise has a 24-hour dispatch service, comfortable executive, premium and economy cars of makes of Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, task vehicles of make of Kia Optima, as well as minibuses and buses of foreign makes with various capacities of 11 to 45 seats with reserved number plates,” according to the website of the President’s Affairs Administration.
However, there is no exact information about the number of cars available in the Car Service. However, the assets of the enterprise are estimated at 6.2 billion tenge (2 million 418 thousand dollars). Moreover, the republican budget for 2019 provided 1.8 billion tenge (4.6 million dollars) for the renewal of the car fleet.
Among the biggest expenditure items are Engineering Technical Centre Joint Stock Company – about 2 billion tenge (5.1 million dollars) and Burabai national natural park – about 1 billion tenge (2.5 million dollars), Karlygash kindergarten – approximately 1.5 billion tenge (3.8 million dollars).
It’s worth mentioning the funding of the Medical Centre of the President’s Affairs Administration in 2019, which is 183.3 billion tenge, or around 50 million dollars (this amount is itemised separately in the republican budget). This medical centre contains 9 organisations located in Nur-Sultan, Almaty, as well as Kazakhstan health resort in Russia (Caucasian Mineral Waters), and Kazakhstan health resort in Kyrgyzstan located at Lake Issyk Kul.
This is what expenditure items of the President’s Affairs Administration that are available to the public and can be summarised look like. However, many expenses related to Akorda and the government are itemised separately in the republican budget.
In particular, the budget of the president’s administration is as follows:– 7.3 billion tenge (18.7 million dollars),
– Prime Minister’s Office – 2.5 billion tenge (6.4 million dollars),
– the First President’s Office – 1,9 billion tenge (4.8 million dollars),
– State Guard Service – 21,8 billion tenge (55.8 million dollars),
– State information policy making – 728 million tenge (1.8 million dollars), etc.
For a clearer understanding of the scope of these figures, we’d like to note that the annual budget of the President’s Affairs Administration is considerably more than that of the town of Pavlodar, which is 79.1 billion tenge per 350 thousand of people, which is 202 million dollars, and than that of the town of Aktobe, which is 81.7 billion tenge per 487 thousand of people, or 209 million dollars, and than that of the town of Petropavlovsk, which is 27.1 billion tenge per 218 thousand of people, or 69.4 million dollars.
*Main photo – akorda.kz
This article was prepared as part of the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes Project. The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect the position of the editorial or donor.