Proposed Bill could increase Government Transparency

    By Stan Rogers
     A bill working its way through parliament could make the Kazakhstani government more transparent, IWPR reported September 2.
    The bill would impose shorter deadlines for government agencies to produce requested information, a clear definition of confidentiality to prevent withholding of material for dubious reasons, and a requirement that agencies record and track verbal requests for such information.
     Public hearings on the bill took place during August. A conference scheduled for the end of September will summarise recommendations from those hearings and submit them to the Communications Ministry. Parliament likely will receive a finalised draft bill in 2011, IWPR reported.
     The UN Development Programme and local media and civil society groups helped draft the legislation. President Nursultan Nazarbayev called earlier this year for more transparency and accountability in government, according to Central Asia Online.