Regulation of lobbying

General

Is lobbying self-regulated by the industry, or is it regulated by the government, legislature or an independent regulator? What are the regulator’s powers?

Lobbying (and the profession of being a lobbyist), as it is generally understood, is not regulated by legislation in Kazakhstan. However, steps have been taken, through the adoption of special amendments in legislative acts, to include businesses in decision-making processes. These processes create the possibility for business advisers to have direct access to elected and appointed government officials on all levels, and are as follows:

  • Business associations and private entrepreneurs, experts of various fields of knowledge, scientific institutions and scientists can be involved in drafting laws, regulatory legal decrees of the President and regulatory legal decisions of the government (article 18, page 3 of the Law on Legal Acts, No. 480-V of 6 April 2016).
  • Central and local authorities submit bills and any amendments that affect the interests of private businesses to accredited associations of private business and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs for their expert opinion (article 19, page 1 of the Law on Legal Acts).
  • Parliamentary deputies can set up working groups when preparing for parliamentary hearings with the involvement of experts.
  • Through the introduction of self-regulation in the economy, government agencies can delegate some of their functions to business associations, thereby providing an opportunity for business entities and their associations to independently develop appropriate sectors of the economy, including the formation of business standards, the exercise of control over economic sectors and proposals to amend legislation (Law on Self-regulation (No. 390-V of 15 November 2015), message of the President, ‘100 Concrete Steps’, step 97).

Any type of lobbying activity that occurs will be dependent on the regulator’s will and attitude to a particular business.

Definition

Is there a definition or other guidance as to what constitutes lobbying?

There is no specific law regulating lobbying in Kazakhstan, and no definition is provided. In 2009 the Ministry of Justice submitted a draft bill on lobbying to Parliament. The bill intended to formalise the activities of businesses in promoting their interests on a government level. In 2012 the Ministry withdrew the bill from Parliament; however, it is expected that it will be discussed again in 2018.

Registration and other disclosure

Is there voluntary or mandatory registration of lobbyists? How else is lobbying disclosed?

Not applicable.

Activities subject to disclosure or registration

What communications must be disclosed or registered?

Not applicable.

Entities and persons subject to lobbying rules

Which entities and persons are caught by the disclosure rules?

Not applicable.

Lobbyist details

What information must be registered or otherwise disclosed regarding lobbyists and the entities and persons they act for ? Who has responsibility for registering the information?

Not applicable.

Content of reports

When must reports on lobbying activities be submitted , and what must they include?

Not applicable.

Financing of the registration regime

How is the registration system funded?

Not applicable.

Public access to lobbying registers and reports

Is access to registry information and to reports available to the public?

Not applicable.

Code of conduct

Is there a code of conduct that applies to lobbyists and their practice?

Not applicable.

Media

Are there restrictions in broadcast and press regulation that limit commercial interests’ ability to use the media to influence public policy outcomes?

There are no such restrictions in Kazakh law.