Public administration of exhibition activities based on the example of the EXPO-2017 international specialized exhibition

EXPO-2017 was the first International Specialized Exhibition in the history of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an event of such scale and duration required coordination and coherence of the actions taken from the executive authorities. Joint Stock Company “National Company “EXPO-2017” was the organizer of this event.

115 countries of the world and 22 international organizations took part in the Exhibition. 2.5 million visitors were expected. As a result, 4 million people visited the Exhibition, 15% of them were foreign tourists from 187 countries of the world. During 93 days, 220 official events were held with the participation of Heads of state and Government, 39 agreements were signed by the participating states with representatives of business, scientific and educational communities of Kazakhstan in the field of energy, construction, investment and other spheres. More than 3,500 cultural events were held, including concerts of world-famous performers.

That is, it can be stated with confidence that the success exceeded all expectations and forecasts. The International Bureau of Exhibitions recognized the Exhibition as the most successful specialized exhibition in history. How did it happen?

Effective public administration of the processes of organizing and holding the Exhibition, as well as the work of the management of JSC “NC “Astana EXPO-2017” permitted to achieve such results.

The formation of the State Commission for the Preparation and Holding of the Exhibition can be consideres as the beginning of direct public administration of the organization and holding of the Exhibition.

The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, who led the activities of the Commission and informed the President about the work done was the Chairman. The composition included ministers and other officials to ensure the implementation of the activities necessary for the organization and holding of the Exhibition.

The organization and holding of the Exhibition required the participation of state top management, as it affected diverse areas of development throughout the Republic.

It should be noted that the Akimat of Astana has made a significant contribution to the organization and holding of the Exhibition. The Akimat of Astana has played one of the key roles in organizing and holding the Exhibition, since the territory of EXPO-2017 is part of the city. First of all, the main task of the Akimat of Astana remains to provide the appropriate infrastructure, common communications, public transport network, etc. At the same time, harmonization with the architectural ensemble of the city as a whole is the necessary condition. The organization of the Exhibition cannot be considered in isolation from citywide urbanization, therefore, close interaction and cooperation is assumed, including when conducting joint spectacular events of the Exhibition. In addition, some of the EXPO-2017 facilities are planned to be transferred to the city in the future, for example, engineering networks and facilities.

In pursuance of the Instruction of the Head of State, a number of ministries were created working headquarters on a wide range of issues, such as the headquarter for working with international participants of the EXPO-2017 Exhibition, attracting investments/sponsors, developing transport and communications, tourism, international promotion of the Exhibition and information support within the framework of organizing and holding EXPO-2017 International Specialized Exhibition.

At meetings of other working headquarters, for example, on attracting investments/sponsors, development of transport and communications, tourism, issues of ensuring transport accessibility of the capital, taking into account EXPO-2017, were considered.

Special attention should be paid to the organizer of the Exhibition - Joint Stock Company “National Company “Astana EXPO-2017”. The Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan represented by the State Property and Privatization Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan was the founder of JSC “NC “Astana EXPO-2017”. The Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan acted as the Sole Shareholder and exercises the rights of ownership and use of 100% of the state block of shares of the Organizer.

The specially important moment was making-decision on the conclusion of a transaction or a set of interrelated transactions, as a result of which such company acquires or alienates (may acquire or alienate) property, the value of which is from fifty to seventy-five percent of the total value of the assets of such company, is taken by the Board of Directors.


What was it done for?

Such amendments were introduced to simplify and accelerate the decision-making on the conclusion of transactions or a set of interrelated transactions in the operational period.

It also should be noted that in accordance with the Rules for procurement of goods, works and services by Joint Stock Company “National Company “Astana EXPO-2017” and organizations, fifty or more percent of shares (interests) of which is directly or indirectly owned by Joint Stock Company “National Company “Astana EXPO-2017”, provides for the possibility of procurement of services necessary for the preparation, organization and holding of EXPO 2017 International Specialized Exhibition in Astana, in the amount that does not contain the single-source procurement of goods and works, which indicates that the state authorities understand the need to purchase services in the shortest possible time, resulted from the specifics of the Exhibition.

Thus, during the organization and holding of the Exhibition, the state, represented by the participant, provided the Organizer of the Exhibition with operational independence, as well as comprehensive support from central state bodies, local executive bodies and other organizations involved in the implementation of measures to promptly resolve issues related to the preparation and holding of the Astana EXPO-2017 Exhibition, assisted in the construction, promotion, as well as solving transport and infrastructure development tasks of Astana, despite some risks associated with granting the authority to solve such a wide range of tasks to the Organizer of the Exhibition, including the possibility of purchasing services necessary for the preparation, organization and holding of EXPO 2017 International Specialized Exhibition in Astana, in the amount that does not contain the single-source procurement of goods and works, the practice has shown a high level of the organization and holding of the Exhibition.

In addition, as a result of the state audit conducted by the bodies of the Accounts Committee for Control over the Execution of the Republican Budget after the Exhibition was completed, no significant financial violations were not revealed in the field of proper use of budgetary funds, at the moment, 5 years after the Exhibition, it becomes clear that the achievement of such outstanding results became possible only thanks to the public administration of exhibition activities.

The timely adoption of the necessary regulatory legal acts and other legal acts, as well as the introduction of amendments and supplements to existing ones, provided a legal framework stipulating both greater freedom of actions within the framework of the implementation of goals set, and a short execution time.

The Exhibition showed a high level of interaction between state bodies, quasi-public sector entities, as well as private companies, which is so necessary for organizing and holding an international event of this level.


Lukina Anna Andreyevna Candidate of Legal Sciences, Managing Director of Joint Stock Company “National Company “QazExpoCongress”, the student of the DBA program of RANEPA Higher School of Corporate Governance

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