Protection of public order.
As you know, video cameras and video recorders are currently installed in many cities of Kazakhstan, which monitor public order and compliance with traffic rules on the roads.
The main part of these cameras is installed by one company – “Sergek Group”. Such a dominant position of this company has been going on for many years, but as far as I know, there are no documents in the public domain about how this company obtained such exclusive rights and whether other market participants were admitted to the competition. And the power and spread of the Sergek system is increasing every year, which is happily reported by government media and law enforcement agencies.
I want to say right away that, in principle, I am by no means against the digitalization of public order protection. On the contrary, I advocate that surveillance cameras should be installed in as large places as possible: on the streets, in courtyards, in schools, kindergartens and even in prisons. This will make our life safe.
However, I am outraged by the government’s approach to achieving this goal – creating a privileged position for one individual company and creating obstacles to the development of competition in this area.
How was it really supposed to be?
The Ministry of Internal Affairs had to develop and publish technical requirements for video surveillance programs and data security standards. After that, the akimat of each city or even district in the city had to announce a competition for public-private partnership. According to the terms of the competition, the winning company would install video cameras for its own money, equip them with a software product and connect them with rapid response centers, that is, internal affairs departments in each district and city. Regardless of the particular private company that won the competition, from its software, from the cameras that it will install, all video information in a single format would be sent to the nearest departments of internal affairs, which would take measures to curb offenses recorded by cameras.
For the purchase of cameras and ensuring their functioning, the state had to pay a certain part of the fines received from traffic violations to the partner company. And in the case of offenses not on the roads, but on the street, in courtyards at schools, etc., the state simply had to pay a certain fee in order for the investor to recoup his investments.
Thus, dozens of private investors and entrepreneurs would use their money to install a huge number of cameras in all places of our lives that require control, and earn money from it. The state would gain control over the criminal situation without investing budget money. And finally, citizens would get security all over the country.
That’s how it was supposed to be.