Česky

Anticorruption barometer

Monitoring the progress of anticorruption measures in Czech Republic.

Total current anticorruption measures effectiveness

40.6%

Last update: 08/2017

Observation of Vladimíra Dvořáková

What happened in August? The low season in politics lasted in August hardly two weeks. The Storknest Affair of the former minister of finance and the leader of the party ANO came to surface again. The affair re-erupted two months before the elections to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament and showed an absence of a civilised political culture in the Czech Republic. The MPs, ministers, existing or former ones, and finally also the president very inadequately and unprofessionally attacked the work of the police and state prosecution in this Storknest case. Such behaviour is not acceptable in a democratic country based on the rule of law. In fact, some of the politicians expressly wanted that police prosecution bows to the political calendar. Should the police stop its work on politically exposed cases because these are two months before the elections and its ruling can impact the election campaign? And should the police, under that logic, restart prosecutions only after the elections have taken the place? Would such a restart of prosecutions – still following that logic - not influence the after election negotiations on government composition? Would it not negate the election results? Or should the police wait with prosecution until the moment when the government is formed and then by restarting procedural prosecution steps “shoot the government down” and “destabilise” the political situation in the Czech Republic, as certain journalist would undoubtedly describe it? The conclusion of this flawed logic is clear. Politicians should not be prosecuted at all, or if so, prosecutions should concern only the opposition politicians, that is those who lost the elections. The whole affair further undermined the trust of citizens in public institutions and the administration of justice. The president and the minister of justice have substantially contributed to this deplorable situation. If one asks the question when such kinds of affairs like the Storknest case will cease to happen, the answer is clear: it will not be in any near future. The mechanisms which would prevent corruption from taking place upfront, at the time when it is possible to reveal it and save taxpayers’ money from being wasted, have still not been put in place. For example, when subsidies destined for SMEs are granted, nobody verifies in advance the SME status of the applicant. The problem is however deeper. Also in this election term, which slowly ends, politicians have managed to block transparency in administration of public funds and thorough checks thereof in a way that the latter could be easily circumvented. Hence, one cannot exclude that a new corruption case, such as the Stork nest case, is already underway. A symbolic full stop to this election term was added by the Senate which rejected the hotch-patch drafted Act on internal management of public funds and financial control which defines the ways in which public administration should use the money from public budgets and how this use should be supervised.

What is coming up in September? In September, the last meeting of the Lower Chamber of the Parliament will take place. This meeting will be the last opportunity to adopt the law proposals which are sufficiently advanced in the legislative pipeline. In reality, however, most of the even very advanced law proposals will “fall under the table”, including those containing anticorruption measures. Hence, the declaration of minister Chvojka to submit a law proposal on the regulation of lobbying until the parliamentary elections in October is very difficult to understand. Those law proposals which will fall under the table will be recycled into election campaign slogans. In the same way as in the last elections, we will thus witness passionate promises of candidates of the parties to fight corruption. Once these candidates will have been elected, they will do their best to prevent those promises about fighting corruption from becoming a part of adopted laws. The new Authority for supervision of political and electoral financing which have just become operational will have a very difficult life. Since this new Authority is in charge of enforcing new rules which have a potential to eliminate an important part of grey or black financing of electoral campaign of parties and presidential candidates, the Authority will therefore be attacked from all around, even by political representatives holding a public office. For the moment, the efforts aimed at delaying its operational activities have been successfully overcome, although the trust in this public institution has been undermined by the chief of the president office, Mr. Mynář. Yet as far as Mr. Mynář is concerned, his open disdain of laws, institutions and the people is a no surprise since he manifests it from the moment he entered his office of public servant. In September, the hot phase of the parliamentary election campaigns will continue together with the prosecution of the leaders of the ANO party, which for the moment leads in the polls, will create a very toxic mixture. Let‘s hope that this poisonous substance will not disgust the voters to the extent that they will avoid voting rationally. NGOs have signalled that they will monitor whether election campaign is conducted in a legal and ethical manner. This could help in bringing the campaign to the standard form of political fighting in which the arguments of political adversaries are questioned, but not the legal and institutional framework in which the political fighting takes place.

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Areas of interest – current state

1. Control of politicians

Effectiveness:
25.3%
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2. Transparent financing of political parties

Effectiveness:
59.5%
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3. Non-corrupt and professional public administration

Effectiveness:
56.6%
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4. Transparent and effective public investment

Effectiveness:
35.8%
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5. Abolition of anonymous ownership

Effectiveness:
21.0%
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Number of articles about corruption in the Anticorruption barometer

Total: 4855
Last month: 105

Areas of interest – over time

Latest articles

2017-09-20 Babiš využívá k předvolební kampani akce, které pořádají a platí firmy z holdingu Agrofert
(Robert Břešťan, HlidaciPes.org)
http://hlidacipes.org/babis-vyuziva-k-predvolebni-kampani-akce-ktere-plati-firmy-holdingu-agrofert/
2017-09-14 Na růst platů nemáme peníze, zní z úřadů. Část ministerstev nejspíš omezí investice
(Pavel Otto, zpravy.e15.cz)
http://zpravy.e15.cz/volby/volby-2017/na-rust-platu-nemame-penize-zni-z-uradu-cast-ministerstev-nejspis-omezi-investice-1337433
2017-09-14 Zemanovy haléře, Drahošův náskok a Horáčkova nepřehlednost. Sledujte účty zájemců o Hrad
(Šárka Kabátová, Marcel Šulek, lidovky.cz)
https://www.lidovky.cz/zemanovy-halere-horackova-nepruhlednost-a-drahosuv-naskok-sledujte-ucty-zajemcu-o-hrad-gu1-/zpravy-domov.aspx?c=A170911_135942_ln_domov_sk
2017-09-13 ANO mělo dostávat od kandidátů černé peníze na kampaň v Brně. Mohly se stát chyby, byl to šrumec, říkají politici
(jsf, domaci.ihned.cz)
http://domaci.ihned.cz/c1-65879200-ano-melo-dostavat-od-kandidatu-cerne-penize-na-kampan-v-brne-mohly-se-stat-chyby-byl-to-srumec-rikaji-kandidati
2017-09-13 Černé peníze na kampaň neposlal jen Rusňák, byl v tom chaos, říkají bývalí členové ANO v Brně
(Martin Biben, zpravy.aktualne.cz)
https://zpravy.aktualne.cz/domaci/cerne-penize-na-kampan-neposlal-jen-rusnak-byl-v-tom-chaos-r/r~4b2e196297b711e7a7fc0025900fea04/?_ga=2.12646131.517417480.1505301332-458569050.1500025297&redirected=1505367202
2017-09-13 Evropa chystá obranný val proti čínským investorům. Bojí se o svou bezpečnost
(Ondřej Houska, Václav Lavička, archiv.ihned.cz)
http://archiv.ihned.cz/c1-65878950-evropa-chysta-obranny-val-proti-cinskym-investorum-boji-se-o-svou-bezpecnost
2017-09-13 Exguvernér ČNB u projektu, kde zmizela dotace 300 milionů. Věřil jsem tomu, říká Tůma
(Jan Horák, lidovky.cz)
http://www.lidovky.cz/tuma-projektu-nupharo-park-veril-dqm-/zpravy-domov.aspx?c=A170912_100044_ln_domov_jho
2017-09-12 Výběrová řízení level Ústí nad Labem. Předem známé výsledky, křesla pro ty, „co spolu mluví“
(Robert Malecký, HlidaciPes.org)
http://hlidacipes.org/vyberova-rizeni-level-usti-nad-labem-predem-zname-vysledky-kresla-spolu-mluvi/
2017-09-11 Praha kývla Křetínskému na velký luxusní hotel, stát má vedle stadionu Sparty
(Jan Horák, lidovky.cz)
http://www.lidovky.cz/praha-kyvla-kretinskemu-na-hotel-d42-/zpravy-domov.aspx?c=A170907_161752_ln_domov_jho
2017-09-08 Kyperská hra na schovávanou. Destinace oblíbená pro skrytá vlastnictví registruje už téměř půl milionu firem
(Eliška Hradilková Bártová, HlidaciPes.org)
http://hlidacipes.org/kyperska-hra-schovavanou-popularni-destinace-skryte-vlastnictvi-registruje-uz-temer-pul-milionu-firem/

Latest parameters changes

08/2017   #70 A better law on financial control in management of public funds
The proposal of the Act on management and control of public finance, which should replace the existing dysfunctional Act on financial control in public administration was returned by the Upper Chamber to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament for the final vote. The Act does not include crucial mechanisms for an efficient system of internal audit or reduction of duplicit and ineffective inspections and checks. The Act diverges from the European and international audit standards applicable to the public administration. At the same time, the conflict of interest in spending of public funds as well as the independence of the audit body is not dealt with sufficiently

07/2017   #70 A better law on financial control in management of public funds
The proposal of the Act on management and control of public finance, which is in the Upper Chamber of the Parliament (the Senate) and which should replace the existing dysfunctional Act on financial control in public administration, does not include crucial mechanisms for an efficient system of internal audit or reduction of duplicit and ineffective inspections and checks. The version of the Act sent by the government to the Loweer Chamber of the Parliament diverges from the European and international audit standards applicable to the public administration. At the same time, the conflict of interest in spending of public funds as well as the independence of the audit body is not dealt with sufficiently

06/2017   #6 Electronic public diary of politicians
The new minister for legislation and human rights signaled the preparation of an Act on regulation of lobbying which should allegedly include also public diaries of politicians, however, so far without further details.

06/2017   #49 Democratic principles of civil service
The powers and tasks of the public administration as well as the status of civil servants are defined by the relevant laws. The legislation regulating the functioning of the public administration and civil service fulfills the principles of legality, equal treatment, proportionality, legal certainty, acting in time, participation, respect for private life and transparency. The unresolved situations of conflict of interest in certain parts of the state administration generate doubts about the impartiality of civil servants serving in these parts of the state administration

06/2017   #70 A better law on financial control in management of public funds
The proposal of the Act on management and control of public finance, which is in the Lower Chamber of the Parliament and which should replace the existing dysfunctional Act on financial control in public administration, does not include crucial mechanisms for an efficient system of internal audit or reduction of duplicit and ineffective inspections and checks. The version of the Act sent by the government to the Loweer Chamber of the Parliament diverges from the European and international audit standards applicable to the public administration. At the same time, the conflict of interest in spending of public funds as well as the independence of the audit body is not dealt with sufficiently.

06/2017   #71 Adoption of a general protection framework for whistleblowers
The Government submitted to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament protection of whistleblowers. In parallel, the ministry of finance submitted – via the minister of finance - its own MP proposal of law on whistleblower protection. Whereas The Government proposal, which is in the Lower Chamber of the Parliament, solves the problem of whistleblowers’ protection only partially, the proposal prepared by the ministry of finance provides a more complex solution to whistleblowers. Presentation of two parallel government coalition proposals can, however, result in the blockage of both proposals which can ultimately lead to the non-adoption of any legislative Act whistleblower protection.