Česky

Anticorruption barometer

Monitoring the progress of anticorruption measures in Czech Republic.

Total current anticorruption measures effectiveness

40.9%

Last update: 01/2018

Observation of Vladimíra Dvořáková

What happened in September? The month of September was dominated by the campaign to the municipal and Senate elections. The usual focus of election campaigns on emotions of the electorate exceeded the usual amount and resulted in a very low-level farce with the adoption of fifty Syrian orphans. The important issues, however, happened to at a different stage. The European Parliament and the European Commission started to investigate the conflict of interest of the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, and the minister of agriculture Miroslav Toman in relationship to the EU funds granted to the companies which these ministers according to the Transparency International control. The decision of the European institutions will set an example for the whole European Union. Can top politicians at the same time control companies which receive benefits from public budgets? Is oligarchisation of politics, which in the Czech context comes very close to a sort of „democratic feudalism“, acceptable or not? Is it legitimate that businessman go to politics in order to expand their business empires, in particular for the purpose of receiving more easily public contracts, subsidies or tax exemptions? These are not only legal questions, but also ethical questions and questions of the political culture which clearly moves in the direction of approving behaviour which still several years ago was clearly inacceptable. If one moves from the political to the judicial scene, also here – after the delivery of several judgements in September - in one has to ask serious questions? If Czech courts continue to require from prosecutors to sustain such a high level of burden of proof in corruption cases, it will hardly be possible to sentence anyone for a corruption criminal act. If a company receives a public grant thanks to giving a bribe and this company pays out the profits from also this public grant to the owner and controlling person of such company, this owner and controlling persons, according to those judgements, cannot be presumed to have knowledge about the criminal of the company which he owns and controls. The most important issue in September was, however, taking place in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament where, amongst others, a key amendment to the Civil Service Act was debated. Crucial bills, such as the draft Act on lobbying or another proposal for extension of competence of the Czech Supreme Audit Authority, were also handled in the Government. Yet, discussions about none of those Acts or draft Acts were reported by the Czech media.

What is coming up in October? After the municipal and Senate elections local political earthquakes which may rock certain parts of the political landscape are expected. Although it is difficult to expect what kind of influence this may have on the adoption of pro- or anticorruption legislation, at least with respect to the amendment of the Civil Service Act discussed currently in the Lower Chamber of the Czech Parliament, certain developments can be anticipated. This amendment is bad in almost all of its aspects – whether in terms of professionalism, integrity or foreseeability of the functioning of the civil service as well as civil servants. The proposed amendment undermines one of the fundamental pillars of the existing Act on Civil Service and the established framework for Czech Civil Service, namely the depolitisation of the civil service. Depolitisation means that ministers should not be able to unduly influence the professional parts of the state administration, in particular they should not be able to recall the top civil servants. The ability of ministers to dismiss those top civil servants and replace them by "experts" opens the space for direct representation of large business interests in the state administration with all the related negative impacts, including the extension of corruption space in state administration. It can be reasonably expected that the aforementioned amendment of the Civil Service Act will come under the scrutiny of the European Commission. An effective and sound framework for the funcioning of civil service was one of the requirements for receiving EU funds and a condition for entering the EU in 2004. For a long time the Czech Republic managed to circumvent this requirement by having an adopted Civil Service Act, the entry into force of which was, however, delayed ad infinitum. Only once the European Commission, after almost ten years, threatened us with stopping the flow of money from EU structural funds, another Civil Service Act was quickly drafted, adopted and entered into force. Even in respect of this Act the European Commission had a number of reservation. The way of in which political advisers to ministers and the top civil servants were separated agreed at the time of adoption of this Act, which is currently in force, was a fruit of a fragile compromise between the European Commission and the Czech government: the assessment and possible recall of the top civil servants is performed by the so-called "super-servant" who is subject to the minister of interior and is not completely free of political influence. The currently proposed solution laid down in the aforesaid draft bill goes far beyond this solution. By transfering this competence directly to the Government and allowing ministers to install to the post of top civil servants persons coming direcly from the business sphere, it transgresses by far the fine line of depolitisation of state administration.

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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:
61.3%
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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:
22.0%
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Number of articles about corruption in the Anticorruption barometer

Total: 6763
Last month: 86

Areas of interest – over time

Latest articles

2018-10-15 Vyhýbá se Babiš poslaneckému grilování? Jeho kauzu budou projednávat úředníci z Černošic
(Karolína Vaverková, Echo24.cz)
https://echo24.cz/a/SrwfB/vyhyba-se-babis-poslaneckemu-grilovani-jeho-kauzu-budou-projednavat-urednici-z-cernosic
2018-10-11 Miliardový pozemek
(David Macháček, Ceskatelevize.cz)
https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/1142743803-reporteri-ct/218452801240030/video/648921
2018-10-11 Místo ochrany osobních údajů omezení práva na informace. Sněmovní přílepek vyhovuje Babišovi
(Adam Rut, HlidaciPes.org)
https://hlidacipes.org/misto-ochrany-osobnich-udaju-omezeni-prava-na-informace-snemovni-prilepek-vyhovuje-babisovi/
2018-10-11 Nepoddajní umělci, těšte se. Babiš si koupil bulvár, aby drzí kritici zkrotli
(Vilém Besser, Forum24.cz)
http://forum24.cz/nepoddajni-umelci-teste-se-babis-si-koupil-bulvar-aby-drzi-kritici-zkrotli/
2018-10-11 Odpověď eurokomisařky Creţu: „Ujišťuji Vás, že schůzka s Andrejem Babišem proběhla podle pravidel“
(TI, Transparency.cz)
https://www.transparency.cz/odpoved-eurokomisarky-cretu-ujistuji-vas-ze-schuzka-s-andrejem-babisem-probehla-podle-pravidel/
2018-10-11 Oživení a TI podají další podnět pro přezkum výběru dopravce v České Lípě
(TI, Oživení, Transparency.cz)
https://www.transparency.cz/oziveni-a-ti-podaji-dalsi-podnet-pro-prezkum-vyberu-dopravce-v-ceske-lipe/
2018-10-11 Piráti žádají Babiše, aby prověřil dva prodeje ČEZu v Bulharsku za miliardy
(Kateřina Frouzová, Aktualne.cz)
https://zpravy.aktualne.cz/domaci/cez/r~bdcda2e0cd3911e8b5b20cc47ab5f122/?redirected=1539588439
2018-10-10 Diplomatický servis posílá desítky milionů na mzdy lidí, kteří pro něj nepracují
(Robert Břešťan, HlidaciPes.org)
https://hlidacipes.org/diplomaticky-servis-posila-desitky-milionu-na-mzdy-lidi-kteri-pro-nej-nepracuji/
2018-10-10 Kleslová se vrací. Lobbistka Agrofertu za biopaliva znovu ve sněmovně
(Jiří Sezemský, Forum24.cz)
http://forum24.cz/kleslova-se-vraci-lobbistka-agrofertu-za-biopaliva-znovu-ve-snemovne/
2018-10-09 Dodejte seznam dotací holdingu z fondu českého premiéra, žádá komise
(Lukáš Wagenknecht, Neovlivni.cz)
https://neovlivni.cz/dodejte-seznam-dotaci-holdingu-z-fondu-ceskeho-premiera-zada-komise/

Latest parameters changes

01/2018   #132 Wire transfers of shares
The Act on public registers introduces as of 1 January 2018 the obligation for legal persons to register information about its beneficial owner(s) to the register of beneficial owners, however, this information cannot be verified and are is public.

01/2018   #133 Abolition of Trust Funds
The Act on public registers introduces as of 1 January 2018 the obligation for trustfunds to register them as well as information about their beneficial owner(s) to the register of trustfunds, however, this information cannot be verified and ais not public.

10/2017   #41 Limitation of monetary donations for elections and from natural persons only
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10/2017   #42 Monetary donations from account to account (transparent)
The Act on elections to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament, as amended as of 1 January 2017, obliges political parties to keep a special transparent account for the purpose of the electoral campaign and pay electoral expenses from this account. The Act does not allow provision of funds and other benefits for the purpose of electoral campaign from trust funds nor from foreign legal persons.

10/2017   #43 Identification of natural persons directly covering the costs of electoral advertisements
The Act on elections to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament, as amended as of 1 January 2017, requires that the electoral advertising and also electoral billboards identified the person who commissioned it, prepared it as well as the political parties or independent candidates.

10/2017   #44 Online disclosure of contracts and invoices for electoral advertisements
The Act on elections to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament, as amended as of 1 January 2017, obliges political parties to publish on their internet website the overview of financial transactions registered on the special transparent electoral account, however, these published information about the transactions registered on the account will not enable the identification of individual services, for example, the payment for a billboard in a specific locality, which were paid from this special transparent account.