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Anticorruption barometer

Monitoring the progress of anticorruption measures in Czech Republic.

Total current anticorruption measures effectiveness

40.8%

Last update: 10/2017

Observation of Vladimíra Dvořáková

What happened in October? In October, the elections to Chamber of Deputies, the Lower Chamber of the Czech Parliament, took place. One can discuss their results, one can be happy or sad about them, but that is more or less all what one can do with them. The elections showed that the topic of corruption still reverberates with the voters and that lot of them were attracted by the promises to combat corruption. However, the experience with such promises from the last election term taught us that they could be of very short duration. What's more once elections are over the elected politicians put their efforts in a reverse direction preventing anticorruption laws from being adopted. Yet, there is good news that most of the MPs who in the past election terms were blocking anticorruption laws and who wanted to be re-elected did not manage to defend their seats in the Chamber. At the same time, bad results of certain parties can be explained by the fact that their top leaders in the regions had a very “non-transparent” history in the way they were exercising the public offices in the past. Also in the new election term, it will definitely be interesting to follow the corruption cases and anticorruption measures also in future. Already on the first day of the month of November a group of senators, members of the Upper Chamber of the parliament, filed a constitutional complain against the Act on obligatory publication of contracts between public administration and private sector due to its alleged unconstitutionality. One cannot but hope that the supreme constitutional institution will reject this complaint. The Czech intelligence services published certain conclusions about the market of public contracts. These conclusions show a very dim picture how public contracts and public funds are distributed. If the general public wants to find out who receives public grants or contracts, it is now possible to get such information online in an easy and user-friendly way thanks to the project of NGO Good Governance called "Subsidy Parasite" which was launched in the beginning of October. To finish October (anti)corruption news one cannot ignore a very bizarre judgement of the Regional Court in Brno which ruled that business activities of enterprises owned by the state, regions or municipalities do not fall under public procurement rules and that they do not have to follow the transparency requirements when attributing contacts to companies from the private sector.

What is coming up in November? A complicated, tragicomical after-election negotiation about the posts in the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies and its committees gives rise to various speculations and projections of catastrophical scenarios. The attention should rather concentrate on the contents of the declaration of the future government and the delimitation of the supervisory functions of the Chamber of Deputies vis-à-vis the new Government. It is necessary to monitor whether the new Government which is being formed will sign-up to the submission of laws which would ensure a transparent and non-corrupt functioning of public institutions, including those which both due to the Government and the opposition were not adopted in the past elections. One should follow closely individual MPs, committees and the parties how they will handle these issues. In concrete terms, it is necessary to bring up once and again the issue of extension of competence of the Supreme Audit Authority so that it would cover also spending of public funds by regions and municipalities and companies owned by them and the state. New MPs should debate again the question of protection of whistleblowers which in the past term was resolved only superficially. The general public should press the elected MPs to adopt laws on the nominations of politicians and public officers to the supervisory boards of state-owned enterprises providing services of public interest, independent evaluation of bids in public procurement and a better enforcement of the Act on access to information kept by public administration. Lobbying activities would also merit a new regulation, in particular given the fact that a new law regulating this sphere was prepared recently at the very end of the last election term. As far as non-legislative measures are concerned, the government or the competent ministries should publish a simple manual for mayors of municipalities on how to set criteria aimed at measuring costs and benefits of public investments. Its absence is for a long-time deplored by the Supreme Audit Authority. If such criteria were defined, the risk of subsidising public works which make no sense could be substantially reduced as well as the risk of recovery of EU funds back to Brussels. At the beginning of November, the time limit for presidential candidates to participate in the presidential elections which will take place early 2018 will have expired. Let us hope, that unlike in the past presidential elections the rules of financing of presidential campaigns will not be breached and the new Authority for supervision of public financing will be able to enforce the financing rules. Finally, when the Lower Chamber will have been constituted with the newly elected MPs, it will immediately face a difficult task of deciding about the removal of immunity from criminal prosecutions of MPs Babiš and Faltýnek, the two leaders of the winning party in the elections. Thus, already the first vote of the new Lower Chamber will be more than exciting to follow.

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

Total: 5046
Last month: 92

Areas of interest – over time

Latest articles

2017-11-15 POLITIKA: Registry, kam se podíváš
(Tomáš Jirsa, Neviditelnypes.lidovky.cz)
http://neviditelnypes.lidovky.cz/politika-registry-kam-se-podivas-d45-/p_politika.aspx?c=A171113_202412_p_politika_wag#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=pes_neviditelny&utm_content=main
2017-11-15 Účty prezidentských kandidátů: Fischerovi chodí miliony ze zahraničí, Hannig paběrkuje
(Michaela Cápová, Echo24.cz)
https://echo24.cz/a/pAfZH/ucty-prezidentskych-kandidatu-fischerovi-chodi-miliony-ze-zahranici-hannig-paberkuje
2017-11-14 Babiš vstupuje do letectví. Jeho firma kupuje polovinu polských leteckých opraven Avia Prime, odhadem za tři čtvrtě miliardy
(Milan Mikulka, Martin Ehl, ihned.cz)
http://m.ihned.cz/c1-65956160-babisuv-fond-koupil-polovinu-leteckych-polskych-opraven-avia-prime-cena-se-odhaduje-tri-ctvrte-miliardy
2017-11-14 Fond Hartenberg z Babišových svěřenských fondů koupil část letecké opravny Avia Prime
(ČTK, Novinky.cz)
https://m.novinky.cz/articleDetails?aId=454961&sznu=1h56JpmodzCs4rh2
2017-11-14 Kauza MHD v České lípě
(TI, Transparency.cz)
https://www.transparency.cz/kauza-mhd-v-ceske-lipe/
2017-11-14 Tajemství luxusních nemovitostí Mirka Topolánka: apartmán od neprůhledné firmy a byt bez daně
(Eliška Hradilková Bártová, HlidaciPes.org)
http://hlidacipes.org/tajemstvi-luxusnich-nemovitosti-mirka-topolanka-apartman-od-nepruhledne-firmy-byt-bez-dane/
2017-11-13 Ministerstvo práce mělo loni v účetnictví chyby za 8,4 miliardy Kč
(ČTK, Lidovky.cz)
https://www.lidovky.cz/kontrola-mpsv-melo-loni-v-ucetnictvi-chyby-za-8-4-miliardy-kc-pqd-/zpravy-domov.aspx?c=A171113_082230_ln_domov_ele#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=ln_lidovky&utm_content=main
2017-11-13 Policie řeší trestní oznámení na Jurečku kvůli finančním záštitám
(Radim Vaculík, Právo, Novinky.cz)
https://m.novinky.cz/articleDetails?aId=454697&sznu=QgebzyRXMITyqsmD
2017-11-13 Tisícové odměny pro policisty i příspěvek na jídlo. Spočítali jsme, kolik stálo hlídání Hradu
(Radek Nohl, Seznam.cz)
https://www.seznam.cz/zpravy/clanek/tisicove-odmeny-pro-policisty-i-prispevek-na-jidlo-spocitali-jsme-kolik-stalo-hlidani-hradu-39247?dop-ab-variant=&seq-no=3&source=hp
2017-11-10 Projděte si, jak soud strhal práci berních úředníků
(Neo, Neovlivni.cz)
http://neovlivni.cz/projdete-si-jak-soud-strhal-praci-financni-spravy/

Latest parameters changes

10/2017   #41 Limitation of monetary donations for elections and from natural persons only
.

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.

10/2017   #46 Court appointed expert for financial management of a single electoral campaign
The Act on political parties nor the Act on elections to the Lower Chamber of the Parliament, as amended as of 1 January 2017, do not foresee the transfer of the financial management of the electoral campaign in to the hands of a thrd qualified person. The control of financing of the electoral campaign will take place only after the elections which, as was evidenced in the past elections, is not able to ensure the observation of rules on financing of electoral campaigns, despite the obligatory rotation of auditors after five years.

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