Babiš Agency Trust Fund
Comment
Babiš Agency Trust Fund
10. 12. 2018

We heard at a working commission of the Government council on corruption and whistleblowing that Andrej Babiš has subjected to comments a government draft of a bill on the protection of the persons reporting corrupt practices, collectively described as whistleblowers. The bill is geared towards the setting up of a State Agency for the Protection of Whistleblowers, which would repot to a deputy minister of the interior. Hundreds od people will be trained to evaluate reports and send them to the upper strata, ideally within 30 days, complete with the whistleblower’s name. Now, this is complete nonsense the only effect of which is the interception of a problem and delivering on the promise to have the bill passed and put into practice. The legislation would apply solely to the institutions of the State with more than 50 staff in each, or maximally thousands of entities in a rough estimate. Each of them would appoint and train an “independent” person to take delivery of such intimation. Such person shall be duty-bound to file a criminal complaint upon receiving a criminal complaint. If the case is also tackled by the police at the time, such person could live to encounter a serious problem.

We heard at a working commission of the Government council on corruption and whistleblowing that Andrej Babiš has subjected to comments a government draft of a bill on the protection of the persons reporting corrupt practices, collectively described as whistleblowers.

The bill is geared towards the setting up of a State Agency for the Protection of Whistleblowers, which would repot to a deputy minister of the interior. Hundreds od people will be trained to evaluate reports and send them to the upper strata, ideally within 30 days, complete with the whistleblower’s name. Now, this is complete nonsense the only effect of which is the interception of a problem and delivering on the promise to have the bill passed and put into practice.

The legislation would apply solely to the institutions of the State with more than 50 staff in each, or maximally thousands of entities in a rough estimate. Each of them would appoint and train an “independent” person to take delivery of such intimation. Such person shall be duty-bound to file a criminal complaint upon receiving a criminal complaint. If the case is also tackled by the police at the time, such person could live to encounter a serious problem.

Hence the only thing the bill actually does not envisage is the protection of the whistleblower. If somebody repots wrongdoing where he or she works, their superior will often easily identify the troublemaker. Experience teaches us that anonymous matters. It might take years and a lot of money to find the truth. A State Agency can seldom be trusted, due partly to its agent’s obligation to sent the information up the pipeline. But timing is of crucial importance for the success of the ensuing legal dispute between the whistleblower and his/her employer. 

We in the Anticorruption Endowment surely don’t like that: we have been in this business for seven years and we have helped to save over two billion crowns, solely relying on private money and discarding state subsidies. But now, tens of millions of crowns will be wasted to set up just another toothless institution for political has-beens. In the event, whistleblowers will contact us anyway, because we know what to do, and how to do it right. 

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