Corruption – still alive and kicking
Comment
Corruption – still alive and kicking
18. 2. 2019

Tomorrow, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art will host a discussion forum entitled: “The Whistleblower—a Hero or a Stoolie?”, sponsored by the Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK). Reactions to the announcement of day and date indicate that corruption is still a topical theme that often arouses emotions. The Czech Republic still lags behind the world and European elite club when it comes to corruption perception, although we keep scoring valuable points—slowly but steadily. However, we are still leagues behind the Nordic countries and Switzerland. Corruption is generally dismissed as something harmful, which does not belong in a modern, democratic society. In public, corruption is mostly condemned as something “I would never take part in”. But reality is different. Various surveys indicate, for example, that many firms are not as rock-steady on corruption as their corporate codes of conduct would suggest; bribes are a tolerated instrument in wining a contract, or effecting a quick decision.

Tomorrow, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art will host a discussion forum entitled: “The Whistleblower—a Hero or a Stoolie?”, sponsored by the Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK). Reactions to the announcement of day and date indicate that corruption is still a topical theme that often arouses emotions.

The Czech Republic still lags behind the world and European elite club when it comes to corruption perception, although we keep scoring valuable points—slowly but steadily. However, we are still leagues behind the Nordic countries and Switzerland. Corruption is generally dismissed as something harmful, which does not belong in a modern, democratic society. In public, corruption is mostly condemned as something “I would never take part in”. But reality is different. Various surveys indicate, for example, that many firms are not as rock-steady on corruption as their corporate codes of conduct would suggest; bribes are a tolerated instrument in wining a contract, or effecting a quick decision.

Surely, one of the reasons is that many people are sceptical about the ability of the Czech bodies participating in criminal proceedings to carry to the end the cases of confirmed corruption. Criminal proceedings on corruption often drag on for years and public interest wanes as time goes by. 

Fighting corruption is part and parcel of any government policy statement. The incumbent Czech government has billboarded 10 points, including ethical training, sectoral analysis, lobbying legislation, corporate transparency, register of subsidies, curbs on small contracts, supervision of real estate agencies, and the law on whistleblowing. The question is if, and to what extent, the proposed measures in fighting corruption are effective. If the government forges ahead with these measures as swiftly as we have seen in the instance of whistleblowing, whose treatment in the government has been a red thread since the era of  Nečas cabinets, there will not emerge any signs of the struggle with corruption gaining more solid ground.

But I still disagree with the belief that while conferences on the phenomenon are staged, corruption is invincible and cannot be eradicated. The thing to do is not to cease trying to lower the threshold of public tolerance for corruption and see to it that the new generation of public-service and corporate elements “encode” it in their thinking that corruption does not belong in public space, period. I think the Anticorruption Endowment project of Anticorruption Academy shows the way.       

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Cases

Intervention in Zlin T. Bata hospital. Police investigating fraud management

12.10. 2016

Police confirmed that the Bata Regional Hospital intervened because of suspicion of fraud management. Provided evidence when investigating possible criminal offenses. (in Czech only)


Labour Ministry Case - Šiška Sentenced to Six Years

30.9. 2016

The Prague City Court sentenced ex-Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs V. Šiška behind bars for his role in manipulating a welfare allowance payment contract. (in Czech only)


Rittig failed the Constitutional Court

26.8. 2016

The Constitutional Court rejected the complaint against Ivo Rittig Municipal Court in Prague, which allow him to extend his action to the Endowment Fund Against Corruption. (in Czech only)

 

 

 

 

 

News
  • 11. 2. 2019
    Czech anticorruption activist groups have strongly warned the President of the Republic not to nominate Zdeněk Koudelka a deputy of the Public Protector of Rights.
  • 4. 2. 2019
    NFPK briefed the press about its views on the latest developments in the public sector. We believe that the more or less coordinated corruption activities have subsided only to give way to an appreciably more sophisticated style of controlled oligarchization of the country’s management.
  • 11. 12. 2018
    On the same date as last year, NFPK awarded its annual Prizes for Courage for the eighth consecutive year. This year the prizes go to Jana Moravcová, Lukáš Blažej and Permanent.
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