2. května 2014 | Prize for Courage

Jakub Klouzal

Jakub Klouzal assumed the position of director of the central systems and technologies department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in 2008. He shortly found out that standard public procurement procedures were not applied by this institution. Documentation pertaining to the area of public contracts was either incomplete or difficult to track down, and public tender proceedings took place in strange circumstances.

He dutifully provided the senior officials of the ministry with information indicating the key figure concerning nonstandard public contracts involving the IT section of the MFA is the head of the data-processing section, Mr. Lidinský. These senior officials were the head of the public contract coordination section, chief of the logistics section Tomáš Kryl, Security Officer Jiřina Kozelková, Financial Director Dagmar Janů and subsequently also Deputy Minster Čermák.

Most of these officials recommended that he does not pass the information to other superiors and keep it for himself. Having informed them about problems concerning other public contracts, he was adviced to report the case to the police. He also ascertained that some of the people he passed the information to were directly involved in the economic machinations with public contracts he had specified.

Due to inaction on the part of the abovementioned officials, Jakub Klouzal decided to notify Foreign Minister Kohout about his findings. The meeting led to the sacking of chief director Lidinský. Minister Kohout duly ordered an investigation of the IT department’s public procurement section. However, the then caretaker government stepped down after the initial investigation was carried out.

After Karel Schwarzenberg took office, the officials responsible for public contracts and audits attempted to cover up these irregularities. Therefore Jakub Klouzal decided to again notify his top supervisor about suspected widespread waste of public funds and nonstandard practices in awarding pubic contracts. Minister Schwarzenberg decided to act and apply a hit or miss approach, and ordered fresh investigation; however, without consistently supervising the steps that were taken.

In view of continued inaction on the part of the MFA, Jakub Klouzal contacted the Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK), which provided him legal assistance and continues to closely interact with him on the case.

At the time, Jakub Klouzal, still and employee of the MFA, was threatened with physical liquidation and exposed to psychological pressure. He was forced to resign. He was subsequently offered a position well below his professional skills and then dismissed.

Minister Schwarzenberg offered him an out-of-court settlement, which has not been reached yet and the evidence gathered has not been collected.

The Anticorruption Endowment has rewarded Jakub Klouzal for his anticorruption conduct and civic bravery with a Prize for Courage, which comes complete with a cheque for 100,000 CZK. A criminal complaint is being prepared concerning the case.

Jakub Klouzal now works in the banking sector as a cyber-security architect.