29. září 2016 | News

Zavřeno pro Policejní prezidium a Ministerstvo vnitra

This year’s annual competition Open x Closed, which rates the measure of openness of public figures, authorities and institutions now knows who won and who flunked! We have seen today the formal announcement of the outcomes of a competition, staged every year by the nongovernmental organization, Open Society. The main prize in the Closed category went to the Office of the Police President and the Ministry of the Interior for their sterling efforts to conceal information about a reorganization of the police corps.

A record-high 162 nominations cropped up and they were at first judged by a jury of experts, and then the general public. The Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK) nominees in the Closed (No part in decision making) category were the Police Presidency and the Ministry of the Interior for stubbornly concealing information about a police restructuring effort. The nominations passed due expertise and won the highest points in a subsequent vote. Representatives of the Police Presidency and the Ministry of the Interior were invited but, they did not turn up to receive their prizes.

The competition was expertly guaranteed by Oldřich Kužílek, the coauthor of the bill on free access to information and a consultant on open public administration affairs. The commission also consisted of lawyer and right-to-information specialist František Korbel, lawyer Hana Marvanová, university teacher Petr Kolman, lawyer František Vyskočil and other noted figures.

Amidst a plethora of confusing information and generally chaotic state of affairs, the Anticorruption Endowment asked the Police Presidium, in late June 2016, to answer a couple of cardinal questions concerning the planned police reshuffle. We wanted to know, for example, if the Police Presidium possessed any expertise concerning the reorganization and how open the communication channels were with the heads of both elite police units, with one of them having stated he was officially intimated on the upcoming reshuffle and the other stating he had learned about the plan from the media. After several requests, the Police Presidium ultimately said it will not answer the NFPK inquiry as proceedings were underway in the House committee of inquiry…

The government’s police strategy 2020 did not contain a single reference to a reorganization of elite police units and actually envisaged they would continue their work. When Lidové noviny first disclosed an impending reshuffle, on 2 June 2016, the Ministry of the Interior said it had no inkling about such a plan. But amidst growing pressures, the Police Presidium held a press conference on 8 June when only three preselected reporters were allowed to put questions. At a hastily convened press briefing shortly afterwards, no questions were allowed. Subsequently, the Supreme State Prosecutor presented thirteen comments but said he was not familiar about the police reform.

The complete list of Open x Closed Award is available here HERE (in Czech only).

Contact please: Linda Majerová, Director, NFPK, e-mail: linda.majerova@nfpk.cz, tel.: 734 315 353