Preparations were announced last week for a new law on the Czech civil service, which according to Prime Minister Petr Nečas will result in the state, regional, and local government administrations being depoliticized. However, the PM failed to spell out the planned law's role in the government’s wider anti-corruption strategy.
Five NGOs, including Transparency International, say that overall the coalition’s conduct over the past six months in its declared mission to fight corruption has been satisfactory. Nevertheless, the government failed to score a top grade in any of the 11 areas marked; one area where it is deemed to have been particularly poor is combating conflicts of interest and making civil servants more accountable.
Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) has fulfilled one of the points of the coalition government’s strategy to fight corruption and on Wednesday the government will discuss the bill drawn up by his subordinates to introduce managerial responsibility and independent internal audits in the public sector . The proposed legislation has one “small” shortcoming: if passed, they will further complicate the already complex system of financial management and checks.
In part 3 of our anti-corruption handbook series, Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) vice-president Miloslav Kala looks at the throny issue of remunerating state officials. In the ensuing atmosphere of fear after cutbacks, the first opportunity arises to reward those who understood who the boss is, he notes. And that’s a serious problem in public administration — are the criteria set by the boss always in compliance with the interests of the state?