Ekonom no. 25 about TI
In 2001 the Transparency International Czech Republic presented the study of 13 major pillars of state and national integrity. „I could describe national integrity by one word – functionality. State tends to work so that even the latest cutting-edge components and technology are available, it is unable to put them together so that it can function perfectly,“ said study co-author and Transparency International associate.
Prosecutors had clearly fared the worst in the study. They were seen as those who are susceptible to political influences and who specifically inhibit investigating corruption cases or mask the inability to properly investigate them.
„About two years have passed since the Study. That entitles us, I think, to have a look how the various parameters of the Czech Republic National integrity have changed,“ says Transparency International programme director Radim Bures. He stresses, however, that the original study was being processed for several months, and now it is therefore mainly a qualified estimation of changes which Czech institutions have passed in less than two years.
According to Bures today assessment of prosecutors would improve from the original below average 40% to slightly above average 54%. „Transparency has increased, responsibility and accountability have strengthened.“
Hand in hand with a change in prosecution offices there comes greater independence of the police. „Time of investigating some cases has shortened; police officers act much more in line with their legal opinion and venture into investigation of politically important people. Detection and investigation of corruption have significantly improved,“ highlights Radim Bures adding that now the evaluation of this pillar deserves 56 % “grade” compared to the original 43%.
Another area in which the Czech Republic has improved in less than two years since finalisation of the National Integrity Study is the business sector. While in 2011, Transparency International wrote that „the promotion of civil society and anti-corruption activities of entrepreneurs is rather exceptional,“ now it is not the case. Businesspersons, companies and business associations are actively committed to responsible business and support a number of anti-corruption activities.
The new Act on Public Procurement has significant influence. Many entrepreneurs criticise it because of the administrative burden, but it has brought greater transparency to distribution of public funds.
Otherwise, however, the current situation in confrontation with almost two years old Transparency International analysis is not very encouraging. Especially political parties, state administration, government and parliament are in the long-term crisis. In the last 11 years there were 11 governments with 9 Prime Ministers in the Czech Republic. Soon the 12th Government and 10th Prime Minister are going to be appointed.
Not surprisingly, at the end of the pillars of the national integrity there is state administration. According to Transparency International it has even slightly worsened since the last assessment (it is at 41% of 100% ideal).
Although there would be an easy and quick solution in the form of the adoption of functional civil service law, nothing has happened. And it is not certain whether the law is adopted. Despite the fact that this is the European Union condition to continue utilising grants from the EU funds.
The current state of state administration supports high turnover and high officials´ dependence on politicians rather than expertise and independence. The other extreme is rampant influence of some leading officials.
Neither political parties are a healthy pillar of the state. They have established themselves as a rather special kind of business that pursues objectives other than political competition. They are in long-term crisis and party politics is associated with a number of corruption cases. Due to the lack of active members willing to defend the policy of public interest those who through elected office implement their own benefit come to the fore.