27th January 2014

Anti-corruption measures discussed at the Chamber of Deputies

On 21 and 22 January, the Chamber of Deputies discussed private members’ bills in the first reading that deal with imposing of anti-corruption measures. The first Bill on Contract Records (zákon o registru smluv) was prepared in the previous electoral term; however, authors of the Bill claim that there was no political will on passing of the Bill. The Bill sets up the Contract Record. All contracts should be publicized there in case that fulfilling of such contract leads to withdrawal of money means from public budgets (i.e. the state, regional, and municipal budgets). The proposers of the Bill have put forward several alternatives of the Bill. The alternatives differ in the scope of how strict and precise the publicized information should be revealed. Nevertheless, all the alternatives keep the main principle of the Bill; only a publicized contract should be considered as valid (even though, the interim Government objected to that provision in its opinion and alternatively claimed not publicizing as an administrative offence).

Some deputies raised objections to the Bill in the first reading that according to the Bill many public administration documents should be revealed which may decrease the efficiency of public administration. Further, there was an initiative to employ the provision of the Bill only in case of precise financial values of the contract.

The Bill is heading to the Committees (Constitutional Committee, Economic Committee, Committee on Public Administration and Regional Development, Committee on Budgetary Control).

For further information, click here.

The Deputies also discussed the private members’ Bill on Civil Service (zákon o státní službě) in the first reading. Passing the Bill in the first reading was a condition of the President Miloš Zeman on appointment of the new Government. The Deputies passed the private members’ version which differs from the governmental version (the governmental version has not been discussed yet, though). The versions differ in terms of appointment of the General Secretary; the governmental version stipulates that the Secretary should be appointed by the President. The private members’ version also abandons retirement pays (this was also criticized by the Government as omitting one of the incentives).

Opponents of the Bill primarily claimed that the Bill is discussed in a hurry and that the future Government should propose its own version.

For further information, click here.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic