Dissemination of the anti-corruption know-how among NGOs and citizens

Workshops for the activist and organisations interested in anti-corruption and watchdog know-how were organised; specific educational and networking activity aimed especially at voluntary activists. Dozens of activists took part in the seminars. The organisation is running a community web where the newcomers can register only when recommended by a members; the members of the web group are sharing local cases and know-how and provide advice to those who ask for them. A web forum – both with open and restricted access is planned as a follow up.

Conflict of Interests and Corruption in the Public Administration

Monitoring of the implementation of the law on conflict of interest focusing on particular cases including publishing the cases, taking part in the administrative procedures, court rulings and involving media into the coverage of the issues and cases. Monitoring targeted mainly deputies and senators – how they comply with the obligaton to publish all gainful activities and incomes. A substantial part was cooperation with the media (assisting them with publishing a list of those who did not comply every year). The organization also provided support to the media and background information on the interpretation of the law. Regular press conferences took place, later on in the Senate. The project changed the culture connected to the publishing of the incomes, related to the law on the conflict of interests and raised awareness of the media on the issue; after the termination of the project, the media keep continuing monitoring the obligation to comply. In the third year of running project (2004), all deputies and senators complied. The only shortcomming would be the focus on the parliamentary level only due to the capacity of the organization.

A Citizen within a Rule of Law

The project focused on watchdog activities of local anti-corruption activists; email conference for experience exchange was set up and workshops and seminars organized, focusing on real cases and practical know-how. An anti-corruption advice center for individual citizens was implemented, including the support of a lawyer.

Political Corruption – Transparent Processes in Political Decision-Making I

Specific objectives achieved during the first phase of the project were: strengthening the internal capacity of TIC in the area of fighting political corruption; drawing attention to individual systemic shortcomings from which the Czech politics suffer, especially in the areas of political parties financing; legislative process; politicisation of public administration (clear definition of roles of politicians and public officials); internal democracy within the parties (selection of candidates for elections); investigation of criminal offences of elected representatives. The project outputs include an opinion survey on the transparency of political parties financing, conference and a publication “Transparent processes in political decision-making””.”

Transparency within the communication of the cities and municipalities

A questionnaire survey of 250 town halls and municipal offices was carried out and meetings of representatives of municipal offices with the public, local experts and interest groups in three localities were organised, analyzing the way how the town halls communicate with the citizens. The conclusions of the debate were embodied into recommednations for the town halls on how to improve the communication. The results of the project contributed to the creation of a Communication Manual for Local Municipalities that is available online at www.komunikujici-mesto.cz.

Transparency through Awareness/Threats and Opportunities of EU Structural Funds I and II

During the first phase, the project focused on monitoring and analyzing the areas of distribution and use of funds, especially on areas related to institutional conflict of interest, influence of political representation on project selection, access to information, structure of institutions involved in the process and their relationships, selection and execution of projects, financial management, evaluation and monitoring. The first phase of the project concentrated on building local capacity to deal with the issue. The project was implemented in cooperation with six international chapters of Transparency International from new EU member states (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia).The second phase aimed at raising awareness on the transparency and implementation of the anti-corruption tools during the process of distribution of the funds to the public administration. It also focused on the role of media and their capacity in the area of SF monitoring. The target area was NUTS III – city of Prague.

Transparency for the Police

The first project phase consisted of survey of the state of affairs within the police force with the results published in May 2000. The second project phase consisted of comparison of anti-corruption strategies in the police forces in 25 countries with the publication “Crossing the Thin Blue Line”” as the output. With the help of the study, a “”Framework for an Anti-corruption Strategy for the Czech Police”” was designed in cooperation with representatives of the Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Justice; Police Presidium; Czech Police; Bureau of the Attorney General; judges; Office of the President; Ombudsman; Government Commissioner for Human Rights; non-profit organisations – Czech Helsinki Committee, People in Need, Civil Legal Observers. Another project activity was the introduction of regular integrity and ethics training for police and students of police schools; TIC initiated a pilot “Integrity and Ethics Course“ for police school teachers.”

Public Contracting – Transparent Competition for Public Funds

The ongoing project focuses on different problems related to public procurement; it involved monitoring of public procurement focused on the area of military procurement, policy paper on EU black listing standards, creation of the “Map of Clientelist Practices”” in the area of public construction contracts, seminars, concrete legislative proposals improving the transparency of the processes, participation at the international conferences, improvement of the applicant website.”

Prosecution of corruption and other serious economic crimes

The project activities (an analysis) aimed to initiate a debate on usefulness of the introduction of special anti-corruption institutions that were established in Slovakia to the Czech environment. A study “How effective are the Czech and Slovak law enforcement agencies”” was published and a conference on prosecution of corruption in the Czech Republic and Slovakia took place.”

Limitation of corruption and conflict of interest in the area of state incentives for foreign investments

The project aimed at increasing transparency of relations between the public administration and the foreign corporate investors via conflict of interests monitoring.

The organization became an active player within different administrative processes related to corporate investments in different parts of the country. Strategies towards big corporate business were developed, monitoring of decisions on state incentives for foreign investors was in place.

An important achievement was the Declaration of Understanding concluded with Hunday Motor Manufacturing, company that was preparing a big investment in Moravia.

The coalition of NGOs advocated the declaration that was co-signed by the representatives of the regional authorities and the Czech Invest agency and Ministry of Trade and Industry. The issue got extensive media coverage.

 

Read more about the Environmental Law Service initiatives on anti-corruption here (English).

Index V4

The primary aim of was to propose an innovative methodology for measuring an institution’s tendency towards corrupt behaviour and then use this methodology to investigate the level of corruption in the public administrations of the capital cities of the Visegrad 4 countries (CZ, SK, HU, PL). A comparative survey Index 4 was carried out in the capitals focusing on public procurement, internal audits, ethical codexes,conflict of interest and access to information. The results of the survey can be downloaded at http://www.transparency.cz/index.php?lan=cz&id=2500. The research into the level of corruption in the public administrations of the capital cities of the V4 served as a tool for putting pressure on political representatives. The project was a continuation of the efforts made in the project “A Corruption-Free Town Hall””.”

Entries into the Commercial Register

A slow process and the complexity of the legal conditions connected to entries into commercial register led to a high number of mistakes in the registration applications handed to the courts. Mistakes in the applications lead to the courts returning the applications for review or for supplementary information. There was no standardized procedure and application format. A database of standard applications for the commercial register was created within the project and consequently published on the website of the Justice Ministry. Business and non-business applicants could then receive authoritative information concerning the requirements of individual courts, which increased the legal quality of individual applications and as a result partially simplified the registration process in the Czech Republic and narrowed down the room for corruption.

Educational seminars – Quality and Integrity in Public Procurement

Two seminars were organized in the framework of the project, focusing on the issues of corruption risks related to public procurement and identification of anti-corruption tools. Both seminars were targeted on public officials responsible for public procurement processes and/or its supervision at ministries, in the regions or big cities, and at executive bodies of structural funds.

Conflicts of interest

In order to reduce political corruption the project aimed at enactment of an effective law on the conflict of interest. TIC proposed a draft law and managed to build a coalition around it, advocate the draft successfuly and push it through; the law went into effect as of January 1, 2007. Media campaign was part of the project.

Coalition for Suppression of Information within the Democratic Framework

A coalition of three non-governmental organisations was created to meet the purpose of the project: TIC, Iuridicum remedium and Otevřená společnost, o.p.s. The project carefully monitored and analysed the legislative process, lobbyied the Government Legislative Council, the government ministers and selected MPs. A workshop was organised in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament, dedicated to suppression of information, legal analyses and information materials were published on the issue.

Arms Trade Control

The project focused on establishing regular contact and communication with relevant Czech parliamentarians and other relevant parties and on monitoring and analysing the existing legislation and documents. It also helped increase the information value of regular publication of detailed reports on arms and military material exports from the Czech Republic.

Anti-Corruption Education

Training project with the goal of reducing the scope of corruption in the public administration in the territorial self-governing units (municipalities and regions); it aimed at increasing the capacity of local government officials in detecting individual cases of corruption, applying suitable anti-corruption tools to cases of corruption, evaluating the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in local government authorities and training on law on conflict of interest by tailored trainings.

Is East-Central Europe Backsliding? EU Accession Is No “End of History”

In the textbooks on democratic transition, Central and Eastern Europe provides the model of success. Yet in Brussels concern over the politics of the new EU members has been mounting. The day after accession, when conditionality has faded, the influence of the EU vanished like a short-term anesthetic. Political parties needed to behave during accession in order to reach this highly popular objective, but once freed from these constraints, they returned to their usual ways. Now we see Central and Eastern Europe as it really is—a region that has come far but still has a way to go.