TI: GRECO's criticism of Czech corruption is legitimate

The Czech branch of the Transparency International anti-corruption organisation agrees with the criticism in the Council of Europe report issued on Wednesday, which calls on the Czech Republic to more prevent corruption among lawmakers, judges and prosecutors.

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The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) recommends that the Czech authorities make the legislative process more transparent and introduce rules for lobbying. Czech Lawmakers should have clear rules on how to proceed in contact with lobbying groups that try to influence new laws for their own profit, the report says.

Czech Transparency International office head David Ondracka said GRECO should also focus on the business sector. More pressure should be exerted on firms to release the names of their real owners, he added.

Companies with unclear owners should not be allowed to apply for state contracts and state subsidies and it is not easy to punish them for tax frauds, Ondracka said.

He said GRECO’s regular reports can motivate countries to improve their systems.

Ondracka said improvements have been made in some fields in the Czech Republic, naming the release of property statements of politicians or a better transparency of the legislative process.

On the other hand, some plans were scrapped, such as lobbing regulations, and a new law on state attorneys has been repeatedly postponed, he said.

GRECO recommends that the parliament, court and state attorney’s offices introduce their ethical code that would instruct their members how to act in case of a conflict of interests.

By January 2018, the Czech Republic should report to GRECO about the measures adopted in reaction to the latest recommendations.

Prague Daily Monitor

3 November 2016

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