Save the Registry of Contracts: Let the Coalition leaders know it’s worth it!
This Wednesday, the Coalition leaders will decide about the Bill on the Registry of Contracts—whether and in what quality it will be presented to the Chamber at its next plenary session in September. Reconstruction of the State hopes and believes that the Coalition parties will make sure this key anti-corruption law is passed before the municipal elections, showing their voters how they keep their promises.
Help us show the Coalition leaders that the Registry of Contracts matters. Ask them to choose such version of the bill that will not make it possible to easily circumvent the obligation to publish contracts. You can use our sample email below.
Dear Prime Minister Mr. Sobotka,
Dear ministers Mr. Babiš and Mr. Bělobrádek,
I would like to use this opportunity and ask you to express your support to the Bill on the Registry of Contracts, making sure that it is passed by the Chamber of Deputies at its next plenary session in September—before the municipal elections. As the Coalition leaders, I believe you can come to an agreement and find the way forward to pass the bill.
The Bill on the Registry of Contracts aspires, among else, to make towns, municipalities and municipality-owned companies more transparent. I believe that passing such a “transparency” bill would send a clear signal to the voters that the Coalition parties are able and willing to keep their election promises.
According to my information, the Coalition will be deciding whether the bill shall include the fundamental principle of the original proposal—that a contract which is not published, does not take effect (as it is in Slovakia). The much more lenient and less effective alternative, which I hope you will reject, would allow for publishing contracts that may be almost entirely blacked-out. Another important point of discussion is whether the law should apply to businesses where the state or a municipality has a majority, but not 100%, share.
I appeal to you to make sure that the Registry of Contracts becomes a useful and effective measure that will not allow for easy circumvention of the obligation to publish contracts—for example by unlimited “corrections” of the already published data, or by sales of minority shares in otherwise public corporations in order to avoid the obligatory publication of contracts.
I hope and believe that the Coalition parties will make a bold decision—the one which will ensure that all contracts dealing with public money will be easily and publicly available on the internet.
With kind regards,
More information about the Bill:
At the beginning of July, the government publicly confirmed that they support the Bill on the Registry of Contracts including the sanction of invalidity, i.e. the condition that any contract of a public institution only takes effect after it's published in the central online register of contracts. The Prime Minister then assigned the Ministry of Interior with the task of smoothing out some remaining technical problems in the bill.
Weeks later, the Ministry surprised everyone with their own “improved” version of the bill which does not respect the previous political agreement and basically leaves out all the key parts of the original proposal. The ministerial version allows, among else, for entire contracts to be blacked out, thus making it easy to effectively circumvent the obligation to make the contracts public.
Learn more about the Bill here.