Newsletter: Register of Contracts finally passed, congratulations!

Newsletter: Register of Contracts finally passed, congratulations!

The prophecy has been fulfilled. As impossible as it may have seemed, the deputies voted in favour of the Bill on the Register of Contracts last Friday afternoon. This may be the biggest step towards transparency of the State in the last fifteen years. And transparency—as suggested by data from all around the world—leads to better governance and helps (re)build public trust in the state administration.

On its long way through the legislative process, the bill has suffered several cuts and bruises. It includes an opt-out for ČEZ (not for Agrofert as some media incorrectly informed) and, after Friday’s vote, further exemptions for small municipalities, Chamber of Deputies, Senate, Office of the President of the Republic, Constitutional Court, Supreme Audit Office, and Office of the Public Defender of Rights.

In figures, this means that CZK 80 billion worth of contracts concluded annually by ČEZ, 29 billion in contracts of small municipalities and municipality-owned companies, and 1 billion in contracts of the Parliament, Office of the President and other institutions will remain hidden. Still, more than 325 billion worth of other contracts concluded by the State will become public thanks to the register.

The bill also has a one-year “trial period”. The deputies didn’t find the courage to expedite full applicability of the bill and so the sanction mechanism, according to which the contracts are not in force until published, will only become effective as of July 1, 2017.

None of this, however, changes the fact that special thanks goes to all of you who have patiently and closely watched the bill’s journey, not letting politicians go astray. Come to celebrate #Odtemnění with us. Learn more about when and where.

You can read more about the sometimes arduous journey of the bill in this brief history.

Read more about “Credits, cast and crew” in our latest newsletter.