Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch has dismissed the director of Na Bulovce
hospital, one of nine people facing prosecution for having allegedly
conspired to manipulate public contracts to Prague hospitals.
Among the accused is the director of Na Františku hospital, who resigned of his own accord earlier this week. Minister Vojtěch said in a statement on Wednesday he intends to review all supply contracts to public hospitals and revise contracts which the health ministry itself manages directly.
Nine people have been detained on suspicion of manipulating contracts for
two Prague hospitals, Na Františku and Na Bulovce, the ctk news agency
Among those charged are the head of the Na Františku hospital Robert Zelenák, and influential north Bohemian entrepreneur Tomáš Horáček.
The anti-corruption police have been conducting raids on dozens of homes and medical institutions and old age home in Central Bohemia in connection with the case.
In response to numerous complaints with regard to abuse of the Czech visa system in Ukraine, the Czech consulate in Lvov has moved to simplify and speed up the process. Steps have been taken to root out corruption by local middlemen who blocked the registration system, making it virtually impossible for anyone else to sign up for months. Applicants will now be able to book by phone, eliminating the long waiting lines outside the consulate and the waiting time for a visa should be reduced from 130 days to 75.
Good government watchdog Transparency International has warned that moves by the current Czech government to sack top level civil servants and members of the state administration have gone a lot further than originally declared. And it says that further encroachments on what should be a non-political administration are threatened.
The anti-corruption group Transparency International says the acting ANO
government has made more layoffs of senior civil servants than it
previously admitted. The government says that 23 top jobs were discontinued
in December due to reorganisation. But Transparency International says the
actual figure was 37.
The ANO prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, said at the time that the state administration was bloated and that reorganisation could save up to CZK 18 million.
An anti-corruption watchdog has accused Prague city council leaders of rushing into a multi-billion crown joint venture connected with a new metro line without public discussion and explanations of what is involved. Transparency International warns that in the wake of previous big budget city scandals, it could another case of act in haste and regret at leisure.
The Czech government has moved, not for the first time, to try and regulate lobbying. The country at the moment is one of the handful in Europe that had no specific set of rules governing what lobbyists can do and how various decision makers, whether they are elected politicians or civil servants, can interact with them.
Criminal charges have been filed against a judge at Prague’s Supreme
Court. Ivan Elischer is accused of bribe taking, abuse of office and
preferential treatment, the chairman of the court’s panel told
journalists. Mr. Elischer has been at the court since 2013 and specialises
in serious drug cases.
He was arrested by the police’s national organised crime unit in a raid at the court building on Tuesday moring. Neither the police nor the state attorney’s office have revealed any details about the matter.
The Czech Republic’s position on the Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International slightly improved in 2017. The country moved two rungs up the ladder to 42nd place, acquiring 57 points out of a maximum possible 100. David Ondráčka of Transparency’s Czech branch told Radio Prague that the improvement was only slight and the country should aim to do better.
The Czech Republic has slightly improved its standing in watchdog
Transparency Internationals’ annual Corruption Perception Index for 2017.
Under TI’s criteria, the country picked up 57 points compared to 55 in 2016. The country has moved to 42nd spot in the worldwide rankings, but it still lags behind the EU average by eight points.
In Europe, the Czech Republic climbed to 18th spot from last year’s 19th, but still found itself behind all of the Baltic States and Poland.
Transparency International’s annual Index has rated countries by perceived levels of corruption since 1995 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean.