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Czech Republic Action Plan Review 2020-2022

This product consists of an IRM review of Czech Republic’s 2020-2022 action plan. The action plan is made up of five commitments. This review emphasizes its analysis on the strength of the action plan to contribute to implementation and results. For the commitment-by-commitment data see Annex 1. For details regarding the methodology and indicators used by the IRM for this Action Plan Review, see section IV. Methodology and IRM Indicators.

Overview of the 2020-2022 Action Plan

The Czech Republic’s fifth action plan contains promising commitments on increasing transparency of court decisions and establishing a framework for whistleblower protection. A whole-of-government approach in developing and implementing future action plans could lead to a greater number of ambitious commitments outside the scope of the Ministry of Justice.


Participating since: 2011

Action plan under review: 2020-2022

IRM product: Action Plan Review

Number of commitments: 5

Overview of commitments:

  • Commitments with an open gov lens: 5, 100%
  • Commitments with substantial potential for results: 2, 40%
  • Promising commitments: 2

Policy areas carried over from previous action plans:

  • Justice transparency
  • Whistleblower protection
  • Open data in education

Emerging policy areas:

  • Transparency of public grants
  • Civil society engagement in decision making

Compliance with OGP minimum requirements for Co-creation:

  • Acted contrary to OGP process: No

The Czech Republic’s fifth OGP action plan consists of five commitments. The two promising commitments on transparency of lower court decisions and whistleblower protection, as well as a commitment on open data in education, stem from commitments in the previous action plan.

There is a new commitment on improving civil society engagement in participatory processes and another one on consultations on the transparency of grants provided by public funds from central and local government bodies.

The action plan includes amended proposals from civil society which align with the government’s strategic goals and programmes – such as on raising awareness of whistleblower protection and transparency around public grants. It reflects IRM recommendations from the previous cycle on continuing and extending commitments on whistleblower protection and efforts to open up the judiciary. The commitments also line up with the government anti-corruption strategy and are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The activities of the promising commitments in this action plan are more likely to lead to results than those in previous action plans because they are targeted and specific. However, to improve implementation and enhance the potential results, this Action Plan Review encourages institutions and businesses to establish fully functioning, well-resourced and confidential whistleblowing processes on top of raising awareness. The study on best whistleblower protection practices could be oriented towards providing guidance on implementation of the new law. For the commitment on publishing lower court decisions, the IRM recommends the provision of tailored support to district courts to ensure publication is done in a timely manner, and that key stakeholders are engaged in determining priorities for publishing lower court decisions beyond civil law cases.

The process of developing the action plan was well documented and the multi-stakeholder forum – made up of civil society and government officials – engaged the wider public on social media and via the Ministry of Justice website, published feedback on the 15 proposals received, and developed five commitments that went into the action plan.[1] Four of the five commitments are led by or involve the Ministry of Justice. Civil society felt that the process lacked effective participation from a broad range of other ministries (outside the Ministry of Justice) because they do not share an interest in, or do not fully understand the value of, the open government agenda.[2] Ensuring the interest and engagement of officials with decision-making power from different ministries could lead to the inclusion of ambitious commitments from different policy areas which could also bring in new or different non-government stakeholders to the process.

The limited participation of a broad variety of public institutions during the development of the action plan restricted the opportunity for proposals in different or new policy areas being included. The action plan contains two commitments with potential for modest results and one with unclear potential for results, and these have not been further analysed in depth. This is either because they are minor commitments that are carried over from the previous plan unchanged (Commitment 3), because the ambition of the commitment at this stage is to run preliminary activities such as pilot exercises (Commitment 4) or because it seeks to run a consultation and only outline possible next steps (Commitment 5). These commitments could potentially have substantial results in future action plans if they go beyond these preliminary activities to introduce ambitious, lasting reforms.

Promising Commitments in Czech Republic’s 2020-2022 Action Plan

 The following review looks at the two commitments that the IRM identified as having the potential to realize the most promising results. This review will inform the IRM’s research approach to assess implementation in the Results Report. The IRM Results Report will build on the early identification of potential results from this review to contrast with the outcomes at the end of the implementation period of the action plan. This review also provides an analysis of challenges, opportunities and recommendations to contribute to the learning and implementation process of this action plan.

If fully implemented, both promising commitments, as indicated in the table below, could deliver substantial results in opening government in their respective policy areas. The commitment on the publication of lower court decisions could increase transparency on decisions made by district courts across the Czech Republic. Implementation could also promote consistency in the application of Czech law across district courts, and ensure people understand the application of the law in court. The commitment on raising awareness of whistleblower protection could enhance the impact of the newly adopted law by increasing people’s understanding of what a whistleblower is, and improving people’s perceptions of whistleblowers in the Czech Republic. If the new law on whistleblower protection is passed, and backed up by resources to protect whistleblowers and guarantee their confidentiality, in the workplace in both the public and private sector, this could lead to more whistleblowers in the Czech Republic reporting wrongdoing or illegal activity in their place of work.

Three commitments only have modest or unclear potential for results. Commitment 3 aims to provide a publicly available, centralised and cohesive database from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and some subordinate organisations. It is a minor commitment from the previous action plan which was not started,[3] and the same activities have been carried across into this plan, unchanged. It has been given a similar, modest, coding in this Action Plan Review. Commitment 4 seeks to collaboratively develop a methodology for public authorities on how to include the public in decision making, and run a pilot example. While some civil society groups welcome the commitment, they suggest the methodology alone is unlikely to change practice inside institutions without legislative change or mandatory implementation.[4] These kinds of changes to this commitment would increase the likelihood of change in government practice that fosters more inclusive public participation in decision making. Due to it not being mandatory to implement and only seeking to conduct a pilot example, it has been coded as having just modest potential for results. Commitment 5 promises to run a consultation on creating a database on public grants and publish information on the results of the consultation and possible next steps. The potential results of the commitment are unclear at this stage because the consultations are about the possibility of creating a database, although future commitments that introduce such a register may be more likely to deliver substantial results.

Table 1. Promising commitments

Promising Commitments
1. Publication of lower court decisions: This commitment seeks to secure greater accessibility and transparency of district court decisions. Public access to decisions could make it easier to compare decisions and ensure the law is applied consistently across the 86 district courts and could help to improve public trust in the independence of these institutions.
2. Raising awareness on whistleblowing: The proposed measures are designed to support implementation of the imminent whistleblower protection law. Activities to raise awareness aim to increase stakeholder and public understanding of whistleblowing and the new law and improve perceptions of whistleblowers. The proposed training of judges and prosecutors is intended to provide whistleblowers with more protection in the courts.



[1] The call for proposals was published on the Ministry website, social media networks and invitations sent via email. More information on the process can be found in Annex 2.

[2] Josef Šmída, Open Society Foundation Prague, interview with IRM researcher, 11 March 2021; Marek Zelenka, Oživení, interview with IRM researcher, 5 March 2021; Jan Dupák, Transparency International, interview with IRM researcher, 3 March 2021.

[3] Open Government Partnership, Czech Republic End-Of-Term Self-Assessment 2018-2020,

[4] Vít Samek, Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, email exchange with researcher, 2 March 2021; Jan Dupák, Transparency International, interview with researcher, 3 March 2021; Josef Šmída, Open Society Foundation Prague, interview with researcher, 11 March 2021.


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