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Slovak Republic

Awareness-Raising About Anti-Social Activities (SK0119)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Slovak Republic National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Plenipotentiary of the Government for the Development of Civil Society in cooperation with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and the Slovak National Center for Human Rights

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Legislation & Regulation, Legislative, Whistleblower Protections

IRM Review

IRM Report: Slovakia Implementation Report 2017-2019, Slovak Republic Design Report 2017–2019

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

In November 2014, Act No. 307/2014 Coll. On certain measures relating to the reporting of anti-social activ-ities and on the amendment of certain laws with effect from 1 January 2015 was adopted, resulting from the commitments in the OGP National Action Plan 2012-2013. Pursuant to § 19 par. 1 of this Act, regular evaluation of the reporting of anti-social activities ("whistle-blowing") and the dissemination of information in this area has been entrusted to the Slovak National Center for Human Rights. The Slovak National Center for Human Rights developed the historically first evaluation report and published it48 on its website in 2016. The report notes in particular that the mandatory subjects are disinterested in the issue of protected dis-closure and indifferent to eliminating anti-social work at the workplace, as well as in the training of em-ployees in the field of protected disclosure. It notes low awareness of the possibilities and the means of reporting anti-social activities and the lack of interest and fear of employees related to reporting anti-social activity49.
For these reasons, it is necessary to promote and disseminate public awareness of anti-social activities and its reporting through training, seminars, workshops or other means, to regularly analyze and continue to evaluate the application of the cited law, to search for and to name the shortcomings of legislative modifi-cation and application practice, to propose and carry out the correction of identified shortcomings and to accept positive changes to ensure a more effective fight against anti-social activity.
Commitment No. 62: Raise public awareness in the field of reporting of anti-social activities and on the basis of the results of regular evaluations of application practice of Act no. 307/2014 Coll. on certain measures related to the reporting of anti-social activities and on the amendment of some laws, or to propose amendments to the legislation.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

THEME - Raise awareness on whistleblowing  
Comm 62

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2017 – 2019”, http://bit.ly/2QYIlHV ]:

Commitment 62: “Raise public awareness in the field of reporting of anti-social activities and on the basis of the results of regular evaluations of application practice of Act no. 307/2014 Coll. on certain measures related to the reporting of anti-social activities and on the amendment of some laws, or to propose amendments to the legislation.”

Start Date: Not specified             

End Date: 31 March 2019 and ongoing

 

 

Context and Objectives

The commitments related to the Whistle-blowers Protection Act were already present in the first national action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic”, http://bit.ly/2DKiGPZ ] which aimed for drafting and passing the legislation by the end of 2013. However, the progress was limited, and the commitment was postponed[Note : Matej Kurian, “Slovakia Progress Report 2012 – 2013,” http://bit.ly/2KwjQzY ]. Eventually, the act was adopted and became effective on 1 January 2015[Note : SLOV-LEX (Legal and information portal), The Ministry of Justice, “Whistle-blowers Protection Act no. 307/2014 Coll.,” http://bit.ly/2b3GA98  (in Slovak).]. The previous IRM report[Note : Mária Žuffová, Open Government Partnership, “Slovakia Special Accountability Report 2014 - 2015”, http://bit.ly/2EzH4Ws] pointed to the findings of Transparency International Slovakia (TI Slovakia)[Note : Transparency International Slovakia, “Government’s protection of whistle-blowers is insufficient,” http://bit.ly/2b3MerA  

Transparency International Slovakia, “Oznamovateľov nekalých praktík chránime len na papieri” (Whistleblowers are protected only on paper), http://bit.ly/2KPDY05 (in Slovak). ]. The limited number of filed requests indicated that public awareness of the existence of the act and how it can be applied in practice is low. TI Slovakia argued at that time that a commitment to protect whistleblowers was largely on paper and the Slovak EU Council Presidency scandal in 2016 over an overpriced tender suggested the situation has not improved. The commitment to raise awareness on whistleblowing was, thus, an important commitment, specific enough to be verifiable as well as impactful if the campaign was to reach large audiences.

However, it is important to mention in this context that when the Ministry and the government had an opportunity to support a whistleblower Zuzana Hlávková[Note : Transparency International Slovakia, “Ako som kvôli pochybným zákazkám odišla z ministerstva zahraničných vecí” (How I left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for shady contracts), Blog.sme.sk, http://bit.ly/2PVWYQj (in Slovak).   ], a former public servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who pointed to suspicious contracts, the government instead belittled her role at the ministry and dismissed her allegations[Note : Michaela Terenzani, “Ex-employee points to overpriced presidency-related orders”, The Slovak Spectator, http://bit.ly/2AptC2e ]. By not responding to Hlávková’s claim, the ministry might have also violated the Whistle-blowers Protection Act. In two years, the ministry was not able to refute the allegations.

The Office for Public Procurement[Note : The Office for Public Procurement, “Prehľad rozhodnutí v konaní o preskúmanie úkonov kontrolovaného podľa zákona č. 343/2015 Z. z.” (Review of decisions in the procedures of the examination of acts controlled under the Act no. 343/2015 Coll.), http://bit.ly/2Alc5YF (in Slovak). ] and Antimonopoly Office concluded that the ministry did not violate the law by choosing negotiations without publication. Nonetheless, it did not refute any allegations about non-transparent processes and overpriced tenders. In 2018 the Supreme Audit Office concluded several violations of the law, e.g. absence of the materials on the scope and prices of the services provided, which should be attached to invoices, contracts not concluded in writing, the absence of arguments why the supplier was chosen over others etc.[Note : The Supreme Audit Office, “Slovensko zvládlo predsedníctvo úspešne, kontrolóri však zistili viacero porušení zákonov” (Slovakia has managed the EU presidency successfully, but the inspectors have identified several violations of the law), http://bit.ly/2DIOswH (in Slovak).  ].

This case suggests that the commitment to raise awareness on whistleblowing will be ineffective in the absence of high-level political commitment. At the same time, although when it comes to actual cases of whistleblowing there is a lack of high-level political support, the government is willing to improve the legislation. As a representative of the Office of the Plenipotentiary mentioned, the new amendment is soon to be approved by the parliament[Note : Interview with Lucia Lacika (The Office of the Plenipotentiary), 25 September and 9 October 2018. See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ]. The amendment of the law has been prepared in a participatory manner. The established working group comprised experts from Alliance Fair-Play, Stop Corruption Foundation and TI Slovakia[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Úradný spravodaj 31. – 32. týždeň 2017” (Official journal 31st – 32nd week of the year 2017), http://bit.ly/2SBIbHm (in Slovak). ].    

Next steps

The Whistle-blowers Protection Act affects the daily lives of citizens. By and large, CSOs have been substituting the role of the state in the topic of whistleblowing. They have been helping whistle-blowers (see the case of Zuzana Hlávková, Ľubica Lapinová[Note : Roman Cuprík, “White crows awarded”, The Slovak Spectator, http://bit.ly/2OZwWpR ] and others[Note : Matúš Burčík, “Fico chce chrániť oznamovateľov korupcie. Ako dopadli tí, čo sa ozvali.” (Fico would like to protect whistle-blowers. What happened to those who were not quiet.), Sme.sk, http://bit.ly/2FIjAip (in Slovak). ]) whereas by the law this should be the role of the labor inspectorates. CSOs also carry out the majority of campaigns[Note : Transparency International Slovakia and Labor Inspectorate, “Praktický manuál ako oznámiť nekalú praktiku a nedoplatiť na to.“ (Manual: how to blow a whistle without repercussions), http://bit.ly/2RrPt02 (in Slovak).] and awareness-raising activities (see the campaign by Stop Corruption Foundation[Note : Stop Corruption Foundation, “Ako oznámiť kampaň” (How to report campaign), http://akooznamit.sk/ (in Slovak). ], TI Slovakia[Note : Transparency International Slovakia, “Kampaň Stojíme za odvážnymi” (We stand for courageous campaign), http://transparency.sk/sk/ZaOdvaznymi/ (in Slovak). ] etc.). The Office of the Plenipotentiary also actively invites whistleblowers for their events. Nonetheless, for the campaigns about whistleblowing to have the effects, the public has to be confident that the daily application of the Whistle-blowers Protection Act is reasonable and rigorous. For that to happen, the government and high-level politicians must change their rhetoric and acknowledge whistleblowers’ contribution to achieving greater accountability. 

IRM End of Term Status Summary

For details on each commitment, see Slovakia Implementation Report 2017-2019.

Commitments

  1. Publish Implementation Plans for Regulations

    SK0126, 2019, E-Government

  2. Regularly Publish Government Datasets

    SK0127, 2019, Access to Information

  3. Publish Data on Use of EU Grant Funding

    SK0128, 2019, Aid

  4. Publish Beneficial Ownership Data

    SK0129, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  5. Educational Resources Portal

    SK0130, 2019, Capacity Building

  6. National Open Science Strategy

    SK0131, 2019, Capacity Building

  7. Continuous Education for Participatory Policymaking

    SK0132, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Report on Public Participation in Lawmaking

    SK0133, 2019, Open Regulations

  9. Civil Society - Government Partnerships

    SK0134, 2019, Subnational

  10. Legislation Materials Portal

    SK0135, 2019, Access to Information

  11. Monitor Fulfillment of the Next Action Plan

    SK0136, 2019,

  12. Open Data Portal

    SK0058, 2017, Access to Information

  13. Submit a Draft Law on Data to the Government.

    SK0059, 2017, Access to Information

  14. Public Administration Employee Training

    SK0060, 2017, Access to Information

  15. Data Publication Standards

    SK0061, 2017, Access to Information

  16. Update Open Data Portal

    SK0062, 2017, Access to Information

  17. Open Data Publication

    SK0063, 2017, Access to Information

  18. Open Data Awareness-Raising

    SK0064, 2017, Access to Information

  19. Survey About Open Data

    SK0065, 2017, Access to Information

  20. Publish Open Data

    SK0066, 2017, Access to Information

  21. Analysis of Open Data

    SK0067, 2017, Access to Information

  22. Open Data Strategy

    SK0068, 2017, Access to Information

  23. Develop Standards for Publicly Available Application Programming Interfaces and Submit Them to the Commission for the Standardization of Information Systems in Public Administration.

    SK0069, 2017, E-Government

  24. Ensure Open Data Publication

    SK0070, 2017, Access to Information

  25. Survey of Public Demand for Application Programming Interfaces

    SK0071, 2017, E-Government

  26. Publish Application Programming Interfaces

    SK0072, 2017, Access to Information

  27. Enable the Disclosure of Source Code and Development Using Open Methods for Newly Developed Plug-Ins and Extensions of Web Browsers and Client Applications.

    SK0073, 2017, Access to Information

  28. Custom-Made Information Systems

    SK0074, 2017, Access to Information

  29. Publish Open Source Software Data

    SK0075, 2017, Access to Information

  30. Study About Open Source Software

    SK0076, 2017, Access to Information

  31. Feasibility Study on NGO Satellite Account

    SK0077, 2017, Access to Information

  32. Define the Minimum Scope and Structure of the Disclosed Data on the Use of European Structural and Investment Funds, the EEA Financial Mechanism, Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Swiss Financial Mechanism and Subsidy Schemes From the State Budget.

    SK0078, 2017, Aid

  33. Publish Financial Data

    SK0079, 2017, Access to Information

  34. Propose Changes to Central Register of Contracts Regulation

    SK0080, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  35. Create Space for the Publication of Local Self-Government (Municipality) Contracts in a Single Central Repository.

    SK0081, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  36. Establish and Operate a Repository of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic for Storage, Long-Term Archiving and Access to Educational Resources.

    SK0082, 2017, Access to Information

  37. Open Education Resources

    SK0083, 2017, Access to Information

  38. Reach Out to Partners Who Have Provided Educational Resources After 2008 to the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic Or to Its Directly Managed OrGanizations, with a Suggestion to Make Educational Resources Available Under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Public License.

    SK0084, 2017, E-Government

  39. Enforce Public Licensing

    SK0085, 2017, Education

  40. Make Educational Resources Available in Local Langage

    SK0086, 2017, Education

  41. Ensure Availability of University Textbooks

    SK0087, 2017, Access to Information

  42. Introduce Specific Rules for Open Publication and the Obligation to Provide Free Access of Selected Publicly Funded Publica-Tions

    SK0088, 2017, Access to Information

  43. Analyze the Possibility of Applying Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Public License As Standard for Selected Works Mandatorily Published in the Central Registry of Theses and Dissertations.

    SK0089, 2017, E-Government

  44. Awareness-Raising About Open Education Resources

    SK0090, 2017, E-Government

  45. Publish the Outcomes of the Approval Process of Educational Resources on the Web-Site of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

    SK0091, 2017, Access to Information

  46. To Introduce the Basic Principles of Open Access to Scientific Publications Under a Public License Under the Operational Program Research and Innovation.

    SK0092, 2017, Access to Information

  47. Ensure the Implementation of Public License Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

    SK0093, 2017, Access to Information

  48. Establish Contact Office for Open Access.

    SK0094, 2017, Access to Information

  49. Establish Conditions for Passportization of Open Research Data Under a Public License and Monitor Its Implementation in Practice.

    SK0095, 2017, Access to Information

  50. Establish and Operate a Repository to Provide Storage, Long-Term Archiving and Ac-Cess to Slovak Scientific and Academic Publications, Research Data and Gray Literature.

    SK0096, 2017, Access to Information

  51. Design Systematic Benchmarking Monitoring Mechanisms for the Measurement and Comparison and Propose Further Analyses Related to Acquiring, Processing and Re-Use of Research Data and Open Access Scientific Publications.

    SK0097, 2017, Access to Information

  52. Raise Awareness About Open Access in Academic Community

    SK0098, 2017, Access to Information

  53. Participate in International Coordination on Open Education Reforms

    SK0099, 2017, Access to Information

  54. Participatory Public Policy

    SK0100, 2017, E-Government

  55. Citizen-Traingin on Public Policy Making

    SK0101, 2017, Capacity Building

  56. Create Engaging Public Policies

    SK0102, 2017, Capacity Building

  57. Government Employee Peer-Exchange

    SK0103, 2017, Capacity Building

  58. Evaluate Identified Participatory Processes of Creation and Implementation of Pub-Lic Policies and Disseminate Examples of Good Practice Based on This Evaluation.

    SK0104, 2017, Capacity Building

  59. Promote Partnership and Dialogue Between Public Authorities, Citizens and NGOs at National, Regional and Local Level in the Area of Participatory Public Policy-Making.

    SK0105, 2017, Capacity Building

  60. Propose a Recommendation of Internal Guidelines on the Use of Free On-Line Tools in Participatory Creation of Public Policies.

    SK0106, 2017, Capacity Building

  61. Create Learning Tools in the Field of Participation.

    SK0107, 2017, Capacity Building

  62. Use Educational Tools About Participation in Formal Education Using Informal Learn-Ing Methods.

    SK0108, 2017, E-Government

  63. Develop Recommendations for Embedding Participatory Processes Into Organiza-Tional Processes, Internal Guidelines and Other Documents for the Needs of Central Government Bodies.

    SK0109, 2017, Capacity Building

  64. Reassess the Implementation of the Publication of Assessments of Judges in Terms of the Clarity and Making Further Analysis Easier

    SK0110, 2017, E-Government

  65. Specify Which Court Decisions Do Not Need to Be Published.

    SK0111, 2017, E-Government

  66. Standardize Submission Requirements for Slov-Lex Portal

    SK0112, 2017, Access to Information

  67. Draft Legislation About the Responsibility of Judges

    SK0113, 2017, E-Government

  68. Draft Legislation to Ensure Public Scrutiny of Judges

    SK0114, 2017, Judiciary

  69. Prepare Legislation That Will Ensure the Publication of the Seat of Office of Individual Prosecutors

    SK0115, 2017, E-Government

  70. Create Draft Legislation to Extend the Right to Recommend Candidates for the Post of Attorney-General.

    SK0116, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  71. Participatory Analysis of Prosecutor's Affairs

    SK0117, 2017, E-Government

  72. In a Participatory Manner, Analyze the Selection Procedures

    SK0118, 2017, Justice

  73. Awareness-Raising About Anti-Social Activities

    SK0119, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  74. Analyze and Evaluate Preliminary Information and Reports on Public Participation in the Process of Drafting and Commenting on Draft Legislation.

    SK0120, 2017, E-Government

  75. Analyze and Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Electronic Collective Petition.

    SK0121, 2017, E-Government

  76. Identify the Person Responsible for Implementing the Tasks of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019 in the Organization.

    SK0122, 2017, E-Government

  77. Coordinate the Working Group on the Implementation of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019.

    SK0123, 2017,

  78. Develop the Final Evaluation of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019.

    SK0124, 2017, E-Government

  79. Prepare and Submit for the Government of the Slovak Republic the OGP National Action Plan for the Following Period.

    SK0125, 2017, E-Government

  80. List of Open Data Datasets

    SK0023, 2015, Access to Information

  81. Publish Open Data

    SK0024, 2015, Access to Information

  82. Survey of Open Data

    SK0025, 2015, Access to Information

  83. Publish Relevant Open Datasets

    SK0026, 2015, Access to Information

  84. Starred commitment Open Data Publication Strategy

    SK0027, 2015, Access to Information

  85. Grant Scheme Open Data Portal

    SK0028, 2015, Access to Information

  86. Web Portal Promotion Campaign

    SK0029, 2015, Access to Information

  87. Evaluate Grant Funding Open Data Application

    SK0030, 2015, Access to Information

  88. Digital Education Resources

    SK0031, 2015, Access to Information

  89. Map Existing Repositories

    SK0032, 2015, Access to Information

  90. Analyze Procurement Process for Education Resources

    SK0033, 2015, Access to Information

  91. Textbook Procurement Process

    SK0034, 2015, Access to Information

  92. Pilot Procurement Process

    SK0035, 2015, Access to Information

  93. Raise Awareness of Education Resources

    SK0036, 2015, Access to Information

  94. Join Multilateral Activities in Europe and Beyond That Support the Creation, Improvement, Sharing and Re-Use of Open Educational Resources.

    SK0037, 2015, Access to Information

  95. Map Existing Scientific Repositories

    SK0038, 2015, Access to Information

  96. Identify Barriers to Open Data Access

    SK0039, 2015, Access to Information

  97. Submit Analysis of Open Data Publication

    SK0040, 2015, Access to Information

  98. Data Publication Mechanism

    SK0041, 2015, Access to Information

  99. Raise Awareness About Open Access in Academic Community

    SK0042, 2015, Access to Information

  100. Assist Other Countries with Open Access Strategy

    SK0043, 2015, Access to Information

  101. Participatory Policy-Making

    SK0044, 2015, Open Regulations

  102. Workshops on Public Involvement in Policymaking

    SK0045, 2015, Capacity Building

  103. Starred commitment Develop Public Policy with Civil Society

    SK0047, 2015, Civic Space

  104. Starred commitment Develop Criteria for Evaluating Participation in Policymaking

    SK0048, 2015, Open Regulations

  105. Evaluate Policy Creation

    SK0049, 2015, Open Regulations

  106. Map Legislative Environments

    SK0050, 2015, Legislative

  107. Carry Out a Public Campaign to Promote the Collective Electronic Petitions.

    SK0051, 2015, Capacity Building

  108. Publish Evaluation of Justices

    SK0052, 2015, Judiciary

  109. Analyze Publication of Judicial Decisions

    SK0053, 2015, Judiciary

  110. Uniform Reporting of Judicial Decisions

    SK0054, 2015, Judiciary

  111. Publish List of Names of Prosecutors

    SK0055, 2015, Judiciary

  112. Final Evaluation of OGP Action Plan

    SK0056, 2015,

  113. Develop Next Action Plan

    SK0057, 2015,

  114. Starred commitment Open Data Portal Launch

    SK0001, 2012, Access to Information

  115. Publishing Datasets

    SK0002, 2012, Access to Information

  116. Datasets Mapping

    SK0003, 2012, Access to Information

  117. Data Standards

    SK0004, 2012, Access to Information

  118. Improved Register of Contracts

    SK0005, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  119. Starred commitment Continuous Dataset Publising

    SK0006, 2012, Access to Information

  120. Starred commitment ITMS Dataset

    SK0007, 2012, Access to Information

  121. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring

    SK0008, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  122. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring – Prepare Tender for Web Application

    SK0009, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  123. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring – Portal Launch

    SK0010, 2012, E-Government

  124. Participatory Policy Making

    SK0011, 2012, Capacity Building

  125. Starred commitment Apply Participatory Policy Making

    SK0012, 2012, Open Regulations

  126. Lawmaking Public Participation Rules

    SK0013, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  127. Participatory Policy Making

    SK0014, 2012, Open Regulations

  128. Collective e-Petitions

    SK0015, 2012, E-petitions

  129. Collective e-Petitions – Draft Amendment

    SK0016, 2012, E-petitions

  130. OGP Steering Committee

    SK0017, 2012,

  131. Transparency Council and Openess Barometer

    SK0018, 2012, Access to Information

  132. Develop Criteria for Transparency Council and Openess Barometer

    SK0019, 2012, Access to Information

  133. Conduct First Evaluation Using Openess Barometer

    SK0020, 2012, Access to Information

  134. Whistleblowers Protection Act

    SK0021, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  135. 2014-2015 Action Plan Development

    SK0022, 2012,

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