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Slovak Republic

awareness-raising about anti-social activities (SK0119)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Active

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

Legislation & Regulation, Whistleblower Protections

IRM Review

IRM Report: Slovakia Design Report 2017–2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

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. 


Slovak Republic's Commitments

  1. Open Data Portal

    SK0058, 2017, Open Data

  2. Submit a draft law on data to the Government.

    SK0059, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  3. public administration employee training

    SK0060, 2017, Capacity Building

  4. data publication standards

    SK0061, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. update open data portal

    SK0062, 2017, Open Data

  6. open data publication

    SK0063, 2017, Open Data

  7. open data awareness-raising

    SK0064, 2017, Open Data

  8. survey about open data

    SK0065, 2017, E-Government

  9. publish open data

    SK0066, 2017, Open Data

  10. analysis of open data

    SK0067, 2017, Open Data

  11. open data strategy

    SK0068, 2017, Open Data

  12. 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

  13. ensure open data publication

    SK0070, 2017, Open Data

  14. survey of public demand for Application Programming Interfaces

    SK0071, 2017, E-Government

  15. publish Application Programming Interfaces

    SK0072, 2017, Open Data

  16. 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, Open Data

  17. custom-made information systems

    SK0074, 2017, Open Data

  18. publish open source software data

    SK0075, 2017, Open Data

  19. Study about open source software

    SK0076, 2017, Open Data

  20. Feasibility study on NGO satellite account

    SK0077, 2017, Civic Space

  21. Define the minimum scope and structure of the disclosed data on the use of Euro-pean 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

  22. publish financial data

    SK0079, 2017, Aid

  23. propose changes to Central Register of Contracts regulation

    SK0080, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  24. Create space for the publication of local self-government (municipality) contracts in a single central repository.

    SK0081, 2017, Open Contracting and Procurement

  25. 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, E-Government

  26. open education Resources

    SK0083, 2017, E-Government

  27. 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 or-ganizations, with a suggestion to make educational resources available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) public license.

    SK0084, 2017, E-Government

  28. enforce public licensing

    SK0085, 2017, Education

  29. make educational resources available in local langage

    SK0086, 2017, Education

  30. ensure availability of university textbooks

    SK0087, 2017, E-Government

  31. introduce specific rules for open publication and the obligation to provide free access of selected publicly funded publica-tions

    SK0088, 2017, E-Government

  32. 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 Dis-sertations.

    SK0089, 2017, E-Government

  33. awareness-raising about open education resources

    SK0090, 2017, E-Government

  34. 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, E-Government

  35. To introduce the basic principles of Open Access to scientific publications under a public license under the Operational Program Research and Innovation.

    SK0092, 2017, E-Government

  36. Ensure the implementation of public license Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

    SK0093, 2017, Open Data

  37. Establish Contact Office for Open Access.

    SK0094, 2017, Open Data

  38. Establish conditions for passportization of open research data under a public license and monitor its implementation in practice.

    SK0095, 2017, E-Government

  39. 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, Open Data

  40. 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, E-Government

  41. raise awareness about Open Access in academic community

    SK0098, 2017, Education

  42. participate in international coordination on open education reforms

    SK0099, 2017, Education

  43. participatory public policy

    SK0100, 2017, E-Government

  44. citizen-traingin on public policy making

    SK0101, 2017, Capacity Building

  45. create engaging public policies

    SK0102, 2017, Capacity Building

  46. government employee peer-exchange

    SK0103, 2017, Capacity Building

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. Propose a recommendation of internal guidelines on the use of free on-line tools in participatory creation of public policies.

    SK0106, 2017, Capacity Building

  50. Create learning tools in the field of participation.

    SK0107, 2017, Capacity Building

  51. Use educational tools about participation in formal education using informal learn-ing methods.

    SK0108, 2017, E-Government

  52. 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

  53. Reassess the implementation of the publication of assessments of judges in terms of the clarity and making further analysis easier

    SK0110, 2017, E-Government

  54. Specify which court decisions do not need to be published.

    SK0111, 2017, E-Government

  55. Standardize submission requirements for Slov-Lex portal

    SK0112, 2017, Capacity Building

  56. draft legislation about the responsibility of judges

    SK0113, 2017, E-Government

  57. draft legislation to ensure public scrutiny of judges

    SK0114, 2017, Judiciary

  58. Prepare legislation that will ensure the publication of the seat of office of individual prosecutors

    SK0115, 2017, E-Government

  59. Create draft legislation to extend the right to recommend candidates for the post of Attorney-General.

    SK0116, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  60. participatory analysis of prosecutor's affairs

    SK0117, 2017, E-Government

  61. In a participatory manner, analyze the selection procedures

    SK0118, 2017, Justice

  62. awareness-raising about anti-social activities

    SK0119, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  63. Analyze and evaluate preliminary information and reports on public participation in the process of drafting and commenting on draft legislation.

    SK0120, 2017, E-Government

  64. Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the Electronic Collective Petition.

    SK0121, 2017, E-Government

  65. Identify the person responsible for implementing the tasks of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019 in the organization.

    SK0122, 2017, E-Government

  66. Coordinate the Working Group on the implementation of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019.

    SK0123, 2017, OGP

  67. Develop the final evaluation of the OGP National Action Plan 2017-2019.

    SK0124, 2017, E-Government

  68. Prepare and submit for the Government of the Slovak Republic the OGP National Action Plan for the following period.

    SK0125, 2017, E-Government

  69. List of open data datasets

    SK0023, 2015, E-Government

  70. Publish open data

    SK0024, 2015, E-Government

  71. Survey of open data

    SK0025, 2015, Open Data

  72. Publish relevant open datasets

    SK0026, 2015, E-Government

  73. Starred commitment open data publication strategy

    SK0027, 2015, Open Data

  74. Grant scheme open data portal

    SK0028, 2015, E-Government

  75. web portal promotion campaign

    SK0029, 2015, E-Government

  76. Evaluate grant funding open data application

    SK0030, 2015, E-Government

  77. Digital education resources

    SK0031, 2015, Education

  78. Map existing repositories

    SK0032, 2015, Education

  79. Analyze procurement process for education resources

    SK0033, 2015, E-Government

  80. Textbook procurement process

    SK0034, 2015, E-Government

  81. Pilot procurement process

    SK0035, 2015, E-Government

  82. Raise awareness of education resources

    SK0036, 2015, Education

  83. Join multilateral activities in Europe and beyond that support the creation, improvement, sharing and re-use of open educational resources.

    SK0037, 2015, Education

  84. Map existing scientific repositories

    SK0038, 2015, Open Data

  85. Identify barriers to open data access

    SK0039, 2015, Open Data

  86. Submit analysis of open data publication

    SK0040, 2015, Open Data

  87. data publication mechanism

    SK0041, 2015, E-Government

  88. Raise awareness about Open Access in academic community

    SK0042, 2015, Capacity Building

  89. Assist other countries with open access strategy

    SK0043, 2015, E-Government

  90. participatory policy-making

    SK0044, 2015, Public Participation

  91. Workshops on public involvement in policymaking

    SK0045, 2015, Capacity Building

  92. Starred commitment Develop public policy with civil society

    SK0047, 2015, Civic Space

  93. Starred commitment develop criteria for evaluating participation in policymaking

    SK0048, 2015, Public Participation

  94. Evaluate policy creation

    SK0049, 2015, Public Participation

  95. map legislative environments

    SK0050, 2015, Legislature

  96. Carry out a public campaign to promote the Collective Electronic Petitions.

    SK0051, 2015, Capacity Building

  97. publish evaluation of justices

    SK0052, 2015, Judiciary

  98. Analyze publication of judicial decisions

    SK0053, 2015, Judiciary

  99. Uniform reporting of judicial decisions

    SK0054, 2015, Judiciary

  100. publish list of names of prosecutors

    SK0055, 2015, Judiciary

  101. Final evaluation of OGP action plan

    SK0056, 2015, OGP

  102. Develop next action plan

    SK0057, 2015, OGP

  103. Starred commitment Open Data Portal Launch

    SK0001, 2012, Open Data

  104. Publishing Datasets

    SK0002, 2012, Open Data

  105. Datasets Mapping

    SK0003, 2012, Open Data

  106. Data Standards

    SK0004, 2012, Open Data

  107. Improved Register of Contracts

    SK0005, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

  108. Starred commitment Continuous Dataset Publising

    SK0006, 2012, Open Data

  109. Starred commitment ITMS Dataset

    SK0007, 2012, Open Data

  110. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring

    SK0008, 2012, Fiscal Transparency

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

    SK0009, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  112. EU Funds and Subsidies Monitoring – Portal Launch

    SK0010, 2012, E-Government

  113. Participatory Policy Making

    SK0011, 2012, Capacity Building

  114. Starred commitment Apply Participatory Policy Making

    SK0012, 2012, Public Participation

  115. Lawmaking Public Participation Rules

    SK0013, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  116. Participatory Policy Making

    SK0014, 2012, Public Participation

  117. Collective e-Petitions

    SK0015, 2012,

  118. Collective e-Petitions – Draft Amendment

    SK0016, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  119. OGP Steering Committee

    SK0017, 2012, OGP

  120. Transparency Council and Openess Barometer

    SK0018, 2012, Capacity Building

  121. Develop criteria for Transparency Council and Openess Barometer

    SK0019, 2012, Capacity Building

  122. Conduct First Evaluation Using Openess Barometer

    SK0020, 2012, Capacity Building

  123. Whistleblowers Protection Act

    SK0021, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  124. 2014-2015 Action Plan Development

    SK0022, 2012, OGP