So the politicians will play fair

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In 2008 Slovakia traded emissions shares to a shell company with an estimated loss of 66 million euros. Despite of a serious case, the investigation has been stopped. Fair-Play Alliance came with new important information and published it in 2014.

 

They found out that a Swiss prosecution collaborated in 2012 and provided information about a high state official to Slovakia. The official should have enriched himself. Due to Fair-Play the files included the identity, bank accounts and questioned bank transfers. General prosecution of the SR firstly claimed that the files didn’t include such information and haven’t investigate further.

That’s why Fair-Play Alliance made a complaint. At the same time, they made an appeal and asked citizens to help put pressure on prosecution and asked it to publish results. They created an online petition signed by more than 1,300 people. Alliance also invited deputies and a president to demand explanation of prosecution. In September 2014 a special prosecutor confirmed they have the information questioned – supposedly no official but a person with a political history was involved.

Emissions case is one of those that Fair-Play Alliance helps solve within the project Public officials in the limelight. “Alliance is a civil watch-dog over a public executive based on a condition that systematic civil control makes an effective barrier to prevent corruption and power abuse,”.says Pavol Lacko, organization’s investigative team member.

Activities a watch-dog deals with are very differing. Except for uncovering cases the alliance publishes its conclusions in media, engages and mobilises the public, controls and looks over public institutions activities and tries to reach an effective remedy. To achieve that they use innovative technological tools like Datanest and Open Contracts. These collect and publish open data of a state, public or self-government institutions in a reachable way. This is how the alliance helps public to control over their economical behaviour, staffing, etc.

“We find one political party governance and its influence over public institutions as well as delicate law enforcement and opposition quite risky and we think there is a capable counterweight needed,” Lacko says. And the alliance brings this, which achieved results prove. Since the project started running, they’ve sent 150 information requests, spoke for media on current cases, organized 5 campaigns, made 2 complaints and more other accusations and appeals. Finally, they also participated in 15 meetings focused to create or edit a law.

About the organization Fair-Play Alliance is a long-running counterweight to executive. It is a typical non-profit non-party organisation founded by a former journalist Zuzana Wienk in 2002. They’ve helped discover or put forward cases like fictional donors of SDKÚ party, notice-board tender, emissions or Váhostav. They contributed to a fall of Štefan Harabin, publish politicians’ property at politikaopen.sk, support Hedviga Malinová and together with VIA IURIS search for and award brave citizens – Biele vrany (White Crows).Besides the alliance stresses systemic problems and specific political failures, it also tries to control of being liable and bring up the ideas to change a dysfunctional law.

Area: Democracy, good governance and transparency            Call: 1
Project started:                                                                              Amount: 105 000,00 €
Website: fair-play.sk                                                                     contact: fairplay@fair-play.sk

Author: Mirka Grófová 1.10.2015

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