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Local officials oppose public access to property statements

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Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) – The property statements of mayors and municipal councillors should not be available to the public and only the supervising bodies and possibly the police should have access to them, Czech Association of Towns and Municipalities head Frantisek Lukl said on Thursday.

The Association will call on the government and parliament to change the law on the conflict of interest in this respect, Lukl told a conference organised by the Association.

Unless the law is amended, local politicians may fall victim to everyday envy and maybe even blackmail and theft, he said.

Lukl also said the local authorities may become paralysed because people will not be willing to occupy the post due to the law.

The Czech Association of Local Self-Rule Authorities want the law on the conflict of interest to be amended, too. According to its proposal, people would have to apply to get access to the property statement of a local politician and present their reasons for their request and the given politician would be informed about it.

Lukl also said checks in a given municipality are sometimes carried out repeatedly, by several institutions. Outgoing Finance Minister Ivan Pilny (ANO) supported the view that such duplicate checks should not be carried out.

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court (US) decided that the right to information in the public interest is not absolute and that the circumstances always need to be considered when providing information about the pay of public officials.

The US dealt with a case of municipal officials from Zlin, south Moravia, who complained against the fact that the municipal authorities provided data about their salaries and bonuses to a civic association.

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