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Pirates want ČEZ power utility to release its contracts

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Prague, Jan 3 (CTK) – The Pirate Party has submitted a draft amendment to the law on the online register of contracts cancelling the exemption from the duty to release its contracts in the central register for the giant power utility CEZ and other state-run and state-controlled firms, it announced on Wednesday.

The present version of the law enables to completely hide data on possible bad contracts from the public, the Pirates said.

The new amendment would ensure that the public has access to data on contracts signed by state-controlled firms worth billions of crowns a year, they said.

Czech lawmakers approved the exemptions from the law in the previous election term that ended last autumn.

“The exemptions concerned organisations in which corruption is the biggest threat and which have been notorious for the links between business and politics. This is the case of for example the CEZ,” said Jakub Michalek, head of the Pirates lower house group.

Under the present legislation, the CEZ does not have to release any of its contracts.

The Pirates dismiss the argument that the competitiveness of these firms would be threatened. “Politicians had made up this argument as a simple excuse to defend before the public the exemptions they approved under the pressure of lobbyists. Trade secrets of course need not be released after this amendment,” Michalek said.

Under the final version of the law that took effect in mid-2016, all contracts worth more than 50,000 crowns must be released in the register and all contracts not released in the register will be invalid. Last year, parliament passed the amendment introducing exemptions from the law.

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