“Although we would address the stricter protection of whistleblowers anyway in connection with the planned implementation of the anti-corruption system according to the relevant ISO standards, I am glad that thanks to the activities of the European Union, the Office is already working on it,” said Adam Zábranský (Pirates). . In response to the directive, his office offered (not only) employees several communication channels for reporting “unfairness”. written and e-mail forms, personal or telephone contact with authorized officials also application suitable at the address https://praha.whistlee.online/#/whistleblower.
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After entering the electronic form, it is possible to write a brief and detailed description of the notification, attach an attachment and provide personal data (this is also optional). The notification must be examined within three months of the acknowledgment of receipt, and the notifier will be notified of the measures taken. In an effort to raise awareness of the existence of the directive and its meaning, the “Grand City Hall” is also preparing staff training. During the roughly two weeks of operation of the municipal notification channels, no suggestions have yet been received.
The EU directive does not apply to municipal contributory organizations or companies with a city shareholding. For example, the joint-stock company ICT Operator voluntarily launched its own ethics line in December, which is open to employees, partners and the public. Its online form is even more sophisticated than the municipal form, requesting, among other things, “the persons and witnesses concerned. “You can use the Ethics Line on suspicion of committing a crime or misdemeanor by our company, violation of internal policies and procedures, suspicion of violation of personal data protection and computer network security, but also, for example, bullying, harassment and general discrimination in the workplace,” he said. OICT Director Michal Fišer.
In practice, the recent obligation of local authorities to ensure “safe channels” means that the notification must not be dealt with by a person associated with the municipality’s management or by someone who has a conflict of interest with the municipalities. The notifier information is not stored anywhere and individual submissions are encrypted before archiving. In addition, at least one of the communication methods offered should allow for 100% anonymity of the notifier. “In our case, it is a physical box in the town hall building, to which complaints can be submitted for about a year. You can contact the authorized person by phone, email or in person. With the launch of an electronic application, we are still waiting for a new law that should clarify this issue, “Martin Vokuš, a spokesman for Prague 7, told the Prague daily. The forthcoming Czech legislation could further tighten the protection of whistleblowers and extend it to contributory organizations or smaller local governments. But it will probably not take effect until next year.
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Help with the technological solution in the form of a simple application was offered by local governments to two startup companies – Munipolis, which operates the “Mobile Radio” service, which uses town halls to communicate with citizens, and Don’t Let It Be (NNTB), which developed a “digital mailbox”. The project, which originally focused mainly on bullying in schools, now operates under the name FaceUp.com in 25 language versions and is widely used by whistleblowers in larger companies.
“Our Mobile Radio platform clearly shows how important it is to set aside constructive communication, which has a chance to solve problems and move life in the local government forward, into a separate channel,” said Ondřej Švrček, the author of Mobile Radio. “And I definitely don’t have to end it for the municipalities just by fulfilling the legal obligation at the office. We can already see today how the sharing of problems by citizens also has a positive impact on life in the village. Mini-referenda, polls, but also reporting shortcomings through civic suggestions, all this creates a sense of mutual belonging and trust in the village, “he added.
Municipalities that already use Mobile Radio as Prague 7 can activate a “secure channel” via its interface, which connects to the NNTB communication platform. So far, about two dozen Czech local governments have used the offer.