The FCPA and most laws like it only target bribe payers and not bribe takers. Crooked public officials slip through the net and keep pressuring foreign investors to pay up.
So prosecuting bribe-taking public officials removes demand and helps companies stay straight. That’s why we like what’s happening in the Czech Republic.
As reported last month in the Prague Daily Monitor, some prominent private citizens there created a fund that rewards whistleblowers who report suspected corruption in the federal government.
The first two cash awards went to Libor Michalek, former head of the State Environmental Fund, who exposed alleged corruption at the Environment Ministry, and Ondrej Zavodsky, at the Interior Ministry. They received about $30,000 and $15,000 respectively.
The private fund, according to the Daily Monitor, was set up in November by Karel Janecek, a venture capitalist in life sciences. He’s since been joined by brewery owner Stanislav Bernard, actor Jan Kraus, economist Tomas Sedlacek, and former intelligence service chief Karel Randak.
The new fund is also seeking changes to Czech law that would “build ethical values in a democratic society,” according to its press release.