Final Word from Friday, March 12, 2010

Even if you don't want to sell IT systems to Czech government agencies or delivery vans to the post office, corruption in the public-procurement process should interest you. The billions of crowns stolen every year are raising your taxes, decreasing the quality of education, creating potholes in the streets and spreading an attitude of corrupt behavior into the private sector. Kickbacks in media buying and company procurement in the private sector are raising the prices consumers pay for goods and services and reducing the money available for maintaining employment. ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek told a gathering of businesspeople this week that if someone isn't happy that the bribe or kickback has risen from 5-7% to an untenable 15-20%, both the givers and the takers need to reach a new agreement. "Yes, reduce it to 0%" should be the clear message of those who ultimately pay the cost of corruption.[Czech Republic information technology bribery]

Glossary of difficult words

IT - information technology, esp. computers and telecommunications;

public procurement - the acquisition of goods and services by governments;

pothole - a depression or hollow in a road surface caused by wear or sinking of the land;

kickback - a payment made to someone who has facilitated a transaction or appointment, esp. illicitly;

untenable - unsustainable; unjustified.


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