Final Word from Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Endowment Fund against Corruption is pushing a proposal for requiring thewinning bidder of a public contract, and all its subsuppliers on the contract, to discloseits final owners. Requiring the winners to "strip bare" is the only way to learnwho the final owners are, the Fund says. Critics, such as lawyer Daniel Weinhold,say this would do more to harass honest bidders than to foil corruption. The red tapewould be so great, Weinhold told Česká pozice, that some contenders couldn't participate,leading to fewer bids and worse prices. The irony is that the Fund's proposalprobably wouldn't have stopped the Fund's new nemesis, Cokeville Assets, fromskimming 17 hellers from every Prague transit ticket. The kind of consulting contractCokeville had with DP Praha is an easy way to siphon off money without technicallybeing a subsupplier. Only insiders, and not a new law, can expose such shenanigans.

Glossary of difficult words

bare - naked; 

to harass - to subject to aggressive pressure or intimidation; 

to foil - to prevent from succeeding; 

Česká pozice - sorry, we could not provide a direct link to the article due to an encoding problem in the use of Czech quotation marks in the address; 

red tape - excessive bureaucracy or adherence to rules and formalities; 

nemesis - opponent, adversary; 

to skim - to steal or embezzle money, esp. in small amounts over a period of time; 

shenanigans - secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering.

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