Šaľa has been declared the most transparent municipality in Slovakia for 2012, receiving again the accolade it gained in 2010. The result stems from the Open Municipality list compiled by anti-corruption NGO Transparency International Slovensko (TIS). In second was Martin, followed by Rožňava, according to TIS.
“Šaľa got 83 out of 100 points, which is an excellent result,” said TIS head Gabriel Šípoš, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that all the results of the municipalities which placed in the top eight were good.
The biggest jumper in the chart was Smižany, which improved its position from 99th to 6th place, according to the TIS press release.
The list, which evaluates the 100 biggest municipalities in Slovakia, showed that altogether the transparency of towns and villages surveyed has improved during the past two years. The improvement was partly affected by new legislation and changes the municipalities have implemented, particularly regarding the publication of reports from council meetings, the TIS press release stated.
Compared to 2010, when the evaluation took place for the last time, municipalities improved their average score from 40 to 49 points.
“The evaluation took us roughly three months, and [was] really complex,” Šípoš said, adding that altogether 111 indicators in 11 areas were assessed, including actions affecting property, the carrying out tenders, distribution of subsidies, publication of various documentation, etc.
One of the most sensitive issues is the hiring of new employees, which is often criticised by the public, among whom it is widely believed jobs go to the relatives of existing officials rather than on the basis of qualifications, Šípoš said.
He added that according to the surveys, every third citizen assumes that there is corruption in their municipality. Yet compared to some other state institutions, municipalities are still more trusted, Šípoš told TASR.
Sources: TIS press release, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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