The Igor Matovič government first had to decide for itself whether it even wanted to set up the Office for the Protection of Whistleblowers, but the first results can be seen today, says the head of the Office, Zuzana Dlugošová.
Why did you want to head the Office for the Protection of Whistleblowers?
I considered the idea of setting up this Office to be very beneficial. The state should protect people speaking out about corruption or other serious violations of the law.
Those who choose to do the right thing and report unfair practices face many pressures, threats or unfair penalties, and there has been no similar institution to stand up for them. It was a personal challenge for me, so I decided to apply for the post.
Now that the Office is up and running, I can say that people are really starting to turn to us, and we can really help many of them, which is great. For example, one of the whistleblowers told us that he had been considering for a long time whether he would report his suspicions, and he was only convinced by the news that the Office had been established.
The search for the head of this Office was somewhat a pioneering experience when it comes to transparent selection procedures. You were grilled several times. How did it feel?
It was a kind of pressure but, for the greater good, it was beneficial and legitimate for the best candidate to be chosen.