Transparency International Hungary’s (TI) most recent study, supported by the Dutch Embassy in Budapest, reveals: Absent adequate regulation, public officials working in the private sector and businessmen working in public administration can breed abuses of office, profiteering, and undue influence.
Transparency International maintains that the movement of employees between the two sectors is completely natural, yet the international anti-corruption organisation warns of its risks also. For example, a high-ranking public official may abuse the powers of his office by favouring a certain company, thus securing himself a future job with that company. Or a former public official now working for a private company may influence his former colleagues to reach a decision in favour of his current employer in a public procurement tender or when granting authorisations. It can be equally risky when an authority in charge of regulation and oversight of a market hires decision-makers and advisors from the companies it supervises and legislation is shaped by their interests.
The study accounts the reasons for the revolving door phenomenon, the risks of corruption, domestic, foreign and international regulations, and the specificities of the Hungarian business sector. It also advances recommendations for certain actors of the public and private sector for solving the issue. The study establishes that the demand of economic enterprises for professionals well versed in politics arises out of helplessness in the face of politics and fickle legislation.
“The revolving door phenomenon must be regulated to avoid the public administration becoming slave to private interests,” emphasized Noémi Alexa, CEO of TI. The anti corruption policy recently passed by Parliament touches on the phenomenon only tangentially.
TI is thus prepared to aid the work of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, which is in charge of action against corruption, and to inform noted figures of the business sector of the results.