About project

The aim of this project is to inform the citizens and politicians about the level of transparency of local governments in the one hundred largest cities and towns in the Czech Republic. The extent to which citizens are informed about the internal affairs in their municipality differs greatly from town to town, and the law sets a low standard for the towns in this respect. Yet as regards the availability of information, the public is used to higher standards in the 21st century. When it comes to informing the public, the standard in some towns cannot compare to the one in others. We aim to support those towns that want to lead by example.

Therefore, we bring an overview of how the individual towns rank in the following four key areas of transparency:

  • openness of local governments (transparency towards the citizens),
  • public procurement contracts (transparency towards the contractors in public contracts),
  • municipal newspapers (transparency towards the readers),
  • protection of whistleblowers (transparency towards the municipal employees suspecting illegitimate or unethical conduct).

Our current rating reflects data from the reference period 2022/2023. Each town is rated based on particular transparency indicators that enable us to get an objective view on the level and quality of the current practice. Examples of towns that ranked higher as well as specific recommendations can inspire the towns and thus contribute to improving the quality of democracy in the Czech Republic.

How did we obtain the data?

Several analyses have been carried out since 2022 that enabled us to obtain data for this project. However, we went even further in this respect and in September 2023, we gave the towns an opportunity to comment on each question and the related rating. The evaluation was then discussed with representatives of the individual towns and the data were updated accordingly in order to be correct. This standard ensures a high level of correctness and means that the towns were involved in the actual evaluation process.

INTRODUCTION to the individual evaluated areas:


Web pages of individual municipalities constitute the main communication platform used by towns, and they thus also serve as the main tool for evaluating the transparency of individual municipal governments. Unlike the other social networks or printed periodicals, the municipal web pages make it possible to publish even voluminous documents that serve as a basis for decision making within the municipal authority. The local government and the town council, including their advisory and initiating bodies (commissions and committees), have a broad range of possibilities how to present not only their contact information and responsibilities on the municipal web page, but also the entire decision-making process, from materials through discussion to argumentation of the individual bodies, municipal representatives, and elected parties. Many towns already have an open local government, yet numerous towns are more likely to just pretend openness, or they even do not consider it important. The opinion that “nobody is interested anyway” is often accompanied by an apathetic attitude of the town hall with respect to ensuring the accessibility of information for the citizens who are interested in their town and who want to vote in the next election based on their opinion on facts, not based on gossip and PR communication. Not to mention the journalists or opposition candidates during pre-election periods. Since such documents usually already exist, the administrative burden linked to their publishing is virtually close to zero.


Municipal newspapers constitute an important communication tool. They have high readership and considerably influence what the citizens think about developments in their town. They usually do not have to make profit to keep in operation, as they are financed from the municipal budget. Thanks to the fact that they are financed from public funding and that they have an exclusive access to information straight from the town hall, they usually have no competition at all. The purpose of the municipal newspapers is to inform the citizens about local issues that are not interesting enough for commercial media or national public service media to report on them. In the long term, the main problem of municipal newspapers lies in the fact that they do not sufficiently serve the local community that funds its publishing; moreover, the town halls often misuse the municipal newspapers for its uncritical self-presentation. By doing so, they contribute to the deformation of political processes and to limiting the plurality of opinions, political force, and the public debate. At the same time, they can also contribute to a decrease in the number of independent media as they take away their readers and advertisers.


The evaluation of transparency in the area of public procurement contracts is based on an open evaluation Zindex.cz. The methodology used for the evaluation is described here and has been repeatedly tested throughout the years by being applied to various types of contracting authorities.

For the purpose of our evaluation of the “contracting authorities’ openness towards the contractors”, greater weight was given to two sub-criteria, namely the “number of bids” criterion (more info about the calculation here) and the “quality of data in the contracting authority’s profile” criterion (more info here). Both criteria are related to contracting authorities’ (the towns) ability to inform and to get the market interested in their public procurement contracts.

Especially as regards informing the market via the contracting authority’s profile, the minimal level of transparency set by the law is very low, as the law obliges the contracting authority to inform the market only about future contracts over 2 million CZK excluding VAT for goods and services and over 6 million CZK excluding VAT for construction work. This means that the market and the public are informed about how the contracting authority chooses the contractors under these limits only ex post, or if the contracting authority voluntarily publishes even planned contracts not stipulated by the law. It is therefore desirable to observe which contracting authorities publish information about its contracts only as stipulated by the law, and which strive for greater competition even when it comes to smaller public procurement contracts.


Since December 17, 2021, when the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law entered into force, all municipalities with more than 10 000 inhabitants have a new obligation to protect persons reporting infringements and to establish an internal notification system for this purpose. This obligation is further specified by Act No. 171/2023 Coll. on the protection of whistleblowers. However, there is a significant difference between formally fulfilling this legal obligation and establishing a truly functional system for protecting whistleblowers. Certain indicators already clearly show which obliged entities take this challenge to protect whistleblowers seriously and are determined to protect their town hall from corruption or to improve the working environment for their employees.

Muchova 232/13, 160 00 Praha 6
+420 608 732 091, oziveni@oziveni.cz
IČ: 67 36 53 53, DIČ: CZ 67 36 53 53

Oživení is a team of lawyers and analysts who provide advice to representatives of local authorities on a daily basis. We are therefore familiar with problems most frequently encountered by these representatives, and we help them to prevent situations that could possibly lead to their political, criminal, or civil-legal liability. We support examples of good practice across the country and promote legislation that supports transparency.