NEWS

It takes two to tango

Your first report indicates that disciplinary procedures are slow, and that punishments are inversely proportional to the seriousness of the crimes. What do you think is to blame? The disciplinary process is indeed faulty. Disciplinary councils function within the services themselves and the judges have good relations with those they are judging, and so are extremely lenient. Those in charge are hesitant about initiating an inspection, the procedures are time-consuming and evidence is often lost or it is difficult to pinpoint specific instances. I will refer to a typical example. An employee made a false statement that a certain person was disabled, allowing him to be granted a license for a car for the disabled. The employee admitted lying and his pay was docked for 10 days, even though the particular offense is punishable by imprisonment. How many employees have been charged? We have had an average of about 80 disciplinary actions a month and in the past two months, four people have been dismissed. For me, the worst problem is the «little envelopes» passed under the table to hospital doctors. I have received many anonymous charges, but not one by name. Everyone likes to talk about corruption, but every act of bribery requires two people. When I ask them to tell me the name of the doctor involved, usually a surgeon, or any other civil servant who has asked for an under-the-table payment, they clam up. I tell them: «If the operation was already over, why did you give the doctor the bribe?» They reply, «We might need him again,» as if there weren’t any other doctors. We like to gossip, but we don’t like to be active citizens. It’s terrible.