15 years of the CBA
More than 1,300 officers and employees of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau are celebrating Service Day for the first time today. Every day, they investigate, analyse, control, detect, combat, cooperate, monitor, educate, protect, prevent, but above all they serve the citizens and the State.
The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau was established by the Act of 9 June 2006. It was a response to the absence of an anti-corruption body that would comprehensively fight corruption crime. Similar solutions were applied in other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands or within the European Union - in 1999, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was created. The establishment of the CBA was also the implementation of the provisions of Article 6 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 31 October 2003, which obliged Poland to institute a specialised anti-corruption agency.
The CBA has the status of a special service, competent for combating corruption in state institutions and local governments, as well as public and economic life, and activities detrimental to the economic interests of the state.
The Bureau's activities are based on four pillars:
1) operational intelligence and investigative activities,
2) control activities,
3) analytical activities,
4) corruption prevention.
Under the first pillar, the tasks of the CBA include the identification, prevention and detection of offences. Annually, the CBA conducts approximately 500 operational cases and over 570 pre-trial investigations. The second pillar is connected with verification of the accuracy and truthfulness of asset declarations or declarations on the conduct of economic activities by persons performing public functions, as well as with the detection of cases of non-compliance with the procedures set forth in the provisions of the law within the scope of making and implementing decisions on, inter alia, privatisation and commercialisation, financial support and awarding of public procurement contracts. Each year, the CBA carries out approximately 160 inspections, nearly 790 pre-inspection analyses and over 1,360 inspection cases. The third pillar refers to analytical activities concerning phenomena occurring in the area of the CBA's competence as well as to the presentation of information within this scope to the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic of Poland, the Sejm and the Senate. The Bureau carries out criminal analyses, analytical cases, verifies declarations of no conflict of interest and conducts activities within the framework of an anti-corruption shield. The analyses concern mainly the most important privatisation processes and public procurements, as well as threats to the implementation of government programmes and the use of EU funds. For several years, the analytical and information activities of the CBA have also focused on phenomena occurring in the pharmaceutical and IT markets. In connection with the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, by order of the Minister Coordinator of Special Services, the Bureau provided anti-corruption cover for the Polish Development Fund (PFR) Financial Shield addressed to large entrepreneurs.
The Bureau also conducts a number of preventive and educational activities, cooperating in this field with national and international institutions, according to the principle "prevention is better than cure". To date, the initiatives taken by the CBA include editorial work on the educational website antykorupcja.gov.pl, issuing of over 60 publications available in the form of e-books on the websites of the Bureau, conducting anti-corruption training courses in which over 60,000 people took part in a stationary mode, and organisation of a competition "What does it take to be honest?”. The users of the generally accessible e-learning platform provided by the CBA have already completed over 300,000 training courses.
The CBA was also the leader of the Government Anti-Corruption Programme for the years 2018 - 2020 and was in charge of its numerous activities. For the purposes of the Programme, the following were defined as specific objectives: strengthening preventive and educational activities, improving mechanisms for monitoring corruption threats and monitoring legal regulations in terms of counteracting corruption crime, intensifying cooperation and coordination of activities between law enforcement agencies. Within the framework of the Programme, an anti-corruption education system was created in all the ministries, as well as in the institutions subordinate thereto and supervised thereby, based on uniform guidelines established by the Head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, and comprehensive anti-corruption guidelines were issued for the public administration in terms of uniform institutional solutions and rules of conduct for civil servants and persons belonging to the PTEF (persons entrusted with top executive functions) group.
The CBA cooperates with numerous international organisations and law enforcement authorities from other countries. The cooperation aims to exchange best practices, to deepen knowledge on corruption phenomena, solutions and instruments which are in operation abroad, as well as the current exchange of information related to operational and investigative activities carried out by services of other countries. So far, the Bureau has obtained approval for cooperation with 54 countries and 13 international organisations.
On 23 April of this year, on the initiative of the Head of the CBA, an international conference was held, which initiated the official ceremonial celebration of the 15th anniversary of the foundation of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau. Due to limitations caused by the pandemic, the meeting was held online. While welcoming the guests, the Head of the CBA emphasised that the fight against corruption is a fight against a global opponent which knows no legal, systemic, geographical, linguistic or cultural limitations. Therefore, cooperation with other institutions - through information exchange and daily working contacts - is an important part of the CBA's work. The Head of the CBA quoted the words of Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Thus, he emphasised that effective, in many cases long-standing cooperation of services or institutions, is based on these three pillars.
The CBA continuously monitors the possibilities of financing projects from various institutions in order to further develop anti-corruption activities. The Bureau participates in the projects entitled "Enhancing the information and analytical potential of the CBA", co-financed by the European Union co-financed by the European Union from the funds of the National Internal Security Fund Programme, and the project entitled "Enhancement of competencies of law enforcement bodies and justice administration in the area of criminal and strategic analyses, supporting the process of identifying, combating and preventing corruption and economic crime". The undertaking is financed from the funds of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. Previously, the CBA, together with the Austrian Federal Anti-Corruption Bureau (BAK) and its associated partner - Europol, implemented the project "SIENA for Anti-Corruption Authorities (S4ACA)". Within the framework of the Programme for Preventing and Combating Crime (ISEC), the European Commission decided to grant the CBA co-financing for the implementation of the activities under the project titled "Development of the Anti-Corruption Training System".
In the 15 years of its activity, the CBA may record a systematic increase of the most important indicators, e.g. the number of conducted investigations or the amount of secured property. This indicates the increasing effectiveness of the undertaken activities. In total, the CBA secured property worth over PLN 1.5 billion. In the last four years alone, the CBA has led to the disclosure of over 13 billion of damage to the property of the State Treasury.
The CBA has been conducting investigations concerning: corruption in Polish football, irregularities in the operation of the Property Commission, receiving financial gains by civil servants from the Centre for IT Projects of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, the so-called Podkarpacie scandal, extortion of VAT and EU funds, irregularities in GetBack S.A., irregularities in the trading in medicines, the so-called wild reprivatisation, privatisation of Ciech S.A, corruption of a former senator of the Republic of Poland, corruption in the Court of Appeal in Cracow, irregularities in Grupa Azoty Zakłady Chemiczne Police S.A., mismanagement in SK Bank, in connection with irregularities in SKOK Wołomin, corruption in mines, corruption and managing a criminal group by the former minister of transport, activities of para-banking institutions, Ponzi schemes or trading in cryptocurrencies.
Every year, on its website, the CBA publishes information providing a summary of the previous year's activities.
Public Relations Division of the CBA