Friday, September 18, 2009

In Poland, Corruption = Professionalism: Polish telecom regulator reluctant about second term

UKE chairwoman's term in office ends in May 2011.

The chairwoman of Poland's Electronic Communication Office, or UKE, is reluctant about the prospect of serving a second term after the current one ends in May 2011, having meted out significant fines against the country's dominant operator during her tenure.

"It is theoretically possible I may be proposed for a second term, but the question is whether I want that in this institutional environment," Anna Strezynska told Dow Jones Newswires in a recent interview.

Strezynska explained she would be inclined to reject a second-term offer because of the failure of consecutive governments to strengthen the public administration, including the telecommunications regulator.

In her view, the civil service sector should provide career opportunities comparable to those offered by the private sector in order to retain the best specialists on the market.

"As of today, my decision would be to refuse the second term. I haven't seen any serious thought in any government on the public administration as a managing body of this large and important enterprise that the state is, a stable professional team with specialists who are well paid and not intimidated with dismissals or anti-corruption laws that would ban any activity in the same sector for three years," she said.

Strezynska added that such anti-corruption laws would eliminate professionals from the market for too long without providing them with other employment opportunities or consulting jobs.

The new UKE chairperson will be nominated in early 2011 by the prime minister in office at the time and appointed by the Houses of Parliament.

The decision on the appointment of a new chairperson for a five-year term is likely take place amid a parliamentary election campaign if snap elections aren't ordered earlier. For those reasons, Strezynska's term may be automatically extended until a new chairperson is appointed.

Strezynska served as the acting UKE chairwoman between January 2006 and May 2006, when she was nominated for her first term.

For more than a year since her nomination, the validity of Strezynska's appointment was disputed due to the lack of clarity in the selection procedure. In 2008 the Supreme Court said all regulatory decisions signed by Strezynska were valid.
  • Note: Yes, what's the point of doing the job if you can't steal money...