The ill-fated Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) will either have to undergo a complete reform or have its ranks cleared in order to re-fill them with new cronies. Why? The Bureau has become so politically corrupt and so completely unprofessional that any talk of the CBA fighting corruption is simply laughable.
Birth of a Monster
Back in the dark days of the PiS-SO-LPR coalition, corruption was the in word, buzz word and key word for everything undertaken by the extremist government. These three parties – Law and Justice, Self-Defence and the League of Polish Families – largely got into power on the corrpution vote. Their plan was to rid the country of corruption, fraud and the evil commies who had been stealing all the poor people’s money (some of this was in fact true). PiS swept to power on the anti-corruption vote and one of the first motions passed in parliament was the formation of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau. The CBA Act was backed by most of parliament including the now new government of PO (slap on the wrists to Tusk and company).
The ABC of the CBA
Mariusz Kamiński was made head of the Bureau much to the happiness of all concerned, although there were voices of discontent claiming that a (PiS) politician should in no way be responsible for such a sensitive (and pathogenic) institution. The Bureau was given ridiculously wide powers and a very general remit. The possibilities open to the CBA and its officers were themselves dubious and in retrospect we now see that parliament should have been given supervisory control over the Bureau.
Much was said by numerous commentators concerning the ridiculously large amount of money being ploughed into the CBA. The former PiS government had promised a cheap administration but their mission to clean, clean, clean the country (and perhaps the world) of evil corruption led to spiralling costs. Kamiński began expanding the Bureau and there was talk that the CBA were moving into sensitive (political) territory that some believed to be way beyoung the Bureau’s scope.
Success upon Success
The wheels began to fall off when the government coalition started to crack under the pressure of its own (ego) weight. Andrzej Lepper (former farmer and deputy PM) who was rudely evicted from his government post after much wrangling with PiS was convinced Jarosław Kaczyński had given orders for the CBA to destroy him. Signals began to reach the media that the CBA was a politically motivated institution whose main goal was to destroy the opposition. Kamiński and company on the other hand had begun giving press conference after press conference applauding the ‘numerous’ cases being solved by the Bureau. To this day, the public is unaware of any tangible CBA successes.
Life after PiS
The CBA is now in an odd position. Kamiński will probably be relieved of his duties to make way for Julia Pitera (a former member of the board of Transparency International Poland). The problem facing the new PO government is an odd one: is the CBA an orphan of the so-called ill-fated Fourth Republic of the Kaczyński brothers or a bastard child of the poor parliament? Will PO be able to turn the Bureau around and make it a force to be reckoned with or will it continue to be a politically motivated institution?