Government at a Glance 2023

Czech Republic

 Trust and satisfaction with public services

Trust in public institutions and satisfaction with public services are important yardsticks of the quality of public governance. They reflect people’s perceptions of government competence in designing and delivering policies and services, and expectations on the behaviour of public institutions and their representatives. Although high trust in public institutions is not a necessary outcome of democratic governance, trust and satisfaction with public services facilitate effective governance, as they correlate with high rates of compliance with policies, participation in public life and social cohesion.

Satisfaction with the healthcare and education systems in the Czech Republic is higher than on average across OECD countries. A large majority of Czech were satisfied with the health care (77%) and education (74%), 9 and 7 percentage points above the respective OECD averages. Slightly less than half were satisfied with the judiciary system (49%), below the OECD average (56%).

Figure 1. Satisfaction with public services, 2022

 Achieving results with good governance practices 

In an age of multiple crises, governments need to adopt more advanced practices to build trust in public institutions and enhance democratic resilience. Actions include building on democratic strengths, such as enhancing citizen and stakeholder engagement in decision making; reinforcing key competences to handle crises, such as budgeting and public financial management processes to address the green and digital transitions; and protecting against threats to democratic values, such as maintaining effective public integrity rules and promoting ethical use of artificial intelligence.

Citizen and stakeholder engagement in decision making helps to improve the design, implementation, and public acceptance of policies, infrastructure and services. The OECD Infrastructure Governance Index (IGI) on stakeholder participation provides an overview of countries’ performance in developing national guidance for stakeholder engagement, promoting their effective participation, and ensuring stakeholder oversight over infrastructure projects.

The Czech Republic scores 0.34 in the IGI on stakeholder participation, which is below the OECD average (0.52). On the dimensions of the index, the country fares relatively high on stakeholder participation practices (0.18, compared to OECD average of 0.17). There is room for improvement on stakeholder oversight (0.06) and stakeholder participation guidance (0.11).

Figure 2. Index on stakeholder participation in infrastructure decision making
From 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest), 2022

Financial contributions allow individuals and entities to support political candidates and parties. However, political finance needs to be adequately regulated to reduce risks of undue influence and policy capture.

In the Czech Republic publicly owned enterprises and foreign states or enterprises are not allowed to finance political campaigns and parties. Additionally, anonymous donations to political parties or candidates need to be registered or reported.

Figure 3. Regulation to ban financing political parties and election campaigns, 2022

Strengthening information integrity has become particularly complex in the digital age. While digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI) provide enormous opportunities, including in expanding and protecting the exercise of some democratic rights and freedoms, their use also brings challenges for governments such as ensuring that they enhance people’s willingness and ability to engage constructively in democratic life and that they benefit society as a whole.

The Czech Republic has policy initiatives, such as guidelines, standards, or principles, in place to ensure the ethical use of AI.

Figure 4. Mechanisms used to ensure the ethical use of artificial intelligence in government, 2022

 What resources public institutions use and how they are managed 

After stark deterioration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required emergency measures and direct support mechanisms to business and people, public finances show positive signs, but the recovery remains fragile. The fiscal balance is the difference between a government’s revenues and its expenditures in a year. When the government spends more than it collects, it has a fiscal deficit. When it spends less, it has a fiscal surplus.

The Czech Republic had a fiscal deficit of -5.1% of GDP in 2021, which was below the average across OECD countries (-7.5%). In 2022, the fiscal deficit was reduced to -3.6%. The Czech Republic is among the OECD countries with the smallest debt ratios. In 2021, public debt as share of GDP was 48.5%, significantly lower than the OECD average (120.8%).

Figure 5. General government fiscal balance as a percentage of GDP

Public investment can enhance productivity and economic growth and help implement long-term policies, such as green energy infrastructure to support action on climate change. In turn, governments procure large amounts of goods, services and works to help them implement policies and deliver public services.

In 2021, the Czech Republic spent more on public procurement than the OECD average, 14.1% of GDP, compared to 12.9% on average in the OECD. It also has a higher rate of public investment than most OECD countries. In 2021, it invested 4.6% of GDP, compared to the OECD average of 3.4%.

Figure 6. Government procurement spending as a share of GDP

The size of public employment varies significantly among OECD countries, ranging from around 10% to just above 30%. 

The share of employment in the general government is 17.3% in the Czech Republic, slightly below the OECD average (18.6%).

Figure 7. Public employment as a percentage of total employment, 2021

Governments use different mechanisms to harness and develop the capacity of their workforce. For example, internal mobility in public administrations helps to pool human resources across government and attract and retain civil servants.

In the Czech Republic, as in most OECD countries, internal mobility is possible for civil servants but is not encouraged nor recommended. Similarly, internal mobility for senior-level civil servants is also possible, although it is not encouraged or expected. The Czech Republic has the practice of developing individual learning plans for all or most public employees.

Figure 8. Mobility of civil servants across public administrations in central government, 2022

Equal representation of women and men in the public sector is a key indicator of progress towards gender equality, diversity and better representation. In 2020, a majority of employees in the public sector in OECD countries were women (58.9%), with large differences among countries. However, women are often under-represented in managerial positions.

The Czech Republic could improve on gender parity in senior management in the national administration and ministerial positions. With 28.3% women, the Czech Republic does not achieve gender equality for senior management in the national administration and falls short of the OECD-EU average (40.8). In addition, only 7% of the ministerial positions are held by a woman, compared to 36% on average across the OECD.

Figure 9. Gender equality in senior management positions in national administration, 2021

Young people are under-represented in public and political life across the OECD, with the risk that their voice and interests are not sufficiently taken in consideration in policymaking.

The average age of the Czech Republic cabinet members is 52 years, 1 year younger than the average across OECD countries.

Figure 10. Average age of cabinet members, 2018 and 2022

 About the report 

Government at a Glance presents the most up-to-date internationally comparable data on how public administrations function and perform in OECD countries, accession countries, and other major economies. Country factsheets highlight key indicators against the OECD average. Data included in the factsheets are derived from the new Government at a Glance data portal, which allows for a more user-friendly and interactive way of comparing countries with each other and the OECD average. The factsheets do not provide a comprehensive picture of public governance performance, but rather a snapshot of key indicators in the three sections of the publication: a) trust and satisfaction with public services; b) achieving results with good governance practices and c) what resources public institutions use and how they are managed. 

 Figure notes

People who express satisfaction with public services: for the judiciary and the courts the data reflect the proportion of citizens who express having confidence in the institution. Data on satisfaction with administrative services come from the OECD 2021 Survey on the Drivers of Trust in Public Institutions. Data on satisfaction with the education and health systems and confidence in the judiciary are from the Gallup World Poll. Data for satisfaction in administrative services are not available for the Czech Republic.

Data on public finance and economics are derived from the System of National Accounts (SNA) and were extracted on 5 May 2023.

Fiscal balance as reported in SNA framework, also referred to as net lending (+) or net borrowing (-) of government, is calculated as total government revenues minus total government expenditures.

Government gross debt is reported according to the SNA definition, which differs from the definition applied under the Maastricht Treaty. It is defined as all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future. All debt instruments are liabilities, but some liabilities such as shares, equity and financial derivatives are not debt.

Public employment refers to employment in the general government as defined in the System of National Accounts (SNA). Data on employment in general government were extracted on 17 April 2023.

Data on employment in general government for Iceland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Türkiye and the United States are from the International Labour Organization (ILO), ILOSTAT.

Data show women as a share of cabinet members who head ministries as of 1 January 2023 (excluding ministers without portfolios).

The data on age of cabinet members reflects the situation as of 20 December 2022.

OECD average refers to the unweighted average with the exception of public finance indicators.

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