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Revolving Door Phenomenon


Transparency International considers the movement of employees between the public and private sector both natural and potentially beneficial for public administration as well as enterprises. Absent adequate legal regulations, however, the so-called revolving door phenomenon can become a breeding ground for malfeasance in office, profiteering or undue influence. For example, a high-ranking official working in public procurement may privilege a certain company in hope of a future job. The study focuses on such cases and ways to regulate them.

Positions most susceptible to such corruption are those of officials above middle ranking in the energy, telecommunication and financial sectors. The only areas where the revolving door phenomenon is atypical are ones in which the state is not one of the applicants.

Thus, the authors believe that comprehensive regulation is necessary. On an international level, the OECD, the UN, the European Council and the EU have worked out basic principles and recommendations on the restriction of the revolving door phenomenon. Each institution affirms that after parting from his job, the public official may not abuse any advantages or information he obtained while in office. However, the enforcement of these recommendations is the job of the individual states.

The study introduces practices from four countries that may serve as positive examples; the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Norway. In contrast, Hungary’s policy on the revolving door phenomenon has a long ways to go. The recently passed anti-corruption policy only touches on the phenomenon. The study elucidates ways in which the Public Officials Law passed in 2011 creates loopholes for corruption brought on by the revolving door.

In the chapter on the Hungarian business sector, the authors reach the conclusion that the private sector’s readiness to employ professionals from the political and public spheres is a result of the vulnerability of the business sector in the face of political whimsy.  It is gravely impaired by undue political interest and inconsistent, unreliable legislation.

In the last chapter, the authors make recommendations for both the private and business sectors, putting to use elements of public policy from the above mention countries. The full-length study “The Revolving Door Phenomenon in Hungary” can be reached by clicking the link below.

Furthermore, a compilation of positions held by Ministers in the past 10 years in the public and private sector can be found below.

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