Governor of the Czech National Bank Aleš Michl.
Prague – President-elect Petr Pavel admits that he might consider removing the governor of the Czech National Bank (ČNB) Aleš Michl from the institution's leadership if he does not receive a security clearance at the highest level. He said this in an interview with the daily E15. He believes that if a security clearance is prescribed for a function and the person in question does not get it or loses it, then he cannot perform that function. He added, however, that such a situation has not yet occurred with Michlo. According to the Echo24 server, Michl has been waiting for the top clearance since last May, the standard deadline for issuing a top secret clearance has already passed, but the procedure has not been completed.
As a member of the CNB's banking board, Michl was the holder of a top secret clearance, according to the Echo24 server, he applied for the highest level in May after President Miloš Zeman announced his appointment as governor of the CNB. The National Security Office (NSB) has a nine-month deadline for such proceedings. The director of the CNB's communications department, Petra Krmelová, recently confirmed to Echu24 that Michl did not receive the highest level of vetting within the nine-month period, the proceedings have not yet been completed. it's not just there for no reason. And if someone doesn't get a security clearance or loses it for any reason, then they can't perform such a function,” said Pavel.
According to him, the position of governor is difficult to fill, but also to dismiss, and the powers of the president are limited. “It has to be proposed and discussed in the European bodies, i.e. also in the body of the central banks, so it is a matter on which more people will definitely comment. So far, such a situation has not arisen,” he pointed out. He added that it makes sense to discuss the appeal process only after Michl does not actually receive a background check, or if the bank board decides that it is not possible to perform the function of governor only with a secret background check.
Former CNB Governor Jiří Rusnok and the former chairman of the commission for fair pensions, Danuše Nerudová, have previously stated that the lack of the highest level of security clearance may prevent Michl from fully performing his duties. He would not be able to obtain all classified information necessary for the meeting of the government or the State Security Council. “It would be something we have never experienced, all the governors obtained this degree and had a valid background check,” said Rusnok in the Otázky Václav Moravec program on Czech Television (ČT). According to him, the requirement for the highest level is set by the CNB's internal regulation.