From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej
LETAPRIVATION (Polish: letaprywacja) – treatment of the state public administration by employees and officials as “nobody’s good”, from which property and organisational assets can be officially taken over, using state-created legal mechanisms. The essence of the phenomenon of l. is that by legalizing certain forms of interest or using the existing law, public officials in collaboration with the business sphere benefit from public property. This means using the law or legal loopholes to achieve personal gain. In this situation, the principle of equality before the law is broken and it is used for private purposes. The phenomenon of l. can occur on several levels. First of all, it affects the process of economic transformation, especially privatization. The privatization process, unprepared for legal infrastructure and prolonged ownership transformation programme, can create conditions for increasing the tendency to: circumvent the law, exploit legal loopholes, interpret the law by those who have formal and informal influence on it, or create law – in a favourable way. Second of all, it can mean creating the law for the use of one person or a group of people. Established law refers to a very narrow group of people – usually businessmen, less often directly to politicians– and provides them with a material advantage or improves their situation in another way. In the third case, it is about appropriating the organisational part of the state and then deriving legal income and profits from it. As part of the phenomenon of l., one can observe receiving high allowances, compensation pay or broader – using public property, interpreting the law to one’s own advantage thanks to a significant position in the hierarchy. The term l. is linked to grey corruption, i.e. a behaviour that is morally reprehensible, but escapes unambiguous legal assessment (→ corruption). It includes bribery, within which purchases of orders, contracts and other government benefits are being done, concessions, judicial decisions and avoiding tax or duty obligations. Some hard-to-eliminate forms of using the office position for personal or family use – such as using business car for out-of-office use, using business phone calls for private conversations, theft of office supplies such as using business paper or toner for private purposes, charging private phones at work, receiving small gifts from private companies – pens, notebooks, calendars, are also classified as characteristic for l. [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].
Literature: Administracja publiczna [Public administration], ed. A. Błaś, J. Boć, J. Jeżewski, Wrocław 2003 ■ J. Itrich-Drabarek, Uwarunkowania, standardy i kierunki zmian służby cywilnej w Polsce na tle europejskim [Conditions, standards and directions of changes in the civil service in Poland against the European background], Warszawa 2010.