A report should be available soon. The GPK hopes that the investigation will result in fewer leaks in the future.
It should go fast. Alain Berset, who got into trouble as a result of the Corona leaks, is not the only one who wants that. The GPK hopes to be quicker than the legal process. The report is intended to ensure that less internal information will leak out of the Bundesrat in the future.
For the FDP Council of States and President of the GPK, Matthias Michel, it is clear: the report is intended to clarify whether Alain Berset knew anything about the indiscretions or not. “There will be a big clarification.”
Investigation has been going on for a long time
It is difficult for the SP National Councilor and GPK President Prisca Birrer-Heimo to answer whether the investigation will decide whether the Federal President will remain in office or not. “That will not only be decided with this report. That will be decided with other things that will happen in the next few months.”
It is clear to her that it should be as quick as possible until a report is available, even if there is no exact deadline. “The will is that we can do it within months. But I can’t anticipate it.”
This seems quite realistic, because a sub-commission has been investigating the leaks from the Federal Council during the Corona period for two years. “A large torrent of reports that we made about the Covid processing will soon come to an end,” says Michel.
Increasingly more indiscretions
It is particularly important for Birrer-Heimo that the report covers the entire Federal Council: “During the corona pandemic there were many such incidents. A wide variety of departments and media are affected. None of us know whether there were several leased lines or just one,” she says.
In recent years, internal information from the Federal Council to the media has increased. Be it on European policy, energy policy or Corona. Matthias Michel says: «I think that has increased. I notice that the media pressure has increased at the national level. Also with social media. In addition, the political majorities are no longer so clear: This leads to more pressure and more indiscretions.”
When are leaks justified?
Indiscretions are an integral part of political discussion in a democracy. Birrer-Heimo wants clear rules for whistleblowing: “We had proposals in Parliament that failed, I think rules are needed so that grievances can be uncovered.”
Michel, on the other hand, appeals to the media: “They are important as the fourth estate in the state. You have to keep an eye on Parliament. But there are also ethical rules for journalism. With the Public Information Act, many documents can already be viewed today. Whistleblowers should be able to report internally and not have to go to the media.”
The GPK now expects the report to clarify who sent whom confidential information from the Federal Council and when. And across all departments. She also expects that the internal information from the Federal Council will leak out more sparsely in the future.