Latvian Healthcare Minister Guntis Belevics from the Union of Greens and Farmers has become involved in a conflict of interests when making the decision regarding a disciplinary case against Director of State Medicine Agency Inguna Adovica, as concluded by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.
As reported by the head of Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee Vitaly Orlov, the committee has received an official request from CPCB to allow the application of an administrative punishment on Belevics. Deputies of the committee plan to review this matter next week.
CPCB has inspected the compliance of Belevics’ actions with the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials. In accordance with the law, state officials are not permitted to prepare or issue administrative acts, perform monitoring, control, notification or penal functions, sign contracts or perform other activities in which the official or the official’s relatives or business partners have personal interest. Having reviews available information, CPCB has concluded that Belevics failed to comply with this restriction.
CPCB explains that Belevics relatives are board members in Saules aptieka chain of pharmacies. 50% of shares in Baltacon are owned by Belevics’ son, who is also the chairperson in the board of this company. As Healthcare Minister, Believics has issued an order to carry out an internal investigation in relation to State Medicine Agency’s provision of information to entrepreneurs. The reason for the internal investigation lies in the application submitted by Saules aptieka and Baltacon about SMA. It was noted in this application that SMA had leaked certain information regarding volumes of realized goods, and requested a payment from the aforementioned companies for information that was being requested by them. In their request, companies asked a disciplinary case to be organized against multiple SMA officials for leaking commercial secrets.
Based on results of the internal investigation, Belevics also decided to launch a disciplinary case against Adovica. «Which is viewed as a breach of regulations regarding situations of conflict of interests,» – as noted by CPCB.
Because Belevics is also a Saeima deputy, CPCB has requested the parliament to permit the application of administrative punishment for breaching restrictions set for state officials’ commercial activities.
In accordance with the Code of Administrative Violations, such a breach is punishable with a fine from EUR 70 to EUR 350.