bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 24.07.2017 | Name days: Krista, Kristiāna, Kristiāns, Kristīne
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuanian President set to root out «eternal» state company CEOs

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

 

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULinas Jegelevičius for the BNN

«Eternal» heads of state and municipal companies, who’ve been at the helm for years and years, must go, insists Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

And, importantly, the Peasants and Greens-led ruling coalition is nodding to her proposition, arguing it is timely and will help fight corruption.

The president has come forward with legal amendments setting a limit of two five-year terms for chief executive officers of state and municipal enterprises and state-owned public and private limited-liability companies.

«In a further effort to increase the transparency of the public sector, President Dalia Grybauskaitė proposes to stop the tradition of «eternal»CEOs. The president proposes to establish limited terms of office for CEOs as an additional safeguard against corruption, nepotism and abuse of office,» Lina Antanavičienė, the President’s advisor on economic issues, said in a statement on Wednesday, January 11.

The amendments come in the wake of media reports that the state railway operator Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (LG) (Lithuanian Railways) had allotted aid to institutions linked to politicians and had been engaged in non-transparent procurement practices.

The Lithuanian railways‘ former CEOStasys Dailydka has been heading Lietuvos Geležinkeliai for a decade after serving as the chief of the company‘s Passenger Transport Board in 2002-2006. He also held a leading position in Lindra company and headed Lietuvos Avialinijos airline for five years.

«Actions of certain groups targeted directly against me affect one of Europe‘s strongest transport companies, thus damaging its image and reputation. In the current situation, I do not see a possibility to continue the work that has been started,» LG cited leaving Dailydka as saying in a press release.

The resignation followed Dailydka‘s conversation with Rokas Masiulis, the new Government‘s Minister of Transportation, who previously headed the Ministry of Energy and has earned the name of a leader with an impeccable reputation and a far-reaching vision.

Lietuvos Geležinkeliai has long been dubbed by Lithuanian media as «a bird table» for the country‘s Social Democrats. It is no secret that many SD members out of the active politics would find green pastures at the company.

LG has contributed to the party‘s electoral campaigns in the past, too.

Yet with the new state authority in Vilnius, the LG distribution of support and internal deals were subjected to a new scrutiny. Not without a yield: it turned out that Lietuvos Geležinkeliai purchased locomotive parts from Russia without any tenders.

If the head-of-the-state‘s proposal is enacted, heads of state companies, including LG, would be made more accountable to the boards and, importantly, the end would be put to ill practice of «eternal» leadership.

Explaining Grybauskaitė’s legislative initiative, the advisor argued that the President «continues» efforts aiming to make the public sector more transparent.

In her words, some of the state companies have become employment agencies for «entire kins» of (retired) high-ranking politicians and have turned into «wallets» for the political parties.

«The most vivid example of ineffective management of a state company has become Lietuvos Geležinkeliai. The practices have caused a big loss to the state and harmed the state’s reputation,» said Antanavičienė.

If the Lithuanian Parliament validates the presidential amendments on fixed five year-terms, they will go into effect from July 1, 2017.

According to data from the President’s office, the state in 2015 owned 123 companies and local authorities controlled 233 companies. The CEOs of 20 state-owned companies have been in their posts for over 20 years, some of them for as many as 30 years. Around 40 have held the jobs for more than 10 years. Forestry enterprises and road maintenance companies have the largest numbers of long-term CEOs. «Eternal» heads are especially spread among forestry enterprises, according to the President’s Office.

The heads of forestry offices in the municipalities of Anykščiai, Prienai, Šiauliai ir Telšiai have worked as their executives over 30 years and their counterparts in the Marijampolė and Radviliškis municipalities have held the office for 26 years.

Upon the law, all CEOs with the experience in the office extending over 10 years will have to leave the company within year since the law enactment.

The President also finds intolerable that a staggering number of state companies, 45, to be exact, do not pay any dividends and proceeds from their profit.

«Only eight of them have reached the set profit return mark,» the advisor noted.

Asked by BNN, Vitalijus Gailius, a Lithuanian parliamentarian and the chief of the Lithuanian legislature’s Anti-Corruption Commission, welcomed the idea of setting fixed terms for state companies’ CEOs.

«I’ve long been calling all to do that,» he suggested, adding that, though, it’s up to a discussion what limitations ought to be introduced.

«Whether it has to be the barrier of two consecutive terms or another form, I am not sure. What I know for sure that, in many cases, with some of the CEOs’ bad-management practises made public, they continue (working) as if nothing had happened. This should be a concern for all,» Gailius underscored.

Before, the Lithuanian President proposed limiting school headteachers’ terms. She has submitted amendments to the Law on Education, which, if enacted, would allow headteachers to direct the school not longer than two four-year terms.

In addition, the President s wants headteachers’s evaluation on an annual basis. If the principle does not pass the test for two consecutive years, he or she will be sacked under the law.

Jurgita Petrauskienė, Lithuania’s new Education minister has endorsed the presidential initiatives, claiming they would do «good» for Lithuanian schools.

Many of the principles across Lithuania are cronies of local mayors, who, with the expanded authorities, can appoint school headteachers directly, without the approval from the municipal Councils.

«If the head-of-state thinks that such changes are necessary, I’m not in a position to question her. My bottom point is simple: there are no irreplaceable people and the same goes for the school headteachers. Let’s admit that a new broom often is more effective than the old one,» Laimute Benetienė, the headteacher of Vladas Jurgutis secondary school in the resort town of Palanga, told BNN.


Leave a reply

Duda to veto Polish judicial reforms

President of Poland Andrzej Duda has stated he would not announce the controversial reforms of the Polish Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary passed in the Polish Sejm that have also sparked mass protests in the country.

Dairy product prices not expected to decline in Latvia soon

Prices of dairy products in Latvia will either remain on the current level or increase even more in the next couple of months. With that, there is no reason to expect price decline in the near future, predicts head of Agriculture Market Promotion Centre Inguna Gulbe.

Five insolvency administrators suspended due to criminal processes in Latvia

Five insolvency administrators have been suspended because of several criminal processes, said Director of Insolvency Administration Inese Steina in an interview to LNT 900 seconds.

Family doctors may change the form of strike if need be

Latvian Family Doctors Association could change the form of its strike of need be, as confirmed by the association’s representative Solvita Olsena.

Baltic animal rights organisations turn attention to fur farming ban in Czech Republic

Following the fur farming ban passed by the parliament of the Czech Republic, Latvian and Estonian animal rights organisations turn the attention of communities in Latvia and Estonia to the increasingly the ethical attitude of European countries to animal rights.

Toyota sales in Latvia up 25%

5,735 new Toyota cars were sold in Baltic States in the first six months of 2017, which is 33% more than last year. Toyota’s total market share in Baltics is 14.2%, BNN was informed by the company.

Number of accidents caused by tractors and size of claims on a rise

Over the course of the past several years, the number of traffic accidents caused by specialized agricultural vehicles and the size of insurance claims has grown in Latvia, as reported by Motor Insurers' Bureau of Latvia.

Businessmen offer to help fund railway works in Estonia rejected by minister

Entrepreneurs in Lääne County, Estonia, have offered the state to help with funding the reconstruction of a railway section, by attracting private money, but the offer has been rejected by Estonian Economic Affairs Minister Kadri Simson.

International Baltic Bikini military exercises to be organized in Latvia

Baltic Bikini 2017 military exercises will be taking place in Liepaja, Latvia, throughout 24 – 28 July. More than 100 Baltic and American troops will be participating together with State Border Guard and Emergency Health Service to practice survival skills, as reported by Defence Ministry.

SRS: envelope wages will be a priority this year

More than half of Latvian employers pay their employees wages below the minimal monthly amount, said Director of the State Revenue Service Tax Control Office Sandra Karklina Admine in an interview to Rīta panorama on Monday, 24 July.

Latvians hesitant to use electronic means to request benefits

So far, Latvia residents have been rather slow in the use of electronic tools to request benefits from the State Social Insurance Agency.

Orbán promises solidarity with Poland as it approves controversial court reforms

Following the criticism Warsaw has received in mass protests and from Brussels on the approval of a controversial court reform, the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán has pledged to defend Poland in the European Union.

New Conservative Party takes away one seat from Latvian Farmers Union in Kekava

The New Conservative Party has taken away one seat in Kekava council from Latvian Farmers Union, according to provisional data of the Central Election Commission on repeated elections in Kekava’s 785 election site.

17 journalists of Turkish newspaper charged with aiding terrorist organisation

In Turkey, 17 journalists of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet are to be tried over charges of aiding a terrorist organisation and, if found guilty, they face up to 43 years in jail.

Week to be warm in Latvia, but some rain is still expected

At the beginning of the week, weather in Latvia will be dictated by a small cyclone with its centre above Lithuania. The precipitation zone associated with this cyclone will bring about rain to south-east parts of Lithuania, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

BNN summary of the week: Kucinskis in Ridzene’s room and government’s rushed decisions

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Truth; Business and Growth.

Tourists die in Aegean Sea earthquake

A powerful quake that struck in the Aegean Sea has taken the lives of two persons in Greece, local authorities have stated.

Fashion in business: how to be heard in the modern-day world?

It would seem that nowadays strict fashion trends have «died». This is because people for ways to look beautiful and comfortable. One of the minds behind TRÉS fashion line, Enija Mugurevica shares advice how to start a business in the fashion industry from scratch and be heard and noticed in the modern-day world.

FCMC fines Norvik Banka for EUR 1.3 million and Rietumu Banka for EUR 1.56 million

Finance and Capital Market Commission in cooperation with Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterproliferation Center found out in a target inspection that Latvian banks – Norvik Banka and Rietumu Banka – have not followed requirements of regulations for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism funding.

Saeima approves controversial amendments to Credit Institutions Law

On Friday, 21 July, Latvian Saeima approved amendments to the Credit Institutions Law, which were previously returned to the parliament for a repeated viewing by President Raimonds Vejonis, completely unchanged.

Bank of Latvia: tax reform is a disappointment; it will not improve competitiveness

The tax reform submitted to the Saeima for approval is one big disappointment that will not improve competitiveness, said head of the Monetary Policy Office of the Bank of Latvia Uldis Rutkaste in an interview to LNT 900 seconds.

Betsafe predicts: will Duklavs remain Latvia’s Agriculture Minister?

Although Unity has asked the Union of Greens and Farmers to replace Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs with someone else after the scandalous oligarch talks in Ridzene hotel, Duklavs will likely keep his post, according to Betsafe bookmakers. There is a 33% probability of Duklavs losing his post.

Latvian alcohol industry has an offer to increase excise tax rate

Experience shows – rapid increase of excise tax results in rapid increase of prices and rapid decline of revenue for the state treasury. Based on careful calculations, Latvian Alcohol Industry Association asks the government to stick with the current excise tax increase plan.

Air temperature to reach +24° C… +25° C in Latvia on weekend

Weather is expected to be largely dry this weekend in Latvia. Next week, however, is expected to be rainy, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.