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Saturday 17.03.2018 | Name days: Ģertrūde, Gerda, Gertrūde

SA: ministries' reaction to Riga Free port inspection should be fast

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Elita Krumina

As opposed to investigators, the state government needs to assess the actions of the administration of Riga Free port (RFP) at a faster pace, says State Auditor Elita Krumina.

The State Audit (SA) will be cooperating with the prosecutor’s office to the full extent in order for the institution to perform its own investigation. However, according to Krumina, the public will also be able to follow events as they unravel.

Krumina says that the report of SA contains information about serious violations. This is why the ministries and Riga municipality should evaluate the professionalism of the port’s administration. Whether or not anyone should be punished, Krumina is reluctant to express her opinion on this matter, saying that this should be determined by law enforcement institutions. She did say, however, that the discovered violations are quite severe.

The auditor says the investigation at the port was a real bomb. She could not recall any similar cases to occur during her term as the head of the audit department.

She ironically said that the SA is proud of the amount of effort the administration of the port has mobilized in order to refute the violations discovered in the inspection.

When SA submitted its audit project to the port’s administration, 100 pages of objections were received in return. After a five-hour coordination meeting, objections remained for only three points. The auditor is not surprised by the fact that the port does not approve of the conclusions of SA, even though it is odd that the port also does not trust the conclusions of the court and keeps to its position. “I do not mean the SA, but how can one mistrust a court’s conclusion, especially if one of the instances that reviewed this issue was the Supreme Court,” – notes Krumina.

As an example she mentions violation in regard to tugboats. Violations included not allowing private companies to offer tugboat services. This was not accepted by the Latvian Port Transit and Logistics Council. However, the port decided that the council has no say in such matters. After several court instances it finally admitted that the council does have a word. “And this does not prevent the port from writing an appeal and saying that the SA incorrectly interprets information,” – said the head auditor of the state.


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