Latviski English По-русски
Friday 23.02.2018 | Name days: Haralds, Almants

State Audit doubts LDz’s charity activities

(No Ratings Yet)

Results of one of State Audit revisions remained without public attention, which is a shame. The institutions checked how the Transport Ministry orders around at the state owned Latvijas dzelzceļš (LDz). The company’s charity and advertisement contracts turned out to be especially suspicious, de facto programme of LTV reports.

Suspicion was mainly ticked because the advertisement procurement process is being carried out in an uncontrolled manner. LDz’s understanding of advertisement and charity is rather blurry. Furthermore, the criteria that govern the company’s choice of which sports clubs to fund are unclear as well. All this creates suspicion that the company’s advertisement funds are “blown” in the general direction of specific political “winds”.

The State Audit has investigated LDz’s charity and advertisement contracts starting from 2009 to the middle of 2012. Results of the survey are not revealed, however, because the information is secret.

It became known to de facto that amounts of money that were being allocated to sponsoring over the years, have decreased significantly – in 2009, the concern gave away 2.3 million LVL; in 2011, however, LDz donated only 93 thousand LVL. This year, LDz donated 250 thousand LVL.

One of the reasons for the reduction of funding for charity could be that any donation over 1 000 LVL needs to be coordinated with the Finance Ministry, de facto assumes. However, advertisement contracts do not need to be coordinated with the ministry. On top of that, LDz marked those documents secret and does not plan to publish them.

The State Audit also concluded that advertisement contract sums grew as rapidly as sponsoring expenses decreased. 74% of all investigated advertisement contracts are related to sports – this raises suspicion that those are not advertisement contracts, but funding of sports clubs.

LDz management does not deny this possibility. “If I believe that my advertisement should be printed on the t-shirts of VEF sports team and the Finance Ministry says “no”, I am still right if don’t violate the law. If I believe this is what we need – then this is what we need,” – claims Magonis.

LDz is sponsoring the aforementioned sports club for several years. In March 2012, LDz signed a contract with the sports club for 200 thousand LVL.

The State Audit has found several interesting contracts with Dinamo Riga regarding advertisement and charity. For example, LDz Infrastruktūra noted the purchase of four platinum subscriptions to hockey games as a form of donation. This cost the concern 8.4 thousand LVL. It is highly unlikely that a subscription that allows visiting hockey games for free and taking drinks, snacks and souvenirs can be considered a donation. The State Audit also discovered that rent of a balcony at Arena Riga was also registered as an advertisement contract, which cost 120 thousand LVL. The contract states that the advertisement poster must not exceed 20 x 30 cm and must be located near the balcony.

To the question on whether the company’s reputation really needs a whole balcony, Magonis replied “of course”. “Where do we invite a person? Just sit him down on the tribunes?” – he asks rhetorically.

Furthermore, Magonis does not deny that not every advertisement contract can be measured in numbers. In LDz’s case, advertisement is not likely to immediately contribute to the growth of demand on the company’s services.


Leave a reply

Police commence investigation on possible money laundering schemes at ABLV Bank

Latvia’s State Police has commenced an investigation about the possible money laundering operations at ABLV Bank, which were reported by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) US Department of Treasury.

S&P Global affirms Latvia’s credit rating at «A-»

On Thursday, 22 February, S&P Global reaffirmed Latvia’s credit rating on the «A-» level, retaining a positive outlook for the future, as BNN was informed by the State Treasury.

Kristovskis: state officials should be equally strict to Lembergs and Rimšēvičs

«Lack of consistency – such a conclusion appears after looking at the behaviour of state officials in regards to their request for Ilmārs Rimšēvičs’ to step down as governor of the Bank of Latvia,» says Ventspils City Council member Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

LSRTC: Zaķusala TV Tower’s reconstruction will cost several dozen million euros

According to chairman of Latvia’s State Radio and Television Centre (LSRTC) Jānis Bokta, reconstruction of Zaķusala TV Tower will cost several dozen million euros.

Trade union worried teachers may not have time to prepare for new education content

Teachers may not have enough time to prepare to work with new education content, said manager of Latvian Education and Science Workers' Union Inga Vanaga in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

Judins, Loskutovs, Čigāne and Dālderis to continue working in Unity’s faction

Saeima members Andrejs Judins, Aleksejs Loskutovs, Lolita Čigāne and Ints Dālderis will continue working in Unity’s faction and coalition.

Saeima supports member’s proposal to publish wages of Bank of Latvia employees

Latvia’s parliament has decided to support Ints Dālderis’ proposal to publish wages paid to employees of the Bank of Latvia, education institutions, as well as municipal capital associations.

More snow expected on weekends; air temperature to drop even more next week

On the night to Friday, 23 February, air temperature in most of Latvia declined to -21° C… -27° C. It was only warmer in Kurzeme and some parts of Vidzeme, as reported by Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

SEB Bank: more employment options will open up and workers will become more selective

«It is becoming easier to change jobs nowadays. The largest selection of employment options are found in regional centres and cities, especially Riga and Pieriga. We see fewer employment options in regions even though there is still considerable demand for workers there,» predicts SEB Bank’s macroeconomics expert Dainis Gašpuitis.

ABLV Bank’s manager claims the bank is ready for cancellation of payment restrictions

ABLV Bank is ready for cancellation of payment restrictions, said the bank’s chairman Ernests Bernis during a press-conference on Thursday, 22 February.

62.9% of Latvia’s population was employed in 2017

Compared to the year before, in 2017 employment rate grew by 1.3 percentage points and number of employed persons by 1.5 thousand. Employment rate among men grew faster than among women – by 1.6 percentage points and 1.0 percentage points, respectively. 894.8 thousand people or 62.9 % of Latvia population aged 15–74 were employed in 2017.

Lithuania and Latvia: the tale between two sisters marked with rivalry

Relations between Lithuania and Latvia, two tight-knit Baltic neighbours, may exemplify a sisterly relationship from the first sight, but just over the course of a single week, several pings rang, signalling that rivalry is, and has always been, a component of coexistence.

Lembergs unable to organize his private life because of intense court proceedings

Lembergs unable to organize his private life because of intense court proceedings

Unemployment level in Latvia decreased to 8.7% in 2017

85.4 thousand people aged 15–74 in Latvia were unemployed in 2017. Compared to 2016, the number of unemployed persons has dropped by 9.9 thousand or 10.4 %.

Council member: ECB is openly dissatisfied with restrictions imposed on Rimšēvičs

The European Central Bank (ECB) is openly dissatisfied with restrictions imposed on one of its council members – governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, said council member of the Bank of Latvia Edvards Kušners in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Defence expenditures in Latvia planned at EUR 234 million in 2018

Latvian government plans to spend EUR 234 million on defence projects, including procurement of transports, ammunition, armaments and individual equipment, in 2018 as confirmed by Defence Ministry.

Ministry cancels mandatory procurement component permits for five CHP plants

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has made a decision to cancel the permit to sell electricity within mandatory procurement component for five other renewable energy co-generation plants plants: SIA Madonas Eko, SIA Eiro-Āzijas investment agency, SIA EVOKEM, SIA M Parks, and SIA Eco Latvis.

NSC proposes Maizītis for a second term as Chief of Constitution Protection Bureau

Members of Latvia’s National Security Council have decided to propose the current head of the Constitution Protection Bureau Jānis Maizītis for another term at the helm of this institution, as BNN was informed by the State President’s Chancellery.

Latvijas gāze’s subsidiary Gaso proposes reducing gas transmission price

Latvijas gāze’s subsidiary Gase has turned to Public Utilities Commission with a proposal for a new natural gas transmission system service’s tariff project, providing for a reducing gas transmission price by 18-46% for more than 95% gas consumers.

FCMC invites Bank of Latvia to provide ABLV Bank with yet another emergency loan

The Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has invited the Bank of Latvia to issue ABLV Bank another emergency loan.

Crime rate in 2017 was the lowest in Latvia’s history

Last year’s crime rate turned out the lowest in Latvia’s history, as reported by Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers in his annual report.

LEC: government priorities should include searching for causes and solutions, not the guilty

Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LEC) is worried about ongoing events and their negative effect on the stability and future development of the country’s economy. LEC believes that stabilization of the financial situation requires careful coordination of actions between institutions and the government.

Producer price level in Latvia grew 0.9% in January

Compared to December 2017, level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.9 % in January 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market went up by 1.2 % and prices of exported products by 0.6 %.

Latvian President believes country’s financial system is stable; prime minister plans to report to European Council

«Latvia’s financial system is stable, and there is no reason to worry about possible instability of the banking system. Banks continue working as usual,» says the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis.

Corruption Perception Index in Latvia experienced no major changes in 2017

Latvia’s positions did not improve much in Transparency International’s compiled Corruption Perception Index 2017, said Delna – Society for Openness acting director Liene Gātere in an interview to Rīta panorāma programme.