bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 18.11.2017 | Name days: Doloresa, Aleksandrs
LatviaLatvia

To prevent questionable procurement, Revalde turns to State Audit

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn order to secure rational use of public funding allocated to Ventspils University College, Ventspils University College rector Gita Revalde has turned to State Audit with a request to carry out an inspection at the education institution.

This will help save funding worth EUR 42,000 the Senate of Ventspils University College has requested the rector to allocate for a procurement project titled ‘audit of Ventspils University College’s financial administration and performance’, Revalde told BNN.

During the meeting of the senate, the rector pointed to the fact that spending such amounts of funding is not an efficient way of doing things, because annual reports of auditors are positive. In addition, she said this amount is not provided in the education institution’s budget plan. The State Audit functions objectively and neutrally. With that, its report would have a greater degree of trustworthiness. It would also help avert suspicions that such an evaluation was politically ordered.

The Senate of Ventspils University College decided to organize the audit after the 23 March meeting, which was attended by officials of Ventspils City Council, including the criminally accused Aivars Lembergs.

BNN had previously reported that Revalde, who was dismissed from her post by the college’s constitution council, calls this decision absurd. She has decided to appeal it in Education and Science Ministry and Education State Quality Service.

«It all began on 23 April, while I was away in Germany. Representatives of Ventspils City Council showed up in the senate and basically called in the meeting of the college council, asking to replace the rector. The deputy chairperson of the council later told me that it was organized by Lembergs,» – Revalde mentioned.

Delfi had previously reported that following the increase in tension between Revalde and Ventspils City Council, Aivars Lembergs had issued a warning – if VeA does not find a new head for the education institution, it can forget about the municipality’s continued grants. This warning was issued at the end of 2015. It seems that it has been carried out as well, because Ventspils University College has yet to receive grants.

Ref: 102.109.109.7962


Leave a reply

  1. Ieva Vizule says:

    I represent the academic staff of Ventspils University College as well the Constitutional Council of the given institution, which on May 26 – after a 6-hour debating – voted for the removal of Ms Gita Rēvalde from the rector’s position. The vote was 21 votes for the removal and 6 against, which means the absolute majority of the council members were in favour of this decision.

    Ms Rēvalde is presenting this as the decision imposed by the city mayor Mr Lembergs (which is easy to do because of him having spoken publicly about it not once). However, it is the staff of the university college that finds it impossible to work with Ms Rēvalde, and with her acting Deputy Mr Ratnieks.

    STAFF OF VENTSPILS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE IS AGAINST MS RĒVALDE (Aand MR RATNIEKS

    The reasons: Mr Revalde, who represents the executive power, has been demonstrating obvious disrespect to the decisions and opinion of the Senate – legislative power of the institution (she continued giving orders that counter decisions of the Senate). This is why the Constitutional Council had a meeting and expected the rector to give the annual report of her activities in the position of the rector. Since Aug 28 of 2013, NOT ONCE this has been done. The initial goal of the meeting was only to assess her performance.

    On the day of the meeting – May 26, Ms Rēvalde refused to report on her job performance and the operation of Ventspils University College during and under her management. She just left the room after some excuses presented in a long string of legal considerations. Ms Revalde added that the Constitutional Council had no right to ask her to report on her job performance (despite it being stipulated by the law; the council is the body that both elects the rector into the position, as well as can remove them).

    After listening to all the evidence – audit results by the City Council on how the resources allocated by it were used; account of the instances of psychological abuse from the side of Mr Rēvalde and Mr Ratnieks towards administrative staff; account of instances of abuse of their formal power, thus preventing or slowing down some important procurement procedures, and also after the debates, the formulation of the decision was changed to a much stronger one – Ms Rēvalde was removed from the position, because had lost trust of the staff of Ventspils University College. Her management style was considered absolutely inappropriate, despite her very advanced scientific qualifications and commendable achievements in physics.

    The aftermaths of the decision keep adding to the already strained conflict situation:
    – several staff members – by the order of Ms Revalde have been deprived of the rights to publish official news on the University college website (the rights left only to herself and Mr Ratnieks), which means the information that is currently being placed on our website represnts only Ms Revalde and Ms Ratnieks’ point of view;
    – the signature rights on all important decisions left only to herself and Mr Ratnieks (no other two deputy rectors). Apart from any financial and administrative decision, this also means that no formal letter can leave the institution without her approval;
    – psychological abuse towards the staff members that oppose her is being continued (some have been on sick leave because of her and Mr Ratniek’s activities;
    – the atmosphere of suspicion and lack of trust maintained;
    – attempts to split the staff or worse – to put one group against the other maintained;
    – anybody who does not agree with her opinion is an enemy, hence attempts to get rid of some administrative staff – through her orders, have again been made;
    – numerous legal ‘essays’ and complaints on the council decision and staff have been developed and submitted to different public bodies, including, political party, Mr Ratnieks is a member of, has been involved in this blasphemy. The lawyers, who are funded from the budget of our institution, actually, can be said to work only for her and Mr Ratnieks. We – staff members are made to look for some legal advice outside.

    Isn’t this abuse of formal power?

    Two people try to run Ventspils University College, ignoring the opinion of the majority of the staff. Currently, abusing their power. All they have is the formal power. How do they imagine to run an organisation only through that.

    IT IS NOT Ms Rēvalde versus Mr Lembergs or City Council, but Ms Revalde versus absolute majority of her staff. Ventspils University College is a state higher education institution founded in 1997, but it’s real founder is Ventspils City Council. For the first three years, there was no financing allocated by the government, only by the local municipality. Our university college keeps receiving financial support – for studies, research, publication, staff training and education – from the Ventspils City Council. The mayor, obviously, earlier than the staff of the university college saw through the activities of Ms Revalde. She refused to co-operate with the City Council, even though our institution has signed a bilateral co-operation agreement. She also refused to account for how the financing allocate dby the City Council was used. This was the reason for Mr Lemberg’s outrage.

    The legislative body of Ventspils University college was trying to convince Ms Rēvalde that this co-operation is our history; we as both an educational and research institution have only benefited from it in numerous ways. The same as with your parents – not always you support their words and deeds, but they are your parents. We want a rector that not divides but unites us all.

    Ms Rēvalde – RECTOR AGAINST HER OWN STAFF,

    and yes, STAFF AGAINST Ms Rēvalde.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Ieva Vizule says:

    Additional comment – this call by Ms Rēvalde is another attempt to delay the decision of the Constitutional Council of Ventspils University College concerning her removal from the rector’s position coming into effect.

    An urgent audit is required; knowing that the State Audit Office has a long waiting list, this is bound to take some good time. Very convenient for Ms Rēvalde indeed.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

NAF: Russia’s attitude remains unfriendly towards Latvia

So far Russia’s demonstrated attitude has remained unfriendly towards Latvia, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Lembergs’ turn to testify before parliamentary committee has come

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is suspended from performing duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council, has been invited to come to a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee and answer questions associated with so-called oligarchs case.

How Latvian communities around the world plan to celebrate Latvia’s birthday?

«Celebration of independence of the Republic of Latvia is an important tradition that allows members of Latvia’s diaspora to maintain ties with their homeland – this year’s event will be even more expansive and inclusive than ever before. This is because events associated with the country’s hundredth birthday will be organized all around the world,» says manager of World Federation of Free Latvians office in Latvia Jānis Andersons.

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

Wage rules violations most often associated with envelope wages

To promote public awareness and improve commercial environment, honest competition and honest compliance with taxes, Latvia’s State Revenue Service intends to expand its database with new information about taxpayers, BNN was told by SRS.

Management of Unity’s Saeima faction to change in December

«Political consultations with all of Unity’s partner parties that are represented in the Saeima’s faction have concluded. An agreement has been reached to perform management change before the end of Saeima’s autumn session – around 21 December,» says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

EP prepared to commence talks with EU governments on reforming asylum system

The European Parliament is prepared to commence talks about reforming Dublin Regulation to ensure every member state is able to resettle a portion of asylum seekers.

Estonia to pour into Finnish-Estonian cultural fund 700 000 euros

Estonian cabinet of ministers has decided to attribute 700,000 euros to the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund, an organisation working since 2015 aimed at fostering cooperation between the two states in culture, creative economy and training both for individuals and organizations.

Russia in UN vetoes extension of Syrian chemical attack investigation

At the UN Security Council, Russia has used its veto powers to block a resolution with which it would be allowed to continue the international investigation into a chemical attack this spring in Syria, which prompted the U.S. to launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase.

Latvia’s birthday expected to be windy

A precipitation zone will reach Latvia from the west on Friday, 17 November. The precipitation zone will, however, pass over Latvia quickly, making rainfall short and periods of clear sky more frequent and longer. Air temperature is expected to stay within +5° C… +8° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

State of emergency in force in flood-hit Greece

Rescue services in Greece are looking for no less than five people, who have gone missing following unexpected and disastrous floods on Wednesday, November 15, that killed 15 people; however, bad weather is still expected.

Laupīšanas 101 director: Latvia’s film industry has yet to reach its potential height

There is sufficient evidence to prove that Latvia’s film industry is capable, but at the same time many films are directed basically the same way. There is a lack of creativity, which means very slow development for the industry, said Kaspars Marhlevičs, director of short comedy Laupīšanas 101, in an interview to BNN.

Medical cannabis bill paves way in Lithuanian legislature

Otherwise conservative Lithuania has made a big stride forward legalising cannabis for medical use with 92 Lithuanian parliamentarians voting Thursday, November 15, to open the bill draft on medication containing cannabis. The law draft should go back to the parliamentary floor for deliberations on December 12.

Latvian sentenced to ten years in prison for fighting on the side of ISIS in Syria

On Thursday, 16 November, Latvian citizen Mārtiņš Grīnbergs was sentenced by Riga Regional Court to ten years and three months in prison for fighting on the side of Islamic State terrorist organization.

European Parliament: Africa’s development requires a new stimulus

To resolve economic, social and migration-related problems, which usually accompany lasting crises, better African-EU cooperation is needed, European Parliament members say.

Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry proposes preventing new MPC reforms

Increase of mandatory procurement components cannot be allowed. Exactly the opposite – this cost should be dropped entirely for end electricity prices in an attempt to improve international competitiveness of companies, BNN was told by council members of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

Matīss: LDz cannot raise tariffs and perform rail electrification under cargo anti-record

Because Latvijas dzelzceļš has set an anti-record in cargo transports in the first ten months of this year, Saeima deputy and member of the National Economy Committee Anrijs Matīss says raising the fee for the use of infrastructure cannot be allowed. He adds that the intended railway electrification project should be considered very carefully.

Lithuania and Latvia placed in top 10 in climate policy index

In the annual Climate Change Performance Index, where climate policy action in 57 countries has been evaluated, on a scale from «very high» to «very low», 11 EU member states have been evaluated with as having been highly active, with Sweden showing the best results ahead of Lithuania, the UK, Finland and Latvia.

Bite Latvija buys Stream Networks and Latnet

Mobile commutations operator Bite Latvija has signed a purchase agreement for 100% of shares of Stream Networks and its subsidiary Latner Serviss, as BNN was informed by Bite manager in Latvia Kaspars Buls.

airBaltic carried three million passengers in first ten months of 2017

In the first ten months of 2017, airBaltic carried a total of 3,007,034 passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East, BNN was told by the company.

Kaljulaid sees African opportunities to outplace EU in digitalisation

During a visit to Ethiopia, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed African-EU relations with the African Commissioner for Trade and Industry and recommended investing into digital development that would be beneficial for the continent itself.

Most employed people in Latvia are satisfied with their jobs

More and more often employers experience lack of qualified labour force, as well as increase of employees’ confidence about their competitiveness on the labour market and their openness for better job offers.

Estonian railways operator happy about increasing freight volume

Freight carried on the infrastructure of the Estonian state railway company Estonian Railways in October amounted to one million tons, which is a 10.4% hike compared to October 2016.

European Parliament: rule of law in Malta should be monitored more closely

Malta should strengthen the rule of law and the European Commission should follow the situation in the country more closely to ensure objective protection of rights, members of the European Parliament say.

Greece hit by sudden, disastrous floods

Towns in central Greece have suffered severe damages as unexpectedly heavy rain caused floods on Wednesday, November 15, taking the lives of no less than 15 people.