bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 01.04.2020 | Name days: Dagne, Dagnis

Rail Baltica employees: the project is in critical state due to poor management

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Karolis Sankovskis,  Rail Baltica, RB Rail, Transport Ministry, Tālis Linkaits	The Rail Baltica railway project is in a critical state due to poor corporate management and conflict of interests, as outlined by 62 employees of AS RB Rail joint Baltic company in a public statement.

«In spite of major progress accomplished in the project, we are very worried that Rail Baltica, which is generously co-financed by the European Union, has ended up in a critical state because of poor corporate management and conflict of interests,» the statement mentions.

Employees say that on 30 October, following the CEO stepping down, they sent a joint statement to offices of the three Baltic prime ministers and transport ministries, requesting immediate action because the CEO’s and technical director’s sudden departure, which is the fifth replacement of the high-rank officials in the past 14 months, makes them question the quality of the project’s organization.

«This is why he sent this letter and why we are now publishing the previous statement from employees. We believe residents of the three Baltic States deserve to know this. We also believe Baltic prime ministers will address this situation during next week’s trilateral meeting,» the statement mentions.

RB Rail employees propose submitting supervision over the project to prime ministers, stressing that the current fractured state of supervision does not provide for efficient implementation and coordination of the project between public and private sector’s structures on a national and regional level, nor does it contribute to inter-industrial synergy.

Employees believe it is immediately important to return to the initial view for joint company Rail Baltica as an integrated, unified structure responsible for implementation of Rail Baltica project, because currently, according to employees, there is no single organization responsible for this project’s successful implementation.

They also propose electing an independent joint-company council to ensure teams represent interests of all shareholders. This will help prevent conflicts of interest and possible intervening with decision-making.

Employees also propose immediate dismissal of RB Rail supervisory council chairman Karolis Sankovski, «considering his inability to comply with good corporate management principles and prevent major and ruinous fluctuations on the highest level of corporate management. There is also the matter of the clear conflict of interests he demonstrated across his entire term.»

RB Rail employees want a single new supervisory council member to represent the interests of the joint company’s employees.

Read also: Rail Baltica airport station’s construction may cost 250 – 280 million euros for Latvia

Employees also want council members to explain how the new temporary CEO of RB Rail meets the criteria outlined in the shareholders agreement: the CEO is required to be internationally experienced business manager and a knowledgeable expert in infrastructure construction, financing and management affairs. Additionally, employees want to know how the new CEO plans to prevent a conflict of interests if he still works in the organization that had previously supervised RB Rail.

«We believe it is in the interest of the project’s successful implementation to unite the strengths of all Baltic States before construction can commence. Now is the time for parliaments, governments and the European Commission to ask the question if Rail Baltica is a project that can provide long-term benefits for Baltic States and the entire European Union or if the countries continue fighting against inefficiency, conflicts of interest and irresponsible attitude towards EU and other countries» finances,’ the statement mentions.

RB Rail employees are committed to continue actively helping to reform and improve the management of Rail Baltica project and its implementation.

Meanwhile, Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits mentioned in the statement made to the media that the project is on the list of priorities for Latvia and all efforts are put in to finish the project within established terms. Currently Rail Baltica route in Latvia is undergoing design and construction. Construction work will become apparent to residents in Riga’s centre in the second half of 2020 and at the airport in 2021.

«The project’s implementation is a priority not only for the Latvian government but also for the EU transport policy,»

said the minister, adding that one of the transport ministry’s main objectives is coordinating and supervising Rail Baltica project, performing cooperation of all involved sides, as well as assisting with preparation of necessary documents.

As previously reported, after the decision of RB Rail board chairman Timo Riihimäki to step down in December, SIA Eiropas dzelzceļa līnijas Development and Communication Department director Agnis Driksna was picked as the temporary CEO of RB Rail. His term will begin 2 December 2019.

RB Rail’s chief technical director and board member Mart Nielsen has also stepped down. He will leave the company on 23 December. He will be replaced by Kaido Zimmermann.

RB Rail is a joint Estonian, Latvia and Lithuanian company founded specifically for the implementation of Rail Baltica project – the first infrastructure project of such a scale in the Baltic region. RB Rail is the central coordinator of the project.

More on this topic: Rail Baltica: In rebuilding of Riga Central Station deadlines and quality are key


Leave a reply

Saeima committee supports writing off debts left from 2008 crisis

On Wednesday, 1 April, Latvian Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee conceptually supported during a remote meeting the proposal to allow credit institutions to one-sidedly write off debts for mortgage loans taken prior to the 2008 economic crisis, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Belarus introduces ban on buckwheat exports

Belarusian government has prohibited temporarily the export of buckwheat and other staple foods, state news agency BelTA reported.

Moscow tests app for tracking infected people required to self-isolate

In Moscow, where a lockdown has been in place since the beginning of the week, a new smartphone app is being developed and tested aimed at ensuring that patients with mild symptoms adhere to their contract of self-isolation, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Multiple of Nature Protection Office’s duties delegated to the State Environment Service

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry issued an order on 30 March to delegate multiple duties of the Nature Protection Office to the State Environment Service, according to information from LETA.

Latvian State Employment Agency received notifications for numerous planned lay-offs

Latvia’s State Employment Agency has received notification about planned lay-offs of 3 258 employees of 19 companies.

1 April onward entry to Jurmala by car will not be allowed without paying 2 euro fee

Wednesday, 1 April, marks the beginning of the the season when entry to Jurmala by car will require a 2 euro fee, as reported by Jurmala City Council.

Estonia looking at mass tests’ option to determine latency of COVID-19

The Estonian government has set itself the goal of mass tests of COVID-19 in the society, its Foreign Minister has revealed as the worst-hit Baltic country is looking at ways to overcome the outbreak, Estonian public broadcaster reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltic. 446 in Latvia, 581 in Lithuania, 779 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 446. Meanwhile, Lithuanian media report 581 cases.

Countries rush to support production of lung ventilators, essential amid pandemic

Governments and medical institutions in the world seek to acquire many lung ventilators that can save lives in severe cases of the COVID-19 disease. France and Israel have made recent announcements in this respect, German public broadcaster DW reports.

Public catering companies to adopt new hygiene requirements as of 1 April

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has expanded requirements for public catering and retail trade companies, BNN was told by the ministry.

At least 26 healthcare workers in Latvia confirmed infected with COVID-19

At least 26 healthcare workers in Latvia have been infected with COVID-19, according to information reported by the Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre expert Jurijs Perevoščikovs.

UN Secretary General calls for solidarity seeing pandemic as a global test

UN Secretary General António Guterres has evaluated that the social and economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest test to mankind since World War Two, British public broadcaster BBC reports.

Agricultural product price level up 1.5% in Latvia last year

Compared to 2018, price index of agricultural output increased by 1.5 % in 2019, which was mainly due to the 5 % rise in prices of livestock products. Price index of crop products grew by 0.9 %.

Start of inability to cover debts seen in Estonian economy

In Estonian economy hit by the outbreak of COVID-19 and emergency restrictions, initial indications of payment defaults have been noticed by the risk management firm Creditinfo Eesti, according to Estonian public broadcaster ERR.

Labour costs in Latvia considerably below EU and Eurozone average in 2019

Average hourly labour costs in Latvia were EUR 9.9 last year, which is considerably below the average of European Union (EU) and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat on Tuesday, 31 March.

Youth Song and Dance Celebration in Latvia pushed back to 2021

The XII Latvian School Song and Dance Celebration Committee and Song and Dance Council decided on Tuesday, 31 March, to push back this summer’s youth song and dance celebration to 2021, as Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska confirmed in a press-conference.

Russia sees COVID-19 infection rate jump by 500 in one day

In Russia, the infection rate with COVID-19 has accelerated as authorities registered 500 new cases in one day. Meanwhile, people are getting discharged after recovery in hospitals, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Latvian minister allows face-to-face teaching at schools will not return this year

It is clear remote teaching at Latvia’s schools and vocational education facilities will remain for longer. It is also possible face-to-face teaching will not return at all this season. This means most school children will also likely miss centralized exams, said Latvian Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama.

Electricity price drops to the lowest level of the past seven years

This year there has been a rapid decline of electricity wholesale price in Latvia. Nord Pool price in Latvia’s area reached its historically lowest point in March, according to market data of the Public Utilities Commission.

Riga city executive director Juris Radzevičs temporarily suspended from his post

The head of Riga city municipality’s interim administration Edvīns Balševics has suspended the city’s executive director Juris Radzevičs from his post.

Fuel sales in Estonia down by 30% to 50%

Petrol stations in Estonia have during the outbreak of COVID-19 and emergency restrictions observed a significant fall in the sales of fuel, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

BNN INTERVIEW | How is COVID-19 used to prolong Lembergs’ trial?

Attempts to prolong Aivars Lembergs’ trial still continue. The accused are trying to use the state of emergency in the country as an excuse to cancel hearings. But when asked about the option to organize trials via video conference, the accused say – let the state pay for a computer and internet connection, as they would not use theirs for such a task, BNN was told by prosecutor Juris Juriss.

UK urged to extend Brexit transition period; London says: «No»

The European Parliament’s most influential faction has suggested the United Kingdom to prolong its the transition period of its withdrawal from the European Union over the effects of the pandemic of COVID-19, The Guardian reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltics. 398 in Latvia, 533 in Lithuania, 745 in Estonia

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 398. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, reports 533 confirmed cases. The latest data for Estonia points to 715 confirmed coronavirus infection cases.

31 March marks coming into force of new social distance requirements in cafes

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has developed social distancing requirements in public catering places. The new requirements will come to force Tuesday, 31 March, the ministry reports.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!