bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 22.07.2019 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina
LatviaLatvia

Riga.lv board hasn’t a clue why most employees are Harmony and HSR members

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Municipal foundation Riga.lv board chairman Andris Konošonoks denies that employees for the foundation were picked based on their membership in either Harmony or Honour to Serve Riga (HSR) political parties.

On Wednesday, 10 July, Riga City Council discussed the topic regarding the foundation’s liquidation, which was unanimously supported.

During the discussion of the foundation’s liquidation, questions asked by deputies were answered by Konošonoks and Riga City Council Property Department director Aija Rimicāne.

Answering the question asked by Viļnis Ķirsis as to how it turned out that several dozen employees of the foundations are associated with either Harmony or HSR, Konošonoks denied that people were fictively employed or were picked specifically because their membership in either of the two parties.

«Employees were picked based on professional criteria,» said Konošonoks, adding that he has no idea how this situation came to be.

Ķirsis also asked why the foundation kept information about use of grants, employee lists and other aspects of its operations secret from the opposition. Konošonoks said information was never kept secret and was issued in accordance with the order detailed in the Data Protection Law.

City council deputy Ģirts Lapiņš from the National Alliance asked if the foundation’s board even agrees with State Audit’s conclusions in regards to the foundation’s uselessness and that most of its functions doubled those of the city council’s Public Relations Office. Konošonoks said that he does not really see the board’s responsibility in this, because he performed supervision of work and operated in line with statutes.

Politician Olafs Pulks (Unity) wanted to learn what exactly happened with the municipality’s newspaper, which was one of Riga.lv responsibilities. According to the board member, in 2014 the foundations started printing a fee newspaper that was distributed to residents via postal services.

«A year later we evaluated its contribution and concluded that it’s not a good practice, because free newspapers often do not reach recipients. As a result, we overpaid for papers that were thrown away. The ministry responsible for supervising municipalities said it distorts the press-market. This is why we decided in 2015 to hand over the newspaper to existing media,» said Konošonoks, adding that cooperation was established not only with printed press, but also Delfi portal, television and other media.

Konošonoks could not answer the question asked by deputy Valters Bergs (New Conservative Party) as to the identities of the foundation’s creditors. He only said that the several separate payments make up the entire amount. According to him, it could be unpaid vacation money.

Meanwhile, Rimicāne noted that it is already clear that Riga City Council’s Public Relations Office will take over maintenance of www.riga.lv portal, as well as social networks and content publication on mass media. This means certain employees may continue working in their existing posts but in the Public Relations Office.

Unity faction added three proposals to this decision project. The first proposal provided for termination of grants for Riga.lv. The second proposal provided for publishing all closed cooperation contracts, cost outlines, employee lists and other documents on the municipality’s portal within 30 days after liquidation of the foundation.

The faction also proposed applying measures against all deputies who in the past two years voted in favour of provision of grants to the foundations.

None of the faction’s proposals were supported.

It is planned the foundation’s liquidations will take about eight months. The process itself will be led by the foundation’s board.

This year’s grant for the foundation from the municipality’s budget was planned to be EUR 1.77 million. So far EUR 800 000 of this amount has been paid and EUR 430 000 has been spent. According to Rimicāne, the balance as of 1 June shows that the foundation losses reach EUR 235 000.

As previously reported, Riga City Council’s opposition had made several attempts to liquidate Riga.lv in the past. At first, the ruling coalition decided to postpone evaluation of the foundation’s work until autumn. When he took office, then the Mayor of Riga Dainis Turlais said he is prepared to amend the city council’s decision and discuss the possibility of the foundation’s liquidation sooner. He had also reached an agreement with the board of Riga.lv.

Riga.lv was founded in 2013. Since then the opposition has asked many questions about the usage of finances by this foundation, as well as its unclear functions, questioning if the main function of Riga.lv could be promotion of the ruling coalition.

It was also reported that the State Audit had concluded in its inspection that it is possible that in three years more than 20 million of taxpayers’ money had been wasted associations and foundations. Auditors mainly pointed towards two municipal foundations – Riga Tourism Development Bureau and Riga.LV.


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania: CB denies Swedbank’s Syria links, PM Skvernelis to change some ministers

Last week, PM Saulius Skvernelis revealed that the Government mulls taxing property and polluting cars, Lithuanian Railways said it will keep contract with Latvia's Sigmen, Court disqualifies itself from Paleckis case.

BNN summary of the week: Cutting a pie. Minimal wage. Dangerous games

Is there a pleasant aroma of a fresh pie in the air? Judging by events of the past week, the tasty smell of the 2020 budget has already spread across government corridors even though the dough is not ever ready.

Latvia among Baltic States with first quarter’s highest budget deficit

In Q1 2019, the general government budget deficit ratio to GDP in Latvia was higher than the average across the EU, according to data published by Eurostat.

Latvia’s industrial producer price level up 0.4% in June

Compared to May, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.4 % in June 2019. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 1.5 %, but prices of exported products reduced by 0.7 %.

Curious career zigzags. From shipping schemes to a warm seat in Latvian Railway

Shadow of doubt over fraud worth five million euros. Career twists with Lembergs’ approval. Secret peace treaty following Uldis Augulis’ entry to Transport Ministry. Illegal state of monopoly in the industry. What hides behind Latvian Railway chief’s «spotless» reputation?

Estonian TransferWise hires Netflix’s ex-chief financial officer

Estonian-led financial transactions start-up TransferWise has announced expansion of its board of directors with the former chief financial officer of the American online television service Netflix, David Wells.

Ukraine to reform citizenship process following Russian passport move

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the President of Ukraine, has ordered changes to the process for receving Ukrainian citizenship reacting to a Moscow decree increasing the number of Ukrainians eligible for fast-track Russian passports.

SES: barrels with chemicals found in Baldone are not harmful to people or environment

The barrels found in Baldone containing different chemicals do not present any direct threats to the environment or people, as reported by State Environment Service.

U.S. shoots down Iranian aircraft amid rising tensions in Persian Gulf

With American-Iranian relations being tense, U.S. President Donald Trump stated that an American naval ship had downed an Iranian drone that threatened the ship in the Arabian Sea.

NATO StratCom does not consider FaceApp more dangerous than Facebook

The US Democratic Party is concerned about Russian-made FaceApp, which allows its users to imagine how they might look like when they are old and retired. NATO StratCom, however, does not consider the app to be more dangerous than other apps users entrust their personal data with.

Additional information to be asked for in Latvian prosecutor general’s evaluation

Saeima deputies who initiated the investigation if there are reasons the justify dismissal of Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers have been asked to clarify their request by providing more detailed information in relation to conclusions mentioned in their request.

Latvian minister wants more responsibility for the state in children rights protection

The new children’s rights protection model will delegate more functions to the state, said Latvian Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča.

Scandinavian tourist killers in Morocco convicted to capital punishment

In Morocco, for the murder of two Scandinavian tourists, three Islamic State group supporters have been sentenced to death.

European Parliament urges Russia to release illegally arrested Ukrainian citizens

On Thursday, 18 July, European Parliament’s members accepted a resolution in which they invite Russia to unconditionally release all illegally and arbitrarily arrested Ukrainian citizens in Russia and occupied territories in Ukraine.

New York Times: stakes are high for Latvia in the fight against money laundering

US newspaper New York Times has published an article detailing problems with Latvia’s finance system, admitting that stakes are especially high in the fight against money laundering in this Baltic country.

Seats divided – Latvian MEPs find their jobs for the next several years

European Parliament has announced to composition of its parliamentary delegations. This includes the roles of Latvian MEPs for the first two and a half years of service, as reported by EP representative Jānis Krastiņš.

Defiant Lithuanian Parliament Speaker snubs party’s decision on his ouster

The summer’s record heatwave has withdrawn, but the Lithuanian legislature, Seimas, is sizzling – the chamber’s speaker, Viktoras Pranckietis, remains defiant, snubbing the ruling Farmers and Greens (LFGU) Council’s nearly unanimous decision to oust him from the post, following the signing of the LFGU-led new coalition agreement in early July.

Latvian Saeima committee supports increasing teachers’ wages to EUR 750

On Thursday, 18 July, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee supporter proposal for division of finances to increase minimal wages of teachers to EUR 750 in 2019.

260 more marriages than last year registered in Latvia so far in 2019

In the six months of 2019, a total of 4 730 marriages were registered, and that is 260 marriages more than during the same period of the previous year.

Dentists in Latvia may be offered compensation for work in country’s regions

To improve accessibility of healthcare services outside of Riga, it is planned to expand the range of medical specialists who are eligible for financial support when choosing to work in regions, as reported by Healthcare Ministry.

Open arms for Lidl – Estonian competition watchdog predicts lower prices

Expecting the entry of the German supermarket chain Lidl on the Estonian market, the country’s Competition Authority expects healthier competition and lower prices.

Latvian president says funding is a non-issue if public media are organized

Resolving the public media crisis will make funding a non-issue, said Latvia’s President Egils Levits in an interview to public broadcaster LTV Rīta panorama programme.

Latvian minister shocked over situation with orphans in the country

Latvia’s Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča is unpleasantly surprised with institutions’ and municipalities’ opposition towards orphaned children ending up in a family-like environment, saying it’s an «inconceivable situation».

No measles’ vaccine for child? 2 500-euro fine planned in Germany

As Germany seeks to curb an increase in measles’ cases, the federal government has passed a plan of mandatory vaccinations for children and school staff and a fine of up to 2 500 euros for lacking a vaccine.

Latvia commences procurement for public transport services in next decade

A procurement process has been announced for public transport services in Latvia for 2021-2030, as confirmed by Road Transport Directorate.

Newest comments