Latviski English По-русски
Friday 24.01.2020 | Name days: Krišs, Eglons, Ksenija

Minister wonders if money for ex-LDz board members counts as resource squandering

(No Ratings Yet)

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

Latvian Railway board chairman Edvīns Bērziņš (L) and Latvian Railway vice-president Aivars Strakšas (R)

Latvia’s Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits intends to ask the shareholder of Latvian Railway (LDz) to check if payment of compensation to ex-LDz board chairman Edvīns Bērziņš and board member Aivars Strakšas for early termination of work relations can be considered squandering of state resources, as journalists were told by the minister on Monday, 29 July.

«The size of compensation is the topic of discussions between the council and the board. Considering the information I have come across, I will ask the shareholder to check if agreements match details listed in the law on squandering of state and municipal resources,» says Linkaits.

At the same time, he said he cannot comment the size of compensations.

When asked if compensation amounts are too high, Linkaits said: «This requires an assessment».

TV3 News, referencing information available to the programme, reported that the two will receive lay off compensation in the size of an annual wage. According to Bērziņš’s declaration for 2018, he earned EUR 147 000, and Strakšas earned EUR 128 000 last year.

Linkaits also notes that he cannot say the size of planned compensations could be the reason why Bērziņš and Strakšas decided to step down. According to the minister, this question should be asked to the two of them.

«I believe we have to look forward. We have to turn this page. We move forward and we look for a modern board that would do everything necessary to meet goals of the government’s action plan,» said the minister.

When asked about the board members selection process, Linkaits said it would be best to pick new members internationally and using a good personnel selection company, because LDz should be made a modern company that supports people and clients’ interests. ‘There are many structures and work principles, which is why the company requires a capable leader with a good vision,’ said the minister.

Transport Ministry’s acting state secretary Džineta Innusa is the shareholder in LDz.

On Thursday, 25 July, LDz council decided to terminate work relations with Bērziņš and Strakšas. The two will leave their posts on 12 August. Ēriks Šmuksts and Ainis Stūrmanis, on the other hand, will continue working in the company’s board.

«Considering that a situation has formed when there is no active dialogue between the heads of the company, the ministry and the company’s board, the decision has been made to put an end to this uncertainty and start moving forward,» LDz Council chairman Jānis Lange said after a meeting.

As previously reported, on 7 May Linkaits voiced no-confidence to Bērziņš, Strakšas and Stūrmanis. He asked the LDz council to dismiss the three officials. Stūrmanis remains in his post.

The minister stressed that the main points of criticism are associated with possible distortion of competition, which threatens with serious consequences for LDz and the country.

The ministry received information about possible corruption. This information was later forwarded to Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB). Multiple financially large economic transactions, including marketing and advertisement contracts worth several million euros were found, which leads to believe the board has not acted as a serious and careful manager.

LDz board members announced that Linkaits’ statements about the company’s management were aimed at preparing the company for privatization. Bērziņš and Strakšas also asked State Police to commence a criminal process against Linkaits for defamation.

LDz is a public use railway infrastructure maintenance company and the leading company of Latvian Railway concern. The company has six subsidiaries – LatRailNet, LDz Cargo, LDz Infrastructure, LDz Rolling Stock Service, LDz Security and LDz Logistics.

Leave a reply

Bulgaria accuses three Russian citizens for poisoning of arms producer

Three Russian citizens have been charged by Bulgaria over the attempted murder of an arms producer and another two Bulgarians using a poison. One survivor believes there is a link with the poisoning of the Skripals in the United Kingdom.

Ignoring sanctions, Ventspils City Council approves budget created under Lembergs’ watchful eye

In spite of sanctions imposed by USA, Ventspils City Council approved the city’s budget for 2020, which came to be under absolute influence from Aivars Lembergs, on Thursday, 23 January, BNN was told by opposition deputy Aivis Landmanis.

Estonia eyes one-year prison sentence for first-time drunk drivers

Estonian government ministers have proposed harsher sanctions for drunk driving. Their initiative comes after three people got killed in a crash, where a heavily intoxicated driver was involved.

Latvian residents trust National Armed Forces the most and the Saeima the least

Latvia’s residents trust the country’s National Armed Forces and the president the most and the Saeima the least, according to the survey performed by Latvian National Security Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre.

In China, coronavirus claims more lives as transport limitations put in place

The Chinese outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus has reached the death toll of 26 people, meanwhile, authorities are trying to keep it from spreading introducing transport movement limitations in at least 10 cities.

Information about VDD new office building’s construction costs is a state secret

Although some media have mentioned different amounts of money the construction of a new office for the State Security Service at the location of former Marss cycling track may cost, the service reports that this information is considered a state secret.

Kariņš: Latvia is no longer the younger brother – our country’s voice is heard

Latvia is no longer the younger brother on the international arena – our country is heard and its opinion is taken seriously, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš at annual foreign policy debates on Thursday, 23 January.

Poland passes law on limiting public actions, statements of judges

The Polish Sejm has passed a draft law that sets forth limiting the say of judges over justice appointments, court reform and politics. The limitations have been widely criticised abroad.

Linkaits: banks once again service Ventspils Freeport terminals

The situation with Ventspils Freeport is gradually becoming more relaxed. On top of that, banks once again service port terminals there, as Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits affirmed in a conversation with journalists on Thursday, 23 January.

Aivars Lembergs picks ex-prime minister’s freelance advisor Grudulis as his lawyer for debates

The suspended Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs, who is also accused of committing serious crimes and is under US sanctions, has picked once the prime minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis’ freelance advisor Māris Grudulis as his lawyer for debates in court, as was announced in court on Thursday, 23 January.

What is Lithuanian President’s main reason to skip Jerusalem Holocaust forum?

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has unexpectedly flip-flopped on where and how to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland. First, he said he will attend the commemoration in Jerusalem, but then changed his mind to pay homage to the Jewish victims in Auschwitz, in Poland. The reason? Well, there is no clear official reason for that – President’s Office did not provide one.

Audit: Rail Baltica slowed by poor risk management and slow progress with municipalities

Delays and cost increase of Rail Baltica project is heavily affected by no risk management and no strategy, as well as slow progress in cooperation with municipalities and passive alienation of properties, Latvian State Audit concluded in its latest report.

China stops public transport in two cities over coronavirus

In China, a new strain of coronavirus has claimed the lives of 17 people. To keep it form spreading, local authorities have stopped the public transport to and from the cities of Wuhan and Huanggang.

BNN investigation | Rebenoks and Krieķis may have plans to return to Olainfarm board despite ties to serious crimes

Ex-Olainfarm officials Mārtiņš Krieķis and Pāvels Rebenoks, the latter also serving as Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro’s advisor, may return to the company’s board to, possibly, continue walking «well-travelled path» paved with non-transparent deals, according to information available to BNN.

In Estonia, forgetting to register child’s name can lead to municipality choosing it

Estonian law obliges parents to register the name of their child in a month’s time after giving birth. In the unlikely case of them being late, the law opens right to a local municipality to choose it.

Change of concept? Viesturs Kairišs becomes Dailes Theatre’s artistic director

Dailes Theatre’s board member Juris Žagars has picked Viesturs Kairišs as the theatre’s new artistic director, as journalists were told by Žagars on Thursday, 23 January.

Lukashenko: Belarus needs to diversify its oil imports, introducing Baltic supplies

As Minsk and Moscow are in talks to solve a dispute over the continuation of oil imports from Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Russian supplies could be cut to 30-40% of Belarus’ total imports.

Minister does not exclude possibility of number of municipalities in Latvia increasing

The Administrative Territorial Reform offers reducing the number of municipalities to 39 in Latvia. Still, it is possible there may be one or two more, said Latvian Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce in an interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Thursday, 23 January.

Thirteen people die from influenza in Latvia

Three people died from influenza in Latvia last week, increasing the number of victims to 13 for this year’s flu season, according to monitoring data of acute upper respiratory tract infections published by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

Lithuania tries to halt haulage firm exodus to Poland with new tax

Lithuania is introducing a new «exit tax» to keep road haulage firms from relocating to other European Union member states. The firms say that other ways of moving business abroad will be used.

Corruption fighters: corruption perception indexes decline in Latvia in 2019

Latvia’s positions had worsened slightly in 2019 in global anti-corruption coalition Transparency International composed Corruption Perception Index.

UK parliament passes draft Brexit law

In London, the draft law on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has been finally passed by the Houses of Parliament after years of inability of British legislators to decide on their preferred way out of the bloc.

Harmony prepared to approve Riga’s 2020 budget after Burovs’ dismissal

Political party Harmony will not approve Riga municipality’s 2020 budget while Oļegs Burovs remains in charge of the city council, as reported by the be faction’s head Maksims Tolstojs.

British landlords support cards showing rights of EU guest workers after Brexit

After Brexit, which is due to start with February, European Union citizens will have to prove their settled status when looking for flats. Private landlords has supported a change in the Brexit law for EU citizens to have physical cards to prove it.

Survey: 86% believe roads should be among state budget priorities in Latvia

A total of 86% Latvian residents believe maintenance and repair work of roads should be among state budget priorities, according to results of a survey by SKDS.

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