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Wednesday 22.05.2019 | Name days: Emīlija
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Officials asked to take responsibility for misuse of state resources

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIf misuse of state resources takes place, officials have to take responsibility and pay for the damages caused to the state, says Public Expenditure and Audit Committee chairman Andris Bērziņš.

On Wednesday, 19 September, members of the committee met with representatives from State Audit, Interior Affairs Ministry and Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau to discuss results of the evaluation of officials’ responsibility after the audit of legality and efficiency of interior affairs sector’s real estate properties, as reported by Saeima press-service.

The audit published at the beginning of 2018 states that property owned by State Fire and Rescue Service – the fire fighters’ station in Ogre County – was being used by Plauži hunting club and that at least three high-ranking SFRS were well-aware of that. An inspection at Interior Affairs Ministry helped find out that the station in Ogre was being used as the hunting club’s official address for years. This caused considerable losses for the country, as noted in conclusions from Interior Affairs Committee’s specially formed committee.

«If a person admits his guilt, that person also has to cover the losses. In this specific case, there were people who knew about the situation and did nothing to put an end to it. I am aware the building was once owned by the hunting club. With that, it would be necessary to reassess and pay back the losses to put an end to this case,» said Bērziņš, adding that such a situation must not be allowed to repeat. Deputies also invited responsible institutions to search for solutions to make sure officials are punished appropriately for causing damage to state resources and have losses compensated.

A disciplinary penalty was applied to SFRS chief in the form of a 10% reduction of his wage for two months. The disciplinary case launched against the commander of SFRS station in Ķeipene has concluded – he was removed from his post because he has reached retirement age. Responsibility of other SFRS officials who participated in events organized by the hunting club was not evaluated, as noted in State Audit’s report.

An administrative case was launched by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau against the commander of SFRS station in Ķeipene but later ceased – no evidence of administrative violation was found. CPCB representatives agreed at the meeting that such a situation is unacceptable. They mentioned that the decision to cease the case was made because there were no decisions or documents found to suggest there were any deals made with Plauži hunting club regarding the use of the building in question.

State Audit representatives voiced their dissatisfaction with the fact that the case was closed so suddenly, because losses were caused not by officials’ actions, but their inaction.

The State Audit has thereby asked the prosecutor general to assess the legality of CPCB’s decision, because Latvian Code of Administrative Violations allows the prosecutor to submit a protest in regards to decisions made in cases dealing with administrative violations. Deputies asked the State Audit to inform Saeima’s Public Expenditure and Audit Committee about results of the performed evaluation.


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