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Ceturtdiena 20.02.2020 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

Suspended Economy Ministry’s state secretary may refuse transfer to CSP

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Ēriks Eglītis, Latvia, Economy Ministry, CSP, transfer

Ēriks Eglītis

Next week, on 11 February, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia plans to decide on Economy Ministry’s prepared legislative acts, in accordance with which Edmunds Valantis is to be approved as the new state secretary to the ministry and the previous state secretary Ēriks Eglītis is to be approved as the new chief of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Eglītis, however, is unlikely to agree to this.

He says this is a «confusing situation», because on Monday, 3 February, he handed his resignation to Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro, adding that he intends to leave his post on 15 May. However, the minister has not reacted to his resignation. Instead he decided to suspend Eglītis for the duration of a disciplinary investigation. In parallel to that he has also proposed moving Eglītis to work at CSP.

Eglītis ironically noted that he was not good as the ministry’s state secretary, whereas he would make a good chief for CSP.

According to Economy Ministry’s statement submitted to the government, the ministry has decided to relocate Eglītis and the chief of CSP to other posts in order to ‘expand analytical capacity for Economy Ministry, especially in order to ensure high quality for the population census in 2021, when it is planned to acquire information only from administrative resources, including data sources maintained by other ministries and institutions’.

CSP’s current chief Aija Žīgure had previously agreed to relocate to Economy Ministry’s Analytical Department.

Economy ministry notes the decision regarding Eglītis’ transfer to CSP was made considering his experience and knowledge with ICT development, development project management and implementation of challenging business goals.

«Eglītis would be a good choice if we want to modernize, develop and make processes at CSP more efficient. Eglītis’ experience with management of large teams, creation of a team vision, as well as promotion of teamwork would prove beneficial as well,» the ministry explains.

The ministry also adds that in accordance with the State Civil Service Law, after his transfer to CSP his wage and social guarantees will remain unchanged.

When asked if he agrees with the transfer Eglītis said no one asked the official for his opinion, which is why he needs to follow the government’s orders. At the same time, Eglītis says he cannot provide a clear answer if he agrees to transfer to work at CSP.

«So far I have avoided providing a clear answer regarding my remainder in civil service. I will stick to this strategy now, too. But I am 80% confident I will leave the service. Nemiro will be my direct employer, and I have a negative opinion about his fitness for his post,» comments Eglītis.

«I don’t see the two of us cooperating unless Nemiro changes his attitude,» says Eglītis.

He also said that both for the post of economy ministry’s state secretary’s post and the post of the chief of CSP it is necessary to organize separate personnel selection processes.

According to documents submitted to the government by economy ministry, it is planned to appoint Valantis as the ministry’s new state secretary. The ministry justified picking him with his experience working in state administration, his knowledge and professional accomplishments in areas of the ministry’s expertise: use of EU funding, development of financial instruments, attraction of investments. The ministry also praises Valantis for his accomplishments in the construction and housing sector, where major changes have been observed over the years – an electronic work record system has been introduced, the construction process has been digitized and a general agreement has been reached in regards to pay in the industry.

«Valantis has successfully taken part in work of capital associations. On top of that, Valantis experience with leading a large team is also important for economy ministry’s work, as well as his skills in cooperation, development and initiative planning,» the ministry adds.

Ministers will also have to decide on allowing Valantis to combine his posts of Economy Ministry’s state secretary and his post as deputy of Baldone County Council. There Valantis represents the interests the combined list of the National Alliance and Unity.

Eglītis was appointed as state secretary to Economy Ministry almost two years ago – 4 April 2018, when Arvils Ašeradens was Latvia’s Economy Minister. Before then he was the head of the US Chamber of Commerce in Latvia. He also worked at LLC Microsoft Latvia as its manager and Samsung Electronics, where he was responsible to the telecommunications business in Baltic States.

At the beginning of February 2020 Nemiro had Eglītis suspended for the duration of a disciplinary case’s investigation over possible violations of monitoring of the MPC system. Eglītis believes the minister decided to do this because he objected to the decision to appoint Nemiro’s advisor Pāvels Rebenoks to the council of Latvenergo.

Eglītis has also submitted his resignation to the minister, asking to be relieved of duties as of 15 May. He has also sent a letter to political party KPV LV ethics committee and Saeima’s Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee with a request to evaluate Nemiro’s decisions with appointment of associates to important positions of power.

Read also: Continuation of Olainfarm talks: the raiderism of Nemiro’s advisor Rebenoks

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