The minister of economic affairs, Juhan Parts, has called for a special audit of the state-owned Port of Tallinn's sports sponsorship and donation activities. Meanwhile, Parts quelled protests from the athletic community with a proposal to compensate the Olympic Committee for Port of Tallinn funding he blocked earlier this week.
"Putting aside the issue of whether sports are sufficiently funded, I consider it necessary to focus the continuing discussion on the main problems, that is, how to better ensure that state companies' sponsorship activities are in accordance with the law, that they are transparent and avoid conflicts of interest," Minister of Economic Affairs Juhan Parts said in a letter to Parliament's Finance Committee requesting the audit.
Although the port has been a sponsor of the Olympic Committee for 16 years, Parts recently took issue with the fact that the port's supervisory board chairman, Neinar Seli, is also the president of the Olympic Committee.
Making it clear that he was concerned with the conflict of interest and not sports funding, Parts proposed in the same letter to take out an additional 250,000 euros in dividends from other state companies, matching the sum that he withheld from the Olympic Committee. The sum would be allocated to the Ministry of Culture, which oversees sports.
"Since the final sums of the dividends from each company as stated in the state budget will be confirmed by the government at the beginning of next year, we will by then conduct a more detailed analysis of the possibilities for increasing various companies' dividends. At the moment it seems most practical to increase the dividend payouts from Eesti Loots (a pilot and ports services company)," Parts said.