The Health Board (Terviseamet) has recruited temporary public relations specialists who will be paid more than chief medical official for the emergency situation Dr. Arkadi Popov.
The four specialists of PR Partnerid communications office hired by the Health Board director general Merike Jürilo on average earn €2,600 after tax, Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian) reports. At the same time, the gross salary of chief medical official for the emergency situation Dr Arkadi Popov is around €2,300, which leaves some €1,770 after tax.
Broadly speaking, the temporary employees who legally work at the Health Board as private individuals, have two roles: to substitute the Health Board PR people needing a break and to offer advice to the unit and crisis chiefs, the daily explains.
The owner of PR Partnerid and one of the persons employed Ilona Leib emphasized that PR Partnerid will not receive any income deriving from the crisis situation and claimed the company is instead risking loss of revenue.
Jürilo contacted Leib when recruiting public relations professionals as she knew the latter to be a competent crisis communication specialist and asked her to recommend other specialists who were able to start work immediately without needing training. Leib recommended employees of her company to Jürilo.
Even though a public institution needs to organize a procurement or an open competition when recruiting, there is no evidence of it in the public procurement register and no open competitions have been organized, EPL writes. Jürilo explained that because of the current emergency situation the specialists were hired after negotiations which she claimed is an acceptable method of making decisions.
Editor: Anders Nõmm