Culture Ministry wants Shiftworks grant money overview by April 3

Helen Sidlna.
Helen Sidlna. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Ministry of Culture has now stated that it requires an overview of the use of state support provided to the company behind Tallinn Music Week (TMW) by April 3.

The company, Shiftworks OÜ, is owned by Helen Sildna, the main organizer in TMW, which takes place this year in May.

Hannus Luure, Ministry of Culture spokesperson, told ERR Monday that: "We agreed with Helen Sildna that we expect account statements pertaining to Shiftworks OÜ for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, no later than April 3, 2023."

Over the period 2019-2023, the ministry has allocated close to €1.1 million in operating support, project support and Covid-related aid, to Shiftworks.

On receiving these funds, Shiftworks had at the time agreed to retain the necessary documentation, and was ready to permit the ministry to audit the use of the money; were this not to take place, contractually the ministry was able to request the funds be returned.

Meelis Kompus, head of the Department of Communication and International Cooperation at the Culture Ministry, told ERR on Friday that the ministry is set to agree with Sildna next week on the exact deadlines for submitting the required accounting documents, while ministry would initiate the process of reclaiming the grant money were these deadlines not met.

In case of the non-submission of documentation, the ministry has the right to consider reclaiming the support, under the terms of the contract for the use of state budget operating support No. 7-2/3655-2 concluded between the Ministry of Culture and Shiftworks OÜ, the ministry says.

Reports emerged last week that the Ministry of Culture had been unable to fully audit the use of public money by Sildna and Shiftworks, due to reported non-cooperation by Sildna.

While the ministry agreed to give Sildna and the company extra time to draw together the necessary documentation pertaining to the funds, Culture Minister Piret Hartman (SDE) said Friday that she hoped for clarity on the issue "by spring", and not by the end of this year.

In 2018, contractors who had carried out work for Shiftworks, then called Musiccase, complained of late payment issues.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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