Minister of Finance Annely Akkermann (Reform) recalled ministry representative Tarmo Porgand from the supervisory board of the Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia after, according to Akkermann, Porgand did not inform her in due course of the supervisory board's plan to provide members of the company's outgoing management board with such generous bonuses.
Akkermann announced Porgand's removal from the board on Thursday. That same day, she and party mate and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas had criticized the Eesti Energia supervisory board's decision to pay members of the company's management board generous performance pay for last year as well as award departing members hefty non-compete fees.
The finance minister said Friday that Porgand should have informed her as Eesti Energia's general assembly in due course of such decisions by the supervisory board.
"He as a member of the supervisory board had to have been aware," she said. "The first decisions were made a month before I was informed. I could have known of the supervisory board's considerations sooner."
According to Akkermann, Eesti Energia is a very good business, but the details of the management's fees could have been handled differently, and she should have been informed of them sooner.
"Such small details in which the devil can sometimes hide must be recognized from afar and resolved, not collided into head-on," she said.
Porgand, who declined ERR's request for comment, is deputy director of the State Assets Department of the Ministry of Finance.
Supervisory board not revising bonus decisions
Earlier this week, Akkermann sent a letter to Eesti Energia's supervisory board calling for a critical review of planned performance bonuses set to be paid to outgoing members of the company's management board in light of what the minister considered to be unsatisfactory cooperation on the part of the company's management.
She cited several examples of cases in which she believed the energy group's management should have acted faster or differently, including in connection with the matter of cooling water for its Narva power plants as well as extensive power outages on the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa during a severe winter storm late last year.
Despite Akkermann's request, Eesti Energia's supervisory board will not be revising its decisions, supervisory board chair Anne Mere told ERR.
Following Porgand's recall, the energy group's supervisory board consists of Mere, Meelis Einstein, Allan Niidu, Andres Liinat, Luukas Kristjan Ilves and Einari Kisel.
Editor: Aili Vahtla