Justice ministry: KRA name change unnecessary

Estonia's Defense Resources Agency (KRA).
Estonia's Defense Resources Agency (KRA). Source: Jenny Va/ERR

The Ministry of Justice has hit out at a name change of an agency which falls under the Ministry of Defense's remit, calling its rationale unclear and unjustified in terms of cost.

The name change of the agency in question, to the National Defense Human Resources Center (Riigikaitse inimjõu keskus, or RINK for short) , formerly the Defense Resources Agency (KRA), will cost up to €30,000, itself a cause for consternation.

The Ministry of Defense sent the Ministry of Justice a draft bill on the amendment of the Government of the Republic Act and other related laws, which would put the name change in place, legislation-wise.

While the justice ministry approved the draft, it criticized what it called a lack of clarity over the compelling purpose for the name change, in relation to the cost, and has now questioned the need for that change.

Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform) said that: "It can be concluded from the explanatory memorandum [to the bill] that a name change does not equate to a substantial positive change in the work organization of the [former] KRA, while at the same time incurring expenses, adding to the institution's workload and requiring the target groups adapt to the change."

"In a situation where the cost associated with changing the name of the institution exceeds the possible benefits, it is more reasonable to refrain from changing the name," he added.

Laanet also noted that the Eesti keele seletav sõnaraamat, the Estonian Language Institute's (EKI) "Estonian language explanatory dictionary," an authoritative lexical source, defines the term "human resources" (Estonian: inimjõu) in two ways: As either the resources or abilities of people, or alternatively, people as a resource itself.

"In the latter variant, the term 'human resources' is used in situations where people are spoken of as a somewhat amorphous mass and often in descriptions of military conflict," the minister went on ("manpower" would be an alternative translation for "inimjõu" – ed.).

"At the same time, KRA deals with people as subjects, creating a service-based or other relationship with each of them, based on certain legal foundations. This means that "manpower" is not the most compelling choice for use as a collective term describing the tasks of the institution, and contained in the name of the institution," Minister Laanet added.

"In the event of changing the KRA name being an unavoidable necessity, we would ask you to consider to find, linguistically speaking, better-suited alternatives for the institution's new name," he concluded.

KRA Director General Anu Rannaveski told ERR that a separate budget for the name change is not planned, and the costs, ie. the €30,000, will be covered from the agency's existing budget. 

Rannaveski had said last month that the reorganization of the newly-named agency will save around half-a-million euros per year.


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Editor: Urmet Kook, Andrew Whyte

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