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Education minister queries unemployment insurance fund board appointee's credentials

Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200).
Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Education Minister Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200) has questioned the choice of a new appointee to the Unemployment Insurance Fund's (Töötukassa) supervisory board.

Minister Kallas expressed doubts over the appointment of Märten Ross to the board, replacing Sven Kirsipuu, who is stepping down.

Ross is not a sufficiently senior official to merit the appointment, Kallas noted.

In a letter to party-mate and Minister of Economic Affairs Tiit Riisalo, Kallas wrote that: "In considering the level of representation of organizations within the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund's supervisory board – for instance the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is represented by a minister – we propose considering an official with a higher position, as representative of that ministry."

Ross would replace Sven Kirsipuu, one of the finance ministry's deputy secretaries general, who is stepping down from the position.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs put forward Ross, saying he meets the requirements set for members of the supervisory board, and has also provided his own consent to the appointment.

Under current law, the Unemployment Insurance Fund's supervisory board must include representatives from trade unions, the employers' union, the economic affairs minister (ie. Riisalo at present) themselves, plus one member appointed by the government.

Sven Kirsipuu cited a busy workload and a need to focus on "critical issues and developments" as his reason for quitting the board.

Märten Ross' resume includes a stint as vice president at the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank), and a long period as an adviser and a deputy secretary general at the finance ministry.

Kaia Vask, head of the Estonian Trade Unions Confederation (Ametiühingute keskliit), is the current fund supervisory board chair. Arto Aas, head of the Estonian Employers Confederation (Tööandjate keskliit), is also a member.

Most state agencies and public institutions have supervisory boards, tasked with independent oversight of that institution.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Huko Aaspõllu

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