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Riigikogu committee aiming to reduce corruption with law amendment

Toompea Castle, seat of the Riigikogu.
Toompea Castle, seat of the Riigikogu. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The constitutional committee of the Riigikogu on Monday initiated a bill concerning the liability of state and local governments to ensure that persons employed by those authorities have not been punished for intentionally committed criminal offenses.

According to chairman of the constitutional committee Marko Pomerants (IRL), the currently valid laws are not sufficient enough for efficiently controlling corruption, parliament spokespeople told BNS. "The chancellor of justice has also drawn attention to this topic with her proposals. The constitutional committee has made it their aim to improve the situation and offer additional basis, according to which corruption can be controlled," Pomerants said.

The restrictions will apply to all persons, who fulfill public tasks regardless of whether they do it permanently or temporarily, in a paid or unpaid capacity, while in service or as a freelancer, on the basis of a contract, designation or election.

The chancellor of justice has previously drawn attention to the fact that local governments have on occasion abandoned recovering damages from an official who has been found guilty of causing financial damage to the local government. Pomerants said that according to the bill, the prosecutor's office will be given the right in criminal proceedings to recover the financial damage done in the name of all legal persons governed by public law.

In order to avoid a conflict of interests, the bill of amendments to the Local Government Organization Act and other laws will set additional restrictions for chairmen and deputy chairmen of municipal councils and members of audit committees. In the future, they cannot be managers or board members of a business, foundation or NGO of the same rural municipality or city nor heads or deputy heads of institutions managed by the same rural municipality or city.

According to the bill, a chairman of a municipal council will decide over the sending a rural municipality mayor or city mayor on business travel. The business travel of rural municipality or city government members will be monitored by the rural municipality mayor or city mayor.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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