Local government anti-corruption bill passes second reading

Riigikogu sitting. Image is illustrative
Riigikogu sitting. Image is illustrative Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The bill aims at reducing the risk of corruption at the local level, imposing restrictions on business activities of council members and authoring the state prosecutor to claim damages caused to the state in certain cases. The bill passed its second reading on 15 January.

One of the consequences of recurring incidences of corruption at the local government level, the bill calls for the basic requirement of background checks that would allow state as well as local institutions to exclude anyone with a prior history of corruption.

On top of that, the bill would also introduce certain restrictions to the business activities of chairs and deputy chairs of municipal and city councils and audit committee members. The restrictions would apply where the people in question are also management members of businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the same municipality. Some of the restrictions would also apply to the managers of different council institutions, such as public works and the like.

If introduced, the new law would also extend the jurisdiction of the Office of the Prosecutor General, allowing it to claim compensation for damages caused to the state by people involved in corruption or related offences.

The bill was initiated by the Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee following a recommendation of the Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise. In it, Ms Madise pointed to several cases in which existing law is lacking in its anti-corruption purpose, especially at the local level.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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