Friday, September 18, 2009

State Labor Inspectorate puts hands in the EU cookie jar

The head of Latvia's State Labor Inspectorate, Rita Elce and five other officials have been suspended pending corruption investigations by the Bureau to Prevent and Combat Corruption (KNAB in Latvian).
The Labor Inspectorate head and staff members are suspected of using European Union (EU) social and regional program funds to hire fictitious employees (apparently real persons who never worked a day at the government agency but funneled almost all of their salaries to the bank accounts of the alleged conspirators).
Elce told journalists she would cooperate with the investigation and denied that she had benefitted from the diversion of EU and other public funds.
The "fiddle" with EU funds seems to have been an internal one for the enrichment of those involved, but its alleged existence raises suspicions that the agency could have been (and still be) open to bribe-taking to cover up illegal, unsafe and unethical labor practices and the use of black and gray market labor (illegal aliens, legal residents paid in envelopes).
Events such as this indicate that the KNAB is keeping its earlier promise of "we will come for you" with regard to corrupt public servants, but it does little to diminish the image of Latvia as a state where corruption, incompetence or both are endemic to the structures of public administration.

5 comments:

djhurio said...

Sen zināma shēma. Bet ne vienmēr tā ir negodīga. Ir bijuši gadījumi, kad tas bija vienīgais veids kā samaksāt ierēdnim par papildus izdarītu darbu. Jo darbu jau tāpat izdara tie "negodīgie" ierēdņi.

TRex said...

If I understand the above commenter this is a normal or not unheard of method of paying for services rendered? I fail to see how any type of accepted accounting methods could be applied in such opaque circumstances, it begs to be abused!

TRex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
djhurio said...

I'm not saying it is normal. I totally agree that this is wrong practice and should not be used in any circumstances.

My comment was just a historical remark. We all need to grow up.

TRex said...

Thank you, my Latvian is no so good unfortunately. As a small businessman I'm appalled at the methods employed by the Latvian government and the municipalities. KNAB needs to rack up some convictions if they are in fact called for. On the face of it this flies in the face of EU standards, but I’m willing to wait and see.