PM orders disciplinary inquiry against head of State Chancellery ex-PM Karins' flights case

  • 2024-05-13
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) has ordered a disciplinary inquiry against State Chancellery Director Janis Citskovskis, according to a statement published in the official gazette Latvijas Vestnesis. 

The probe has been ordered based on the findings of an interim report released by May 7 by an inquiry committee. The interim report concluded that Citskovskis, probably in breach of the law, had committed a disciplinary offence, namely, unjustifiable failure to perform his duties or negligent and inadequate performance of his duties, including improper handling of financial resources, resulting in substantial financial loss to the state or substantial damage to the interests of the state.

In accordance with Silina's order, a disciplinary inquiry committee has been established, which will be chaired by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Mihails Papsujevics. The committee will be composed of Arina Andreicika, Director of the Internal Audit Department of the Ministry of Finance, Dace Gaile, Head of Administration of the Ministry of Economics, Aija Grinberga, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Welfare, Dace Klavina, Parliamentary Secretary to the prime minister, and Aleksejs Remesovs, Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Justice.

In order to ensure a comprehensive and impartial investigation of the disciplinary case, as well as to prevent Citskovskis from obstructing the inquiry, Silina decided to suspend Citskovskis from his duties for the duration of the disciplinary inquiry, but no longer than until the disciplinary sanction is enforced, while maintaining his salary and social guarantees.

The State Chancellery's Deputy Director Inese Gailite has been appointed acting director.

As reported earlier, the State Audit Office has found that unlawful and uneconomical actions in organizing special flights of former Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) have caused unjustified expenses of about EUR 545,000 for the budgets of Latvia and the Council of the European Union.

The State Audit Office considers that the use of special flights, even in cases where no state of emergency had been declared and where alternatives of regular commercial flights were available within a reasonable time, constituted an unlawful use of state budget funds, which resulted in additional expenditure of at least EUR 221,566 for the state budget. The State Audit Office estimates that the uneconomic behavior has resulted in additional expenditure of at least EUR 323,688 for the Council of the EU.

According to the State Audit Office, the information obtained during the audit shows that then Prime Minister Karins and the Prime Minister's Office and the State Chancellery under his direct authority were actually involved in the adoption and implementation of decisions on the use of special flights for foreign trips. The Prime Minister's Office was then headed by the current MP Janis Patmalnieks (New Unity), while the State Chancellery was headed by Janis Citskovskis.

The State Chancellery, on the other hand, believes that responsibility for Karins' flights should be taken by the prime minister's office.