TALLINN - A bill seeking to extend he obligation to submit a declaration of economic interests to political advisers to the prime minister and ministers passed first reading in the Riigikogu on Monday.
The government-initiated bill of amendments to the Anti-corruption Act would impose an obligation to submit a declaration of interests on political advisers to ministers, that is people who assist and advise the prime minister and ministers based on the Civil Service Act; the bill would also restrict the disclosure of the declaration of the head of a security authority.
"This is definitely a necessary step in the fight against corruption and one that will increase the transparency of public sector decisions. Considering that political advisers play an important role in the state's politics and take part in the shaping and adoption of decisions important to the state as well as in communication with interest groups, there is a real possibility of them finding themselves in a conflict of interests," Minister of Justice Maris Lauri was quoted by ministry spokespeople as saying.
"For that reason, it is reasonable that the public should have an overview of political advisers' economic interests," the minister said.
The obligation to expand the requirement to submit a declaration of economic interests arises from the standards of the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).