RIGA - The Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) detained the Central Election Commission's Chairwoman Kristine Berzina last week, sources told LETA.
Berzina was released soon thereafter, but LETA has information that the Corruption Prevention Bureau has asked Saeima to ensure that Berzina be released from office. Saeima will soon vote on a new makeup of the Central Election Commission, and Berzina has already announced that she will not run for a second term as the head of the Central Election Commission.
Berzina was detained during investigation in a criminal case on a procurement tender organized by the Central Election Commission.
KNAB might comment on the probe this Tuesday, LETA was told at the anti-corruption bureau.
Last Tuesday, the Corruption Prevention Bureau's officers visited IT company SOAAR as part of the criminal case, a company that had won several major contracts with the Central Election Commission and other state institutions in recent years.
According to Firmas.lv, SOAAR was registered in Jekabpils Region and belongs to Leonards Survilo and Renars Kadzulis. In 2020, the company posted EUR 1,118,557 in turnover and EUR 675,055 in profit.
Information available on the website of the Procurement Monitoring Bureau reveals that at the beginning of this year SOAAR signed a EUR 963,515 contract with the Central Election Commission for the development of a Saeima election management system's module.
In August 2021, SOAAR signed a EUR 91,191 contract with the Central Election Commission, last June - a contract worth EUR 275,370, and another EUR 154,802 contract in April 2021.
SOAAR also signed several major contracts with the Central Election Commission and the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in 2020, 2019 and 2018.
The Central Election Commission is one of the smallest state institutions that has never had its own IT department. For this reason, the commission leased the election management system developed by SOAAR, and in 2020, wishing not to be dependent on a single provider of services and the rising costs of the services it provided, decided to gradually purchase different modules developed by SOAAR.